Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Like A Thief In The Day

I've been having trouble sleeping the past few nights. My mind keeps thinking even though my body screams out for rest, and I can't seem to get it to stop. Last night I resorted to my friend the sleeping pill, and woke up so groggy I had to call in to work and take the day to sleep it off. Tonight, determined not to repeat my error, I have tossed and turned and tossed some more.

Finally, I gave up and came downstairs to write.

While my posts are normally on the lighthearted side, you'll find this one to be a bit different. Let me apologize in advance, but I really need to get this out of my head and onto my blog in hopes it will relieve my mind enough for me to catch some z's.

It all started last Thursday.

My assistant maintenance man's last day was the Friday previous. My maintenance man was loaded down with work. The vending machines needed to be filled, and we were short on product. With no time and extra work, the maintenance man needed help, so I offered to go to Sam's and pick up the product for him.

I got to Sam's, browsed around, ate samples for lunch, checked out and went to the company minivan to load up. I still had the company cell phone in hand since I'd called back to ask about a couple of different things I was supposed to buy. The cart was loaded down with pop, chips, and other items. My purse was in the upper basket underneath the box of chips.

I opened the back hatch of the minivan and started loading. I had loaded about three of the cases of pop when I saw a car drive by. The car startled me, because not only did it drive by fairly quickly for a parking lot, but they got so close to me that they knocked the box of chips off the upper basket. I looked up, gave them my best "Be More Careful In The Future!!!" glare, and watched them speed off.

I finished loading the van and closed the hatch. I opened the door to the van, but noticed something was missing.

My purse was gone.

I looked all over the van for it before I realized...the men in the car drove close to my cart and knocked the box of chips off for a reason.

They stole my purse.

God provided for me in that I still had the company cell phone, and I still had keys to the vehicle. I immediately called the police, and while I was waiting for them I called every credit card, bank and any other number I could think of to report the theft. I learned that even before I reported my credit card as stolen it had been used FOUR DIFFERENT TIMES. McDonald's, a gas station, a cell phone store and an auto parts store were all listed.

AND NOT ONE OF THEM CHECKED MY NAME OR IDENTIFICATION.

The amazing part to me is that I have a very feminine name, yet my card was used four separate times by one of the two young MEN without question. That floors me.

The policeman that took my report had me list all of the items in my purse that were of any value. I honestly did not remember many of them until two days later, and that tells me I carry WAY too much in my purse. I lost gift cards totaling over $120, an MP3 player, and all of my credit/debit/library/driver's licence/Social Security cards. The keys to my personal car were also in there, meaning I had to re-key the car and locks, as well as the house. The checkbooks from our different accounts were among the casualties, and so all of the accounts had to be closed. Medical insurance cards disappeared.

And they got my favorite lipstick.

So what exactly have I learned from all of this? Many things.

  1. When you are unloading a basket in a parking lot, always take your purse out and put it in the car first. Do not, under any circumstances, leave it in the baby seat of the cart.
  2. If you DO leave your purse in the baby seat, back the cart into the car and unload it that way. At least the purse will be closer to you and not out where it can be grabbed.
  3. Whenever possible, don't carry a purse. Take a debit card and driver's license in with you. Leave the purse at home.
  4. Never carry your Social Security card with you. Keep it in a lockbox at home or some other safe place.
  5. Same with checkbooks. Did you know someone can take the routing number and account number off of your checks and use them to purchase items on the internet? Didja? I didn't, at least not until now.
  6. Carry your keys and cell phone in your hand. In case of emergency you'll be glad you did.
  7. Never underestimate the jerks of this world. You may live a very safe town, but jerks can always visit to ruin things. Trust me, I know. Before this happened, I was known to not even lock the car when I left it. Silly, silly me.
  8. If you are ever a victim, call the police immediately. The sooner you call, the more likely some of your belongings will be recovered. (This was not so in my case.) The policeman said oftentimes thieves will drive to a dumpster in the area and get rid of everything they don't want.
  9. Immediately call credit card companies, banks, and send a fraud alert to all of the major credit bureaus. If you call one, the other two will be notified. The fraud alert is good for 90 days, and lets all potential creditors know they need to get positive identification before giving credit.

