Someone breaks into my house while I watch TV

So last night, my friends Bean and Dan were over, watching TV with myself and the girls (Sydney and Maddox) when Roy, one of the neighbors from the 4-apartment unit next door, came up to a TV room window and told us that he had just seen someone enter the house via one of the back windows!

Being the ultra-brave person I am, I stayed in the TV room and called 911, over the objection of Sydney (who was playing a game on my phone and didn’t fully understand why I was taking the phone away from her). While I was on the phone with the 911 dispatcher, Roy yelled something at the intruder, we heard a “thunk,” and Roy told us the person had just left through the same window. We then went into Sarah and Charles’ bedroom and found the window open and the screen window lying on the ground outside.

The cops, who were extremely nice and professional, arrived a couple of minutes later. They knew (because I was still on the phone with 911) that the intruder wasn’t in our house anymore, so they cased the neighborhood and talked to Roy before coming over to talk to us. After talking to the cops, went over to Roy’s place to introduce myself and thank him.

The way our house is laid out, someone could walk through the whole back of the house, looking in windows, and not see either the group in the TV room, Matt in the basement apartment, or (unless they happened to look at just the right angle), Sarah in her office. So probably the person thought the house was empty.

The person was wearing a hoodie, and Roy couldn’t say if it was a woman or a man. Maddox took it in stride, but Sydney was terrified and hid behind the couch for a while, until we coached her out.

Although we’ve been successfully cooling the house all summer with open windows at night and big window fans, we decided to go with air conditioning and closed, locked windows last night. Sarah, surprisingly, slept quite well.

One of those times I’m happy to live with a large group of housemates – it would have felt very creepy if I was the only one here!

P.S. Despite the break-in, I feel absolutely no inclination to go buy a gun. :-p

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17 Responses to Someone breaks into my house while I watch TV

  1. 1
    allreb says:

    Yipes. I’m glad to hear you all came out okay and relatively little harm done. Close calls like that are freaky.

    (I had one in New York – heard my door open as I was slowly waking up one morning. Didn’t think about it, yelled “I’m in here!” and whoever it was took off. I wasn’t even sure it had been anything at all, except my door was still open. I’m very glad whoever it was ran off then, too.)

  2. 2
    Ben Lehman says:

    Despite the break-in, I feel absolutely no inclination to go buy a gun.

    I’m glad. I’d hate to have to move on short notice.

  3. 3
    KellyK says:

    Wow, that’s really scary. Glad everyone is okay!

  4. 4
    RonF says:

    “Despite the break-in, I feel absolutely no inclination to go buy a gun.”

    Using a gun in a house with multiple people in it is a chancy business in any case. If you don’t hit your target you have to think about what else – or who else -you might hit.

  5. I’m glad everyone is okay. That kind of thing can be really terrifying when it happens when you’re not home; I can only imagine what it feels like when you are.

  6. 6
    mythago says:

    Glad you are all okay!

  7. 7
    RonF says:

    Having said that, I’m glad you’re safe. Have there been similar incidents in the neighborhood before?

  8. 8
    Ampersand says:

    Ron, I don’t know. This is the first time it’s happened to us.

    When we bought the house but hadn’t yet moved in fully, ten years ago, someone robbed the garage, which sucks for us but still seems to me to be a different sort of incident.

  9. 9
    RonF says:

    I live in an area where there’s very little crime, but there was a rash of garage break-ins a while back. They finally caught the guy. It was a high school student who had figured out that most people around here have a refrigerator in their garage with beer it in.

  10. 10
    Siobhan says:

    I had that happen once when I was home alone and it is scary. (Whoever it was figured out somebody was home & bolted right about the time I realized they were in the house.)

    We ended up putting bars on all the ground-level windows at the back of the house where anybody breaking in is hidden from public view. They won’t stop a determined burglar but they will make entry a lot slower and noisier.

  11. 11
    RonF says:

    Amp, do you have a dog? Have you considered getting one? Burglars very often look in the window, see a dog – any kind of dog – and decide that they’ll move on to the next house. A big one is a physical hassle, but even a small one just makes a lot more noise than they need.

  12. 12
    acrannymint says:

    It’s definitely better than waking up to the sound of someone walking up your stairs. Note: shouting obscenities while threatening to rip someone’s head off is very effective

  13. 13
    Ampersand says:

    A lot of people have suggested a dog. I’m worried that I don’t have the time available to care for a dog properly.

  14. 14
    Jake Squid says:

    I’m worried that I don’t have the time available to care for a dog properly.

    Ah. This is where modern technology comes to your rescue! You just need to get a hologramatic dog system.

  15. 15
    Ben Lehman says:

    I’m pro-dog but just because I love dogs.

    Frankly, one break in in a decade is pretty damn safe.

  16. 16
    KellyK says:

    Well, if you’re actually interested in getting a dog, I’d be more than happy to talk your ear off about the level of time and attention they generally need and help you figure out if that’s doable.

    If not, and if having a dog is a deterrent, I bet a fairly inexpensive trip to Petco to make it *look* like you have a dog would be a deterrent that you wouldn’t have to walk or feed. (Food bowl and a cheap chew toy prominently visible, etc.)

  17. 17
    StraightGrandmother says:

    WOW! That must have been scary. Me too no matter what would ever happen to me, I can’t imagine getting a gun. Nice neighbor, I guess he really means it when he says, “I got your back.”