The perils of being burgled at home

Last week, Wednesday morning, I wake up as usual (albeit colder than usual), shower, flop to the kitchen, make coffee and holler for the men in my life along the way to wake up. I go about my usual routine packing lunch and whatnot and then proceed to the lounge to dig a fresh pack of ciggies out of my handbag… which is not found in its usual spot, muttering under my breath about my own lack of discipline I turn back to the kitchen to check whether I left it there… I return (still with the two cups of coffee in my hands) to the lounge and scan the room for my handbag (which I didn’t like, by the way). Upon the second look around, I note a big gaping hole where the TV should stand…

Well, during the course of the morning, they broke open the security bars, let themselves in and proceeded to clean us out… while we were sleeping. Nice thought heh?

We briefly woke up around 1:30am with the cats “playing” under the bed and the S/O spoke to me and I grunted a reply, they must have heard him because they only left with the TV, the computer monitor (not the computer thank gods), my handbag, the S/O’s wallet and the camera. The scary thought is that all the doors to the bedrooms were open and they had free access to all of us if they had such inclinations. The very friendly policeman a bit later told us that we were the third house in the neighbourhood that night and none of the households woke up. He described them as “professionals” as opposed to “tsotsis”. One has to have a bit of a grudging respect for the bastards.

Anyway, losing a couple electronic goods turned out to be the least of my problems. My handbag… and its contents, now THERE is a disaster. Two ID’s, drivers licence, bank cards, edgars card, glasses (I’m blind as a bat and cant drive without them), the work’s cellphone, gods, what a disaster.

We go to the bank first thing to replace our cards (cash suddenly became a priority in our lives), and lo and behold, the idiot little bank clerk proceeds to tell me he cannot give me a new card because of the lack of identification, well, as controlled as I am, I lost my cool, and leaned over the enquiry counter and grabbed the little pipsqueak by his pretty blue tie and yanked him face to face… Anyways, I was eventually assisted and walked out with brand new bank cards and they didnt charge me the mentioned R55.

In contrast, Home Affairs was a pleasant surprise, in by 7:30am, out by 8am, and the temp ID was for free because I could provide them with a case number. Really nice service there. I wont elaborate on my two and half hours spent at the licensing department though…

Anyway, the whole exercise to replace all the various legal documentation at the end of the day cost me a nice R1200 (for me and hubby), and two days off work.

I was very impressed with the police though, 4 visits from them in total, first the reporting officers who managed to p*ss the S/O off because they were blathering on about the Muthi being used by these criminals which is why they cant catch them, then the ladies from the fingerprinting division (who proceeded to almost do cartwheels in my lounge when she managed to pull a full set of fingerprints off the left-behind dvd player), then the detective in charge who took statements (again) and he popped around again yesterday afternoon to check up on us (nice that).

Not an experience I’d recommend, the frustrations are’nt pleasant to deal with.

Sorry to hear about this, Faerie, but mostly glad that you are still with us. There is no reason to think that the intruders were unarmed … surely they’ll consider the possibility of being discovered during such a high risk operation, and prepare accordingly.



“ladies from the fingerprinting division (who proceeded to almost do cartwheels in my lounge when she managed to pull a full set of fingerprints off the left-behind dvd player)”

What they don’t tell you, unless you ask, is that although they have a database of practically the whole population in terms of fingerprints, they will not search it.

Apparently (heard this from someone who was burgled numerous times) they will only compare to the database of convicted criminals, as it is a violation of privacy or some such nonsense to compare to the general population, and sometimes they will only compare to identified suspects.

Makes the whole thing a sham, like most police work in this country.

Perhaps, who knows? The S/O works with the Chamber of Mine’s fingerprint database and the detective promised him a copy of the prints to run through that database… legal or not. Whether the plice work in this country is a sham or not, I honestly cannot complain about the service I received, aside from the first officer on the scene and his Muthi comment, they were all intelligent and articulate and able to answer our questions and pose intelligent questions of their own. They’ve been in contact in person, via sms and personal phone calls. They assisted in affidavids for our lost identification because of the public holiday on Thursday and honestly, I didnt feel “let down” by them at all.

