Monday, March 16, 2015

An unfortunate event

Our little community had an unfortunate event happen last week. I'm writing about it here, well...because it is a part of life no matter where one lives. One of our neighbors was broken into, and held captive. The word for it is Home Invasion, but in doing research, I found that not all States in the US use this term. 

Robbery seems to be the one used, but it certainly doesn't have the same ring does it? Burglary is when a theft occurs and no one is home, whatever you call it, by the statistics above, it's alarming.

What happened here, we all believe to be an "inside" job, the house was recently built with many many workers and delivery people in and out for months. The bandits had some knowledge of the homes interior layout and also knew that with the electric fence, they would have to sneak in while the occupants were home. The house was still having some tweaks worked out, and on this day had two electricians working. One electrician went out to his truck and when he was coming back in the bandit put a gun (or believed to be a gun) to his back, and voila! They were in! The two workers and the owner were tied up with duct tape while the bandits ransacked the house. Some kicks to the ribs to gain info, but other than that everybody was unharmed. This happened between 10-12noon.

We have a couple expat neighbors who are looking into gun ownership, and another looking into alarm sirens with panic buttons. But if one goes to take the trash out, and gets caught, how good is your panic button or gun if you can't get to it? The best thing for us (as outsiders) is to blend in as much as possible. We need to be careful how much we flash our wealth, because we DO have wealth. Even if we are on fixed incomes, we have more than the bandits do! Be smart when hiring