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We've been burgled

We were burgled on Saturday night, 10 November. After doing some strenuous work in the house for a couple of hours in the late afternoon we decided that we would eat out. We left the house at 7:15 and returned at 8:45, and as soon as we walked back in we knew something was wrong – the house was cold and there a strong draught down the stairs. We discovered that some person or persons had broken a first-floor (that’s second-floor for US readers) bedroom window that overlooks a flat roof at the back of the house, had then climbed in through it, and had made off with a lot – I mean a lot – of our stuff. They took a handful of laptop computers of various types & vintages; some of my wife’s jewellery; our iPods; all my photographic gear (all of it! – 2 35mm SLRs, 2 DSLRs, and about 1 dozen lenses); plus one or two other bits & bobs including a set of keys. The rest of the evening was spent talking to the police, and arranging immediate visits from glaziers & locksmiths to secure the house. Then we tried to sleep, not very successfully.

This last week has been mainly spent talking to our insurance company and/or their agents. In general the agents have been better that the insurance company itself. Unfortunately, having got to the point on Friday afternoon where it looked as if the agents were about to settle, the insurance company decided that they needed to refer the whole claim to a firm of loss adjusters. Talking to them today I get a strong feeling that they are going to take it back to square 1.

I feel increasingly angry about the whole thing. For the first few days the police kept calling me to make sure that everything was alright – was I happy with the contacts I had had with them? I almost felt like saying ‘yes, we must do this again’. Of course, the one thing that would have made me feel much happier would have been the information that they had caught the burglars and had recovered our property, but that hadn’t happened. And calls to the insurance company got increasingly unhelpful. It’s to a call centre in India; they only have a scan of the documents I sent to the address in the UK; and it’s a different person each time, who of course is not familiar with the claim. Frustration has been mounting.

Now I have to wait to see what line the loss adjusters take with everything, and how long that will take. Grr….

There would have been one funny moment in it all, however – I almost wish I had seen it. We had very recently bought a new flat screen TV (Panasonic 37″ Plasma, for afficianados), and the burglars had attempted to take this. First they tried to get it through a narrow horizontal window high up above the TV’s normal position, but the set was too big for that. Then we think they tried to get it out through the garage, but although they were able to get into the garage (from the kitchen) they couldn’t open the far door onto the drive – the junk we had created doing the strenuous job was piled in front of the garage door, blocking it. Finally they took the TV set upstairs to the bedroom where they had made their forced entry, but that window was also too small so at that point they gave up put it down. Sadly, in all that movement the set was slightly damaged.

I shall keep my readers informed of progress.

One Response to “We've been burgled”

  1. Dana says:

    Oh no!!! I’m so sorry to hear of this, and about the insult upon injury of your dealings with insurance people after the fact. I hope you can everything replaced at no cost to you — particularly your camera gear!

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