Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Posted by Jack

I’m told that all people involved in urban ministries are supposed to have exciting stories to tell about their exploits in the ‘hood. Well, here is one for our collection.

Today, I came home from work to find that our house had been robbed. Someone kicked in our basement window, trashing the whole area and then coming upstairs to rob us.

Also, I entered the house while the intruder was still here.

(Notice how I dropped that sentence with no qualifiers whatsoever; very dramatic. The reader is left to assume that I became locked in hand-to-hand combat with the assailant).

Here’s how it went down.

I returned from work at around 4:15pm, as I usually do. Typically, I am the only person at home at this time, and that was the case today (I assumed). I normally enter the house directly, straight through the front door. Today, however, I happened to notice just how rotten our old pumpkin had become, having been sitting on our porch since Halloween. I decided to take the pumpkin out back and toss it on our informal, unkempt compost heap behind the house. Having completed the chore, I decided to enter, uncharacteristically, through the back door.

Upon entering the home, I noticed right away that the dog was running loose. We normally keep Lucy pinned in a small room downstairs, but the door had been opened and she was wandering freely. I thought this was odd, but because the door sometimes gets left ajar, I did not feel alarmed right away.

I paused and patted the dog, asking how she got out (she did not answer). Then I proceeded into the downstairs kitchen and headed toward the front of the house (to disarm the security system which had been triggered by my entry through the back door). As I reached the dining room, I heard someone moving at the top of the stairs. I stopped in the doorway between our living room and the dining room, now knowing for sure that something was not right.

Quickly (or as people on the news always say, “It all happened so fast…”), our unnamed assailant ran down the staircase into the front foyer. My view of the door was still obstructed by the living room wall at this point, but I heard the runner unlocking the locks and opening the door. The alarm system chime went off, indicating that someone had exited the front door.

I stepped into the living room in time to see the man running to the left, moving from our front porch into the adjacent alley. Unfortunately, we have white sheer curtains hanging in the front windows, so all I could see was his silhouette moving across the porch.

I stepped outside quickly and tried to see where our new friend had gone. (I later joked with Tim that I had really stepped outside to yell, “You forgot the candlesticks!”). By the time I reached the porch, he was out of sight. There were some people standing across the street staring in my direction; they later told police they had seen a man in a brown coat running off the porch and down the alley.

I went upstairs, dialing the police as I walked. I found that the person had gone through some bags and drawers in my room, the drawers in Tim’s room, and he had scattered some things about the place.

I will not put an exact list of the stolen items here (what would that accomplish?), but I will let you know that Tim Miller and I both lost some relatively pricey items which had been given to us as gifts. The assailant left Tim Voltz alone, probably because he has a foreboding sculpture of a Care Bear protecting his room (doubles as a piggy bank. Ask him about it!).

The police lifted some pretty good fingerprints from the window of entry and some items the thief touched (no joke!) and they think they may be able to tie someone to the crime. And Lucy, our attack dog, watched the whole thing unfold with puppy dog eyes. I guess that makes her an eyewitness. Though, she has been awfully quiet lately; maybe she was in on the heist…

All that to say we are alive and well, although we are a bit lighter in the “material possessions” department. We didn’t have much “stuff” to begin with, but we are certain that several of the most expensive items in the house are now gone. Perhaps this stripping away of the items in question will do some good…

Of course, I could not resist telling this story. There is something like bravery that kicks in when I get to tell people how I barged into the house and single-handedly stared down a villain, chasing him off our property. Whether or not anything remotely similar to that actually happened is only partially relevant.

Peace to you, and give thanks this week.


benjamin said...

wow! Glad you guys are safe. Maybe the Lord lifted those off you... lol. Keep doin His work.

VioletRayne said...

I'm sorry you got robbed. I hope he gets caught. Hapy new year!