Some asshole broke into our storage unit in the basement and stole Lucas’ bass guitar and all the backpacking gear. Two tents, four sleeping bags, two internal frame backpacks. They took the backpack my grandparents bought me when I was 14, the one that’s been everywhere with me, even El Salvador, and the ultralight compact sleeping bags we only got to use once.

They actually went to the effort of unscrewing the hinges on the door and replacing them on the other side so the whole storage cage would swing open. Left screws littering the floor.

I took pictures:
The lock was still there when we found it, but I took it off to get at the laundry soap (that’s how we noticed what had happened).

Here’s one of the hinges they moved. Presumably a cordless power drill was involved, since they didn’t just rip things apart, they actually bothered to reattach the hinges on the other side, and to replace a couple of screws to make the door on one of the other units close again.

Here’s another weird thing:
The hasp was ripped open, and then they closed it again with double-sided tape.

Whoever did this not only had the drill, but they went to the trouble of putting things back in a way that made the damage less obvious. Maybe to make several trips, or have everything look normal if they got caught?

A jogging stroller was stolen from the unit next to ours, so it was probably fairly easy to haul everything off once they got it up the stairs.

A police officer came out and wrote down everything was missing. They sent a crime lab guy, too, who was a little slow (we kept having to explain that the hinges had definitely been moved), but he seemed to know what he was doing on the prints, and took the tape so it could be examined (apparently they’ve got some kind of solution to get prints off tape, even this foam padded stuff).

The door to the basement hasn’t been closing well for a few months, so all you had to do was come by when it wasn’t latched. The thieves stuffed a small sock in the lock, too, so they could come back.

It’s been a few hours since we found everything, so I feel less like bashing someone’s teeth in, but I’m still angry. Scumbags, I hope that camping gear gives you the least comfort you’ve ever found, that you find yourself cold and soaked through in a storm, and the packs are uncomfortable and rip at the seams. If I ever see you with my gear, you’re not going anywhere until I’ve called the cops.

And I walked away now to go back downstairs and get my laundry from the dryer, and noticed that the woman who lives above the laundry room was home, out front smoking a cigarette. She actually saw the guy. 5-5:15 this morning, she was up because she works early, smoking in front of her apartment again, and a guy came up the stairs with a jogging stroller full of gear and said, “Hey, getting an early start at camping, wanna come?”

She had a funny uncomfortable feeling, so she went downstairs to check on things, but he put the doors back well enough that she couldn’t tell they’d been broken into. So she didn’t call the cops.

Guy, you are going to get caught. No one who reeks of cologne the way she says you did is smooth enough to keep doing this (and you obviously had practice) and not slip up sooner or later.

2 responses to “Theft

  1. at least the police investigated and took prints. my truck was keyed vicously (down the driver’s side and a huge “Fuck You” on the hood) and all the officer did was estimate the damage.

  2. Good luck. I’ve had little help when my things have been stolen. I hope you have a different story.