Twice, in more than a month actually.
The first time, my husband and I woke up at around 2 am because the neigborhood dogs were barking in frenzy; which doesnt normally happen. My husband looked out of our window, facing the street, and he saw someone jumping from the empty lot beside our house. He went down and checked, there were no disturbances within our perimeter; so we went back to sleep.
We reported the incident in the morning and were told that we should call the security guard on duty on that same hour that it happened.
The next time last week; our housemaid was surprised to see a dress which was supposed to be hanging at the back -- lying in the front gate. That was when she noticed that the front gate was wide open. And when she went around the house, she saw evidence that somebody attempted to get into our house.
By that time, I was already up and she called me in a voice filled with fright. I saw that the screen in one of the windows were already damaged and that they used my Nordic walking stick, to lift the wooden lock in our sliding door! I think they were disturbed by something or someone because they flee.
I woke my husband before I went to the security guard to report the incident. And to my surprise, I also saw a police car roaming around! It turned out that another house, in the next street; were ransacked early morning. All their important belongings were taken; the good thing is that nobody from the family woke up thus nobody was hurt.
Police investigators came and went into our house. We informed our girls on what happened. We showed them the damages and explained to them the implications. They were alarmed, but a little excited seeing the policemen going in and out.
But we also told them, that from now on; we would have important changes imposed.
- Double checking on the doors and windows before sleeping
- Regularly checking that all windows and doors are functioning properly, meaning we could close them tightly
- Never inform anyone that you are alone at home
- Always leave certain outdoor places well-lighted
- Keep important telephone numbers within reach (now we have them plastered in the living room, in the kitchen, in all the bedrooms)
- We bought a dog!
In our neighborhood, we also talked to the homeowner's association which agreed about the following:
- unscheduled early morning walks together (just a phone call a day or two to inform them)
- an extra guard at night that would roam around
- a fund raising campaign to buy CCTV cameras
- exchanging phone numbers
- immediate reports when someone noticed something dubious
- be more aware of each other's guard dogs' disturbances at night and early morning
- regular perimeter checking, to immediately report damaged fences
You could see the group effort and the spirit of volunterism in our small community. That may not be enough to completely stop the crime, but with our same goal to keep our village safe -- we have started to form friendship.