When I arrived home on Tuesday September 24 I was in a rush. I parked my bike in the garage and ran up to the side door (the one facing a busy street). It was about 5:15pm and I was supposed to meet my mother-in-law at 5:30 to run a few errands. I opened the screen to notice the door was partially open.
I was surprised.
I remember closing the door tight when I left about 6:30 that morning for work. The door is old and sometimes the latch doesn't catch so I am usually pretty careful about making sure it really is locked when I leave. I remember vividly checking that morning.
But, maybe something happened? I contemplated not going in and calling the police but figured my husband probably just came home early.
I was leery enough to call inside, "Anyone there?" before I made my entrance. I didn't hear my husband's response but I figured maybe he just didn't hear me.
I walked in and tried to close the door. It didn't want to shut. This got me nervous and wondering...but again, its an old house. I felt a little leery and could hear a beeping nose as I went up the stairs into the kitchen area. I could see both doors on our fridge cracked open.
"I really don't think I left the fridge open, too!"
I closed the fridge and turned around. I noticed our flat screen TV was on the floor of our study instead of on the dresser in our bedroom like it should be. I turned to see our flashlight on and sitting on our coffee table. I called to Abe, and could see in the distance our bedroom with things not quite looking right. I was thinking, "Is he home early, spring cleaning or something?"(Which would not be characteristic of him on either point).
I turned behind me and suddenly noticed the drawers and cupboards to the kitchen and our entertainment system were open/dumped and things were strewn around. I felt a sinking feeling as I started realizing and SEEING the signs of my initial thought before I walked in that cracked door.
I ran into my room as I knew then and there that the wedding band I had removed that day before work and my engagement ring would be gone. This was confirmed when I saw dresser empty of every jewelry box, earring, and necklace and the emptied drawers, clothes, papers strewn around the floor and bed.
At that moment, I turned toward the living room to notice more drawers open, clothes thrown around the room, and the front door and screen swinging wide open. Just then, a young woman walked up to the door and knocked.
Still in shock, I remember thinking...maybe she is here to tell me that there were some people doing work at my house today, or maybe she saw someone running away?
But instead she said, "Hi, I am ..... and I am running for city council."
I told her I was very sorry, I didn't think this was a good time as I thought I had (turn on the sobs) been robbed. I clearly was unintelligible at this point so after another explanation she told me, "I think you should come out of the house."
"I think I should, too."
So we spent the next few minutes trying to call the local township police department. Should we call 911? Was this an emergency? I had a really hard time finding the numbers in my phone which I had programmed before under "city" police but searching for police didn't take me there.
And then I waited, crying on the grass. I called my MIL who was there within minutes. I didn't call Abe because I didn't want him to stress while at work (and I honestly wasn't really trusting myself to tell him because it just didn't seem real) but he called me within minutes and got the whole sob story. He was able to rush home from work.
And we continued to wait for the police. I called a second time and was told they were not "on-duty" but were only "on-call" that day. So much for living in our neighborhood with it's own police station (we live in a very small "town" inside of the larger area with our own police station which is notorious for horrible speed traps and tickets for speeds of 26 mph) that felt "so safe."
What a way to start the week!