Hectic always freaks me out when you hear they where in your house while you sleep.

I caught a burglar red handed (he was busy unplugging a computer) and in the ensuing wrestle got a screwdriver in my head. I am now brain damaged and the one eye is stuck in one position. So maybe it is good that they made a clean getaway in your case.

I am sorry to hear about your misfortune, Faerie.

During a similar experience a few years ago, the burglars actually stole my shoes from next to the bed on which I slept. It makes one feel very vulnerable.

WTF… THAT would have freaked me out… As it stands, I’m at the moment not feeling very fussed about the whole thing, very cool, calm and collected, doing the stuff that needs to be done, I suspect its delay tactics from my subconcious perhaps. Or perhaps I’m really not concerned because I’ve been through worse? I honestly dont know. The S/O is taking it much harder than I am and I’m worried about him. I just feel inconvenienced because of the documentation that needs to be replaced. My son appears to be unconcerned, he simply stated upon noticing the TV gone: “Just as well I dont watch TV.” and that was that for him. I’m keeping an eye on him just the same though.

A burglary like this is a massive invasion of your private space and it invariably leaves scars which manifest themselves in many ways over time. My condolences Faerie. The Muti story is funny if not scary: I am reminded of my mission to Sierra Leone shortly after the 10 years rebellion led by Taylor. The rebels were insistent that muti or voodoo protected them from bullets and if your were shot it was becoz you were not loyal enuff to the voodoo spirits…

Do yourself a favour and don’t replace the TV. Then at least some good will come from the whole thing. :slight_smile:

We’re not, as it was, the TV wasnt connected and only used for DVD’s on a rainy day. I told the S/O we’ll buy a bigger monitor for the PC instead and we can watch our rainy day movies on there just as well. :slight_smile:

So glad your were not hurt! I know some people who were killed in their own bedrooms, they just bashed the man’s face in with a brick! And that farmer in the Northwest who suffered a fatal robbery - he left his entire R30 million farm for an orphanage, that story made me almost teary-eyed last week

Well, its three weeks today that we were slapped with one of life’s curveballs. We’re living in a (almost) gilded cage now as the new burglar proofing still needs a coat of paint.

The aggravating thing about this whole event is that it just illustrates once again that our society is degrading to such an extent that I actually received better customer service from the SAP than what I did from my insurance company. After almost three weeks, I finally got confirmation that they will replace the stolen items and pay a reasonable cash amount for the replacement of all my Identity documents that also took a walk. This, however, does not mean that I’ve actually received it, if the service I’ve been subjected to up to this point is anything to go by, I’ll be fortunate to receive it by xmas.

The constant nagging for a claim number (which I still dont have), it took five phone calls to the “call centre” before number five deemed his job important enough to actually register it, it took two days for a “claims manager” to eventually call me, and she was so indifferent and lethargic that it was almost an insult to communicate with her. Two days later I receive a claim form, so far so good, fill it in, add the necessary case numbers blah blah blah and send it right back… three days go by, I send an email enquiry regarding progress of my claim, get a one liner back (no salutation, no “kind regards” nada), “we’re busy with it”. Eventually an assessor sends me an email, stating that she cannot get hold of me (never mind that all my contact details including the email addy she reached me on is boldly stated on the documentation. Never mind, she comes to see me, take a snapshot of the now entirly different looking burglar bars and drives off in her 1982 rustbucket Golf.

Monday I send another irate mail - “What now”??? About an hour later I receive an email from yet another miscreant working for this imbecile company telling me that once I’ve signed the two quotations, they’ll process my claim…

Sigh… its a drag being a grownup. Although being able to weld a pentagram onto a security gate does hold a certain obscure staisfaction to it.

Report the company at It sometimes helps. At the very least it will help other people not to make use of the same non-existent “service.”

For future reference could you let us know which company this is?

Steve’s competition. FNB, in spite of their claims to the contrary, are’nt very interested in helping you.

I’ve already done the Hello Peter thing, and I’m just one of many with similar complaints, interesting too, is that the consultants that I dealt with has been named and shamed in many of them too.