How many of you have ever been burglarized? Your home? Your car? You know that feeling when you open the door and know immediately that something is off/wrong?
It happened to me for the first (and hopefully ONLY) time a few months ago. The outrage, the feeling of being violated… well, let’s just say I was HUGELY, COLOSSALLY pissed and leave it at that, because I could write a novel alone on the anger I still feel.
I will say this. Writing suspense and having done research and interviewing police, detectives and private investigators may have rubbed off on me.
1. I knew how they attempted to enter my house and couldn’t, and how they ultimately did enter.
2. I knew a woman was involved.
3. I knew in what part of my house they were interrupted.
4. I’m fairly certain they were high at the time.
Granted some of that stuff was easy to determine, I’ll admit. Obviously they removed the window screen and used this little orange wooden piece to scratch it out. The window itself was scored with something sharp as if they tried to cut through it. Easy enough to figure out and also leads me to believe they were stoned enough to think they could cut or slice through double-paned glass. (Brilliant? I think not.)
But, how did I know a woman was involved? I won’t say how exactly other than size played a factor in breaking into my house. It was either a woman or teenager. When I was finally able to clean my kitchen after police left, I discovered glitter on my floor. I had cleaned house the day before (Sunday), so it wasn’t left over from anything I might’ve had in the house. No holiday cards or anything that might’ve had glitter on it. Somehow that glitter came with thieves attached.
The one thing I’m always reminded of when plotting a story is to avoid something too contrived with forced circumstances or coincidence. But I’m here to tell you that thieves make mistakes and all those little puzzle pieces to a crime can come together to nail a suspect. (Coincidence happens. That’s why it’s a word in the dictionary.) My case is one of those.
Ten days after the burglary, the police knocked on my door at 10:30 pm. Scared the crap out of me as I was working away in the front room near the front door. The police had just come from a vehicular crime scene and had property with our names on it. When I explained we had been burglarized a week before, it gave our detective more information to work with. Now we had a name (the car owner, since the driver and passengers ran after the accident) to either potentially go with the sets of fingerprints lifted from my house or at least a beginning as far as having a suspect. (BTW- I should mention the fingerprints lifted from my home have yet to be released.)
Cut to several weeks later and I’m informed of another vehicular incident where a suspect is arrested. What did police find in his car? Our checkbooks and our 27” desktop computer among other things. Now we have an actual person! A name! Trust me, I was a very happy camper with this news…. Until I discovered he was released before they were able to determine that the stuff in his car was stolen! Now I’m pissed again. My first thought was why didn’t they call me immediately? Because they’re busy. I get it, kind of. The wheels of justice move soooo slooowwwwlllyyy. Ugh.
But wait… the story continues. Another couple of weeks, I receive ANOTHER phone call… The suspect was arrested again! For what, I don’t know and the police wouldn’t tell me, but now they have him for my burglary and the good news is he actually confessed to robbing my house.
Honestly, I think the only reason I’m able to write about this is because the man was caught. The woman who helped him – yes, there was a female involved as I had already figured out – is still at large, but I think her karma will find her one day soon. (We have a first name so it's a start.)
Anyway, my point to all this is that anything can happen when you’re crafting a story and need to pull the ends together to either wrap it up or lead your characters down a different path. What were the odds that the guy who burglarized my house would be arrested a second time so soon after getting out after his first arrest? What were the odds of catching him with any of my stuff or catching him at all?
Once I had his name, my daughter and I did more digging. The Internet is an amazing, scary thing. We found him all right. And found where he’d sold our laptop computers online. I realize my jewelry is forever gone and that sticks hard with me. Unlike others, I’m not able to just turn the other cheek with this dude. I want him to pay and pay hard for everything he stole from my family and me. Some areas are just not gray and this is one of them.
I eagerly anticipate my first court date with this fool and I can only hope I have a judge who’ll let me say a few words about the whole ordeal.
I guess the moral of this post is that (hopefully) justice is served when the pieces fall together.
May your pieces always fall together whether it be in real life or your story.