Sunday, January 18, 2009


Just some preface:
I live in an apartment building which professes to house young professionals and PhD/graduate students from the U down the street. Not upscale so much as some-day-I-will-make-real-money scale or I-am-a-poor-student-now-but-just-watch scale. So pretty much we're all on the same side of the money tree...

In a way it reminds me of what my dad's home town used to be like. No one locked their doors because everyone had the same amount of no-money and so, why steal from one another?

Then the economy went into the toilet.

Soon their was a notice stating that anything stolen out of our vehicles was not the responsibility of the management...because peoples' cars had been broken into, in our locked parking garage, with all the cameras and everything.

So we stopped leaving anything "shiny"/tempting within eyesight.

Then another notice about bikes...and using the bike rack at your own risk as we have a nice one behind the locked storage area doors...because bikes started disappearing.

So we all put our bikes in our storage lockers.

Friday late (Andy got home from the airport around 3PM and there was no note there), a generic note taped to the apartment doors of renters of storage lockers saying we might want to take a look seeing as the storage locker area had been broken into...

All I keep down there is my bike. After August 25th of last year, we all know the state of my banana-bended tire and twisted BRAND NEW basket...but Andy??? As he was exhausted from his trip back across the tundra-y wastelands, I said I'd go downstairs and look.

I decided not to take a picture, but this is what the lock should look like. Nothing fancy, after all it's behind a BIG METAL DOOR. False sense of security anyone? The locks are all intact, it's the backing plates that look like they were pried off with a crow-bar. Twisted metal dangling from one end.

When I first looked into the pile that is Andy's stuff? The first thing I noticed is that both bikes were still there and lots of boxes (more on this later) packed all over but...the plastic bins looked like someone had pulled them around to dig through them. But, I thought to myself, that might have been Andy rooting through his old computer parts box looking for a cable or seven.

So I go upstairs and report that I can't tell. We go downstairs together and, again, at first glance he wonders if maybe the would-be robbers were spooked, because his stuff still LOOKS like it's all there. That's when I notice the Styrofoam.

Andy keeps all of his boxes and the original Styrofoam packing because, hey, it's easier to move and not damage things if you pack them up they way they came, you know? So the storage locker is filled with a lot of empty boxes that become super useful once a year/two years when Andy pulls up stakes. So really, the storage room is actually packed to the brim with air and empty boxes...except for the two or three full boxes of old cables, modems, camping gear, and a 5.1 surround sound speaker system.

Andy had decided his five-year-old 5.1 surround-sound speaker system was too big and ridiculous for our itty bitty living room, and instead of tripping over it in our itty bitty apartment, he'd chucked it in storage with the idea that he'd sell it on eBay/Craigslist/freecycle it before he had to move it again...I guess that won't be a problem anymore...

The box was still there...but empty.

So I looked deeper. It's still early yet, but the other thing they took was an ancient cd-burner. I found the box for that as well, you see...

For a while we thought they'd also taken his ten-year-old snow-boarding boots. But he's since found them and pretty much ruined my vision of what these cretins were all about. Or maybe what they looked like. One of them having to be a size 11 poor snow-boarder who burns cd's on a burner so old you could hand etch them faster while listening to them in surround-sound glory on possibly popped old speakers. Or something.

So really, no big financial loss here. But emotionally? I'm not doing too hot. I was happy to live in this building because it's a stone's throw from actual houses. As I stated above, not too big a disparity in the haves and have nots. Quiet neighbors and a quick walk to the park and the liveliness of Fremont were also big perks.

Now? Not so much. Now all I see is people thinking that if I live here I must have stuff worth stealing. Neither my car nor my bike nor the crap in my storage locker is safe. What's next? They've made it past locked front entrances and locked storage areas...will they be breaking into apartments next?

Oh, before I forget, can someone tell me why the generic management note states we might want to inspect our lockers and figure out what was taken when there is yet another new sign down in the storage area which tells us the management is yet again not responsible for lost or stolen items in their storage lockers? Silly me but I'da just come out and said in the note instead of sounding like they gave a damn and we should contact them if we needed to.


Bezzie said...

Oh I feel you.

In Michigan--where I'm convinced the economy started to take 2 years before the rest of the country caught on--I'll never forget how my car was broken into. And they stole--my fruit snacks. Chunky was a toddler at the time and in the mid-seat storage compartment I kept those little jujube-ish fruit snacks for him for longer car rides.

Didn't hack out the radio. Didn't steal the loose change. Didn't steal the car itself--they stole the fruit snacks.

And it makes you feel so violated. Ick.

tana said...

I've never been burgled from, but I can imagine how violating that must feel. I am so sorry that this is happening.

I live across the water from you and I've been thinking I ought not leave my keys in my car, turn my head from my purse in the grocery. I've always been so lax about it because we live in a relatively low-crime area. No more - the economy is going to drive people to act in a way that they never would have guessed for themselves.

Sending love.