Friday, 16 October 2009

Breaking and Entering Anne Cassidy

Somebody tried to break into my house the night before last. My husband went into our dining room at just before seven in the morning and found the back door wide open and the bolt broken. It appears, the police said, that he (male?) stood outside the back door and just gave an almighty pull. The door opened. Three other houses were broken into as well.

He did not come into my house. Nothing was taken; there was no sign of any entry. We were lucky. We have two large dogs who sleep in the downstairs hallway and we think that the housebreaker must have heard them moving about. Maybe he thought our dogs were guard dogs and feared for his safety. Actually our dogs were more likely to overwhelm him and lick him to death.

My neighbours did have some stuff taken. Luckily no one stumbled upon this man and no one was hurt.

I am a crime writer and often give talks in schools. I start my talks by explaining that I don’t write these dark edgy stories from experience. I have, in fact, led a blessed life and have been lucky and it’s that good luck that makes me look on the dark side of life. When will be my turn? I think about this a lot.

The night before last it was my turn.

I should feel blessed because nothing was taken but part of me wonders, What if? What if he had entered my house? What if he had got past the dogs and come upstairs? What if my husband had got into a struggle with him? What if I had been alone?

Need I say more? My imagination settled in the corner of a dark place and stayed there all day.

The housebreaker didn’t steal anything from me except my feeling of security. Looking at it like that, he stole the most important thing I had.


Stef said...

Well, thank God no one was hurt!! Oh my goodness, that must have been so stressful and unsettling. He may have stolen your sense of security, but obviously something stopped the person from entering, so you have something at your house that, for some reason or another, worked. Thank God for that. Whew!

Nick Green said...

Things like that make me rage. You need to put a similar character in a book and have him meet an awful end.

adele said...

Completely horrible, Anne and I feel for you. It's like a violation of everything...I think people treat breaking and entering too casually, really, and the fact that nothing was taken is good but not really relevant. When we lived in our old house, and BEFORE WE HAD CHILDREN (your ears get differently alert after you do have them!) a young lad broke into our house, CAME UPSTAIRS, took my husband's trousers off the chair by the bed, went downstairs and removed the change from the pockets, helped himself to my packet of cigarettes in the kitchen and left to do the same in other houses on the street. I felt TERRIBLE for weeks afterwards as we had slept through the whole thing. Since that day, my house has been alarmed. Completely. It makes a tremendous difference and I urge everyone to instal one, dogs or no dogs. Now I feel completely safe. The row if anyone so much as touches a window is horrendous and my neighbours are very wised up to alarms in general. We all have them on a perfectly safe suburban street. End of lecture. End of story and I do sympathize with you, Anne and just glad that it wasn't any worse.

Penny said...

Sorry to hear about this, Anne, and thank heaven for the two dogs!

Nicola Morgan said...

horrible, anne. Poor you. It takes a while to get past that sort of thing. We once had an attempted break in while we slept, but we woke up to the sound of the breaking downstairs window. My parents had a robbery while they slept. And I once returned to my flat after a weekend to find that it had been occupied for a weekend ... It's horrible. Most of the time, no one gets hurt, is the only positive thing i can find to say. I'm sorry you've had such a horrible thing. Invasion.

Stroppy Author said...

I'm so sorry to hear that, Anne - quite horrible, the feeling of your space being violated, and the endless round of 'what if's that go on in your head. I hope your mind settles soon to happier things

Juliet Boyd said...

What an awful thing to experience. It's quite scary that someone can just pull the door and it gives.

I often wonder whether dogs are really a deterrent or not, I'm sure that most would just lick the intruder to death.

Anyway, I hope it doesn't take too long before you start feeling secure again.

Katherine Langrish said...

Oh my gosh, Anne, how awful for you. So sorry!

Gillian Philip said...

This is hideous, Anne, hideous. It does feel like an invasion. I once had a serious break-in (while abroad) while I was in the house. The good news was, I learned I could run very fast if I really had to. :-)

All my sympathy. The police told me 'You must keep your house closed up at all times.' It was too darn hot.

You're right - your sense of security is the most valuable thing, and they took it. Try not to let them keep it for too long. xx

Leslie Wilson said...

Poor Anne, how ghastly. I shall Hold you In the Light. I remember how bad it was when I had my handbag stolen..