This little public service announcement has been what's been keeping me up nights. I keep thinking of the "what if?" questions. What if they'd actually accosted me in the parking lot instead of driving by? What if they'd had a gun? What if I hadn't volunteered to help out? What if I'd been more observant and less stupid?

And the questions, they go on and on.

Here's what I'm thankful for:

  1. God provided the phone and the keys.
  2. He kept me safe.
  3. Nothing in my purse was irreplaceable.
  4. All of it is covered by insurance.
  5. People were more than willing to help me in my distress.
  6. I have an outlet for the angst I feel...in you.

Thank you, Gentle Reader, for allowing me this letting off of steam. Now, go kiss your family and tell them you love them, then go to bed.

And sleep.

Mathew 6:19-20
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.

13 comments:

HeyJules said...

I'm so sorry you had to go through this but I know, in the long run, you'll be much safer in the future because your eyes will have been opened to all this lovely sin we have flying around in this world. I know having my purse stolen numerous times has taught me invaluable lessons about public safety. I will pray for that for you, my friend. Now go back to bed and get some sleep for pete's sake!

Singing Owl said...

Aaaaarrrrrgggghhh! I'm sorry. And I'm taking my Soc. Sec. card out of my wallet right now.

Linds said...

I am so sorry ths happened to you. Where I used to live in South Africa, car hijacking was routine, and they didn't care what they did to you (or the kids in the car), so I am so thankful you are physically unharmed. God was watching over you. Forget the "what ifs" now and get some sleep. We are happy to let you use us as an outlet any time!

martha said...

You must feel very violated. I thank God that you were not hurt.

Selfishly, I'm glad you're able to blog, yours is my favorite - because you're REAL. God shines His light through the cracks in our lives, IF we give Him those imperfections. You do this, and so I look forward to each and every post.

Thanks too for the warnings - good to remember.

Martha

Deena said...

I'm just glad they only got your purse...and didn't harm YOU.

Hoping this bloggy post helped you to relax and get some sleep, sweetie...and thanks for sharing your wisdom with us.

Linds said...

Just checking in to see if you are ok....

Linds said...

Be impressed! Thanks so much for the tutorial. I can do anything tra la tra la!

Just Me said...

Wow! I'm so sorry to hear of your day - no one you're having trouble sleeping! the advice you posted is good stuff and good reminders for us all to be more careful. At the same time, I'll be praying for you, that God will break off all the 'trauma' of this incident, from you mind and your heart...and that you'll be able to in turn forgive those men for targeting you and taking advantage of you. And yes...that you'll be able to have your sleep restored, and your peace of mind! BlessingS!

Susanne said...

Thank God you are safe. All the contents, while a very hard thing to lose and very inconvenient, are really all replaceable. You aren't. Praise God that you were protected from physical harm.

So sorry this had to happen to you!

Carol said...

This is horrible. Thank you for sharing what you learned through this misfortune. Perhaps it will help one of us in the future.

Stop by She Lives today if you get a moment.

Beck said...

What a scary, scary thing to happen! I live in a town that I think of as very safe - people ALWAYS leave their cars running at the grocery store or post office, for example - but it's good to remember that not everyone in the world has my best interests at heart.
I'm here from Carol's!

Anonymous said...

Hey, while searching for widgets for my blog, I stumbled upon www.widgetmate.com and wow! I found what I wanted. A cool news widget. My blog is now showing latest news with title, description and images. Took just few minutes to add. Awesome!

ColoradoDreaming said...

I am sorry to hear about what happened but am in awe of how you allowed God to show you what was important and what wasn't.