Probably not. Certainly the sanctity of your property when faced with the invading hoard of scrotal Aylesbury. Last year, a false alarm left me filling silly and cold after a one man/one cat naked pincer move on the barn. Last Thursday, the 3am alarm call heralded something significantly more nasty.
And different. Firstly I decided to arm myself with more than the shield of justice, the sword of truth and the swinging willy of righteousness. So struggling into jeans while the alarm insisted – at above the pain threshold – that someone was in the barn and all the neighbors were soon to be awake.
Attaining a geographical position of ‘outside‘ was preceded by much flapping of dressing gowns and more general flapping. I traded myopically punching the alarm codes with just punching the unit which proved a whole lot more effective, and launched myself outside brandishing a broom handle and feeble torch.
Even in a state best thought of as upright, but asleep, the security light strobe show clearly chronicled the escape path of a man making good his lack or morals with stolen collateral. I crashed in through the bike side door, swept a fast count of frames, breathed a sigh of relief and incautiously barreled into the office side.
To find the window broken, the blinds flapping and a woody desk space where a laptop used to be*. Within snatching distance were still my Tag watch, wallet and two digital cameras. And of course – a single unlocked door away – all my precious mountain bikes. So the alarm did it’s job even if the window locks didn’t. I was 90 seconds too late to accost the rapscallion who’d taken the whole “property is theft“** thesis to a new level.
The police were great. Two competent blokes turned up 10 minutes later and summoned a sniffer dog. The prowling hound found a trail of scrote through many gardens in the road – ending uselessly at the curb side where a car had been parked. ” Look on the bright side” one of the uniforms said “you weren’t targeted, it was just opportunity crime and after the alarm scare, they won’t be back“.
And yeah, nothing was stolen that can’t be replaced, our house wasn’t violated, the kids were never in danger so maybe we should be grateful. But I’m not, I’m a little irritated with myself for not hiding stuff away, with the ballache of fixing windows and adding another two locks to each opening***, moving stealable stuff inside and securing all the bikes.
Yet that isn’t the primary emotion. It’s sadness that we have to do it. It’s frustration that a locked down laptop with a disk full of encryption is going to fetch£20 at best. Stuff like this chips away at your faith in human nature and that’s just not nice.
Still, it did take my mind off the debacle of the latest bike storage arrangements. Words – for once – fail me.
* on the upside this was the firms’. On the downside, they weren’t delighted I had lost it.
** It goes like this. If all property is theft then it has already been stolen. So all I am doing by nicking stuff is balancing the books and avoiding double counting. Although maybe I’d giving the bloke too much credit, you could conclude he’s just a robbing twat.
*** Anyone wants to break a window is going to need a cannonball. Me too, if I ever want to open one again.