Friday, February 19, 2010


Sometime on Wednesday, between the hours of 7:10am and 6:05pm, someone chipped away the wood around the lock on my apartment door, busted out the lock, entered my apartment, trashed the place, wrote on two walls with my favorite lipstick, and stole cash and a few other personal items. As if the process of moving wasn't stressing me out enough, I now had a forced entry burglary on my hands. A few panicked phone calls later and the police were on there way. All I could do was wait and take stock of the damage.

They didn't get much: 20 euros, 60 dollars, some euro coins from my coin jar, a bottle of perfume, the nice Belgian chocolates I was going to bring home as gifts, a few items of clothing and two different colors of nail polish. If there is a silver lining in all of this it's that for some reason the criminals weren't interested in my laptop, digital camera, ipod, credit cards, two passports, or any other items of value. In that sense, I feel lucky in my unluckiness. Less than a week before an international flight the last thing you want to be doing is going through the hassle of replacing big-ticket items. Not to mention trying to get a rush passport.

It's a terrible feeling knowing that strangers invited themselves into the private sanctuary of your home and took the opportunity to rummage through your life. The only other time I've personally been a victim of crime while overseas was in Nice, France in 2003 when a man tried to mug me, but I fought him off. This time was far worse, as they robbed me not only of my cash and a few small, but not entirely unmeaningful items, but also of my sense of home and security. Belgium's little way of saying, "And don't let the door hit you on the way out!"


Jenni said...

Oh man, I'm really sorry!! That really sucks. :(

Andi said...

Ditto what Jenni said. Amazing that they would not steal laptops or passports!

Greg Wesson said...

Wow. That sucks. My car was broken into back when I lived in Toronto. It was in the parking garage of my building, which was presumably a secure garage. It made me think that the robber was a resident of my apartment building. For weeks I looked at everyone suspiciously.

I never really did feel comfortable in that car again, and sold it a few months later.

At least you can take some comfort in that fact that you are leaving it all behind you soon.

Stay Strong,

Tanya said...

@Greg, I know what you mean by looking at everyone suspiciously. I'm doing the same thing right now. And I would have gotten rid of the car too.

Nisha said...

Hey, where my comment gone from here? :(

Anyway, writing again but not that long.

It was very sad to hear that. They may not be professional robbers, just small time culprits. And I am happy that they did not harm you in big way.

Just imagine what could have been had you been inside your house.

Think positive. :)

Tanya said...

Thanks, Nisha! A lot of positive things from this story for sure. I do feel like I got lucky - they didn't hurt me and they didn't take anything really valuable.

Peggy said...

Wow, what weird burglars! Glad you weren't hurt and didn't lose anything of major monetary value. (Losing your feeling of security is an entirely different matter!)

Lola said...

Most definitely glad you weren't around when they broke in. Sounds like they might have been observing you for awhile. Knowing when you leave and come back in.

Zhu said...

I feel sorry for you! I was robbed a few times (the hazard of backpacking) but one time was pretty "shocking" and I felt bad about it for a long time. Not so much because of what I lost (which wasn't much) but because you feel invaded in your privacy.

I really wonder why they didn't take the big items. Well, good for you, like you said replacing passport and a laptop is a hassle.

Anil said...

Glad it was when you weren't home and they didn't take your laptop or other electronics. It's infuriating, I had a similar feeling when my car was broken into and everything stolen, must be much worse when it's your home.

The World Tour said...

Oh terrible. Luckily they didn't took the passports laptop etc..


brett said...

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