This post has been a tricky one to write. It’s taken me over a week to pluck up the courage to put into words, what I can fail to comprehend… I have been the victim of a crime.
*Cue dramatic music, I’m thinking, Law and Order, Cagney and Lacey, Scott and Bailey, Miss Marple…
Last week my beloved husband was leaving for work early doors and quickly returned with ‘Well, you’ve only gone and actually done it this time!’
Thoughts that immediately passed my mind:
I’m not pregnant, it can’t be that.
I haven’t used the credit card without warning him.
I didn’t touch the new bathroom tiles (I really didn’t).
I didn’t let the children touch the bathroom tiles.
Maybe he knows about the… (I won’t, in case he actually reads this)
I haven’t hit the car…he’s waving car keys. It has to be the car.
‘Doors wide open, everything has been gone through.
Immediate look that passed between me and my son – was it you? Or me? Did one of us do this and forget to lock up? I won’t tell if you don’t, we’ll tough this one out together, mother and son. Always sticking up for one another, I’ve got your back my boy and you’ve got –
‘It was definitely Mummy.’
Oh. Right, well, thanks son.
‘How many times am I going to have to nag you about this? Seriously, you’re rubbish at locking the car! It’s got so many things in that can be nicked -‘
‘Oh no, what’s missing?’
‘Well, I don’t know yet, I’ve not looked.’
We all made our way to the drive. As promised, doors wide open, gaping holes like a chasm of despair. I’ve watched crime dramas, I knew what not to do before the SOCOs arrived. So I just stood and looked inside.
‘Well come on! Help me tidy up!
‘Erm…’ DVD player still there, neat pile of small people’s coats, fastidiously stacked pile of CDs in the passenger seat ‘This doesn’t look like our car!’
‘Mummy, why has the burglar tidied up?’
Why has the burglar tidied up? Maybe the chaotic array of CDs in the wrong cases was what set them off? Or maybe the pile of biscuit laden coats looked like it was hiding something valuable? How disappointed they must have been!
It transpired that nothing was taken. Or, our car is such a mess, I haven’t yet figured out what was taken.
‘Hello, police. How can I help?’
‘Hi there, my car has been broken into.’
‘Oh dear, I’m sorry to hear that, how did they get in?’
‘Well… They opened the door. I forgot to lock it.’
‘Right… Can you give me a list of items stolen?’
‘Nothing. I don’t think.’ Long pause ‘I think they might have tidied up a bit. A lot actually.’
‘I’m really sorry, I think I’m wasting your time! I feel silly for ringing, it’s just my husband said we should log it in case there are others.’
‘He’s absolutely right, you’ve done the correct thing, don’t worry. Ooh, I bet he was annoyed!’
That was embarrassing. Almost as embarrassing as the earnest Police Community Support Officer who visited us and gravely handed me a ‘Victims of Crime’ leaflet whilst diplomatically pointing out that convictions for (not) breaking and entering and (non) theft of items were pretty unlikely, but I should remain vigilant for further evidence of break ins nonetheless.
The final nail in the coffin came later that evening, when a good friend text to tell me she’d heard on the grapevine about the ‘almost’ burglary. The grapevine she referred to, was my son the foghorn, who apparently flew into the school yard bellowing with the excitement and occasion of declaring there had been a visit from Father Christmas: ‘EVERYONE! The burglars have been…and tidied mummy’s car!!!’