The most sickening feeling I got came from knowing the man must have been watching my house, waiting to see when I would come out and go for my daily jog just before dusk. I wondered how many days he had been watching me to know that the house would be empty at that time and the window he used to break into my house would be optimal in that 20 minute sliver of time.
It took me a few minutes to even figure out what happened when I got home. My heart was already pounding, my body coated with a cool sweat and my mind racing before I even saw the broken window in my laundry room.
Tucked in the far corner of the house with a floor-level window, it was the perfect entry point. I wondered if the intruder had already cased my house a couple of times, probably when I was still home, or sleeping in the middle of the night. Not sure why he thought my house was a particularly-attractive target, I have almost nothing of value and am a very obviously modest person.
What happened was a burglar (or burglars) broke into my house, stole some of my fake jewelry, an old bottle of antibiotics and a broken iPhone. All in all, the value of the loot pilfered was probably just over $100, tops.
What they accomplished was shattering my soul and trust in the world more than anything else. As they say, the best things in life are free.
After realizing what happened, I gave the rest of the house a quick look over as I talked to the 911 dispatcher and had him relay the cops towards my house and waited out front for them to arrive.
Law enforcement didn’t present me with any revelations I didn’t already know. Someone broke in, stole some items and ran out all in about the span of just a few minutes while I was on my jog. They were going to keep eyes out and ears open for any clues, but that’s about all they could do at the moment. At least a couple of them were nice enough to stick around and board up the broken window for me and recommend some cheaper, but non-scary motels I could check into if I didn’t want to stay in the house
Most-kindly, one of the officers offered me a video security system he had, but didn’t need anymore that could be installed in about 20 minutes. He said it was basically a glorified baby monitor, but it was a great to keep an eye on your place when you weren’t there and to place prominently next to your biggest floor-level window to scare off anyone sizing up the place. He ran home, brought it back, and hooked it up in my house while some other officers patched up the window.
I thanked them for the repair work and turned down the motel idea. My boyfriend Jacob would be over in an hour or two and that was enough to make me comfortable enough to stay in the house that night. I knew it was just some desperate tweaker willing to bust in for $100 worth of stuff and wouldn’t be back. The police confirmed as such. I just asked if one of them could park out front until my boyfriend got there and they agreed.
Jacob arrived around 9 PM and the night moved on. I told him all of the details and he didn’t seem to be particularly concerned. He agreed with my tweaker assessment and kept his hunting shotgun right next to my bed in case the person decided to come back.
It wasn’t easy, but I was eventually able to fall asleep. I got a few hours of the sweet embrace of slumber before the quick thumb of a text message sliding into my phone shook me awake. I groaned and walked to the bathroom to relieve myself. I forgot about the text by the time I got back to bed and didn’t check it.
I wish I had.
I checked the text first thing in the morning. It was from my mom. Ugh. I had avoided telling her because I knew she would freak out and drive all the way from Sacramento in the middle of the night to “comfort me,” when all she would do is make me more scared.
Apparently Jacob had posted a photo of his shotgun resting next to my bed with a little of the story next to it, my mom saw it and started texting me at 1 AM.
Her first text was actually very helpful, and something Jacob and I should have thought about the night before.
Saw Jacob’s post about what happened. I’m so sorry. Did you MAKE SURE THE POLICE CHECKED EVERY SINGLE INCH OF YOUR HOUSE TO MAKE SURE THE GUY WASN’T STILL IN THERE?
My mom actually had a great point. I never even asked the cops how much they scoured the house. They just said he ran off sometime before I got home and that was it. Jacob and I never did a great job of checking either.
I woke Jacob up and told him we needed to search everywhere in the house. He was tired and unhappy, but agreed to do it, with shotgun in-hand.
What we found underneath my bathroom sink horrified me. There was a large cabinet directly underneath the sink in the bathroom in my bedroom about the size of a washing machine. I never even thought about it until we were in the midst of or all-encompassing sweep.
I casually pulled the cabinet open almost as an afterthought and was immediately overtaken by the hideous scent of male B.O. I started coughing, almost vomited as I looked away and connected my eyes with Jacob, who had a look of alarm on his face I had never seen before.
I followed Jacob’s eyes, and the stench, to the space below the sink where I saw a filthy jean jacket, what looked like human excrement and the bottle of pills which had been missing.
We called the cops and had the house 110 percent searched. Nothing turned up, but the cop who gave me the video system pointed out that we should review the footage to see if it showed anything.
Jacob and I watched the footage on my laptop with a few cops hanging over our shoulders. I was still almost frozen in fear, despite the amount of armed men in the room whose job it was to protect me.
We had set up three cameras, so we had three different shots we could watch at once – one from my bathroom, one in my bedroom and one in the living room which feeds out into the front driveway of the house. I could feel the heart of even the largest cop in the room stop as we watched the footage.
It started with the camera set up in my bedroom. The angle the camera provided showed my bathroom through the open door. The time stamp said it was just after 3 a.m. when movement finally started to happen while Jacob and I slept in bed.
We watched in horror as a dark figure of a man stretched himself out from underneath the bathroom sink and then took a moment to steady himself in the bathroom. He then slowly walked into my bedroom.
The camera set up my bed provided the perfect vantage point to see him as he walked right to my bed where Jacob and I were sleeping. We got the slightest glimpse of a cherubic, round face cased by the hood of a sweatshirt.
The man in the hood stopped right at the foot of our bed. He stood there for a good 10 seconds, staring at Jacob and I as we slept. Then he walked out the bedroom door.
We watched the intruder simply walk out the front door at that point. He even locked the front door on his way out. The whole thing had a slight air of politeness in it, but it was in no way friendly.
It would have been much better had the intruder rifled through all of my stuff, stolen belongs, almost even better if he had attacked me. Hiding under the sink where I had brushed my teeth and washed my face just a few hours before and then walking away long after I had gone to sleep was the worst thing he could have done. The whole thing felt much more personal than opportunistic. Maybe that was his plan?
I never stayed another night in that house. I moved a couple of towns over into a secure apartment building with heavy security, but still can never sleep easy at night. Even if Jacob, and his shotgun, are by my side. I am forever rattled.
I have done my best to fight against it though. My apartment had a little compartment beneath the sink when I moved in. My first night in the new apartment, I had Jacob come over with tools from work and take the doors off the thing. I feel a certain comfort each night when I am able to kick my feet into the now open space while I brush my teeth. It does just a little bit to calm my nerves, but I’ll never quite be the same.