It was a beautiful day, but did it last?
Jamie waited outside the schoolyard searching for the face of her daughter as the kids piled out enthusiastically from school on this warm spring day in South Florida. Dozens of kids screeching and yelling playfully as they looked for their Mom's or Dads in the waiting line of cars parked like a row of snails in their shells. Among the melee, Vicky spotted her Mom who smiled as she scrambled into the back seat of their car, loading up the empty space behind the driver's seat with the collection of books and bags from the day.
School was out, time to head to the Yogurt garden for her favorite desert with sprinkles. Vicky quickly began to recall her busy day and show Jamie the pictures she had drawn in class. Her favorite was the picture of their home. Typical kids picture, quirky boxes for windows, scribbles for the curtains, and a stick figure dog playing in front. She had stuck some cotton wool over the house to look like clouds, and a big yellow star for the Sun. It was a beautiful day.
Jamie finished her yogurt first, Vicky was picking out the red sprinkles on hers between detailed stories of how her class had fun during their lunch break. Nearly time to head home and beat the traffic. It had been a long day at work and Jamie thought about how Vicky would dash out of the car as soon as it stopped in the driveway and loudly call 'Scruffy' before she even reached the side door. It was a beautiful day.
Bags in hand, Jamie followed Vicky but something was up! Vicky stopped at the door, she didn't rush in as usual, and there was no excited Scruffy to greet her. "What's up honey?" it came out a bit shaky. "Where's Scruffy?" Vicky quietly complained. Jamie put the bags down and moved towards the door, she noticed the splinters of glass by the doorstep. This was more than a bit scary! Quickly, Jamie scooped Vicky into her arms and headed back to the car. "Hang on honey! we better go look for Scruffy, he must have run off. We'll find him" and Jamie backed the car down the driveway a little quicker than normal.
Once on the road, Jamie called the police. It 'was' a beautiful day!
Vicky was tucked in bed later that evening after the Police and Jamie had searched around the house to see what was missing. Both of the jewelry boxes in the bedroom had gone, the pain killers in the master bathroom cabinet were gone too. Her closet had been ripped apart, several pieces of her best lingerie were strewn on the crumpled bed. The bag with the video camcorder in the living room was missing, so were the memory cards with the videos that Jamie had taken when Vicky graduated 1st grade. The side door was now reinforced by a piece of plywood from the garage, Jamie had jammed a piece of wood between the now broken handle and the floor, just in case 'they' should return.
The police officer was very sympathetic, and Jamie had followed him as he went around each room of the house "Just want to make sure 'they' are not still here". It only took him about ten minutes to write out the report and provide a copy for Jamie "You'll need that for the Insurance Claim" and "'they' would not have had so much time to rifle through your home and belongings if you had an alarm system. Probably a good idea"
Then Jamie and Vicky were at home, alone. Not the best of beautiful days! Jamie wondered how Vicky would draw pictures of their home next time!
What would you have done?
What Jamie did right:
- She did not enter the house after realizing there had been a break in, 'They' might still be inside.
- She took action to make both herself and her daughter safe.
- She called the police once safely away from the house.
- She let the police officer accompany her as she surveyed the damage 'they' had done.
- She contacted an Alarm company the next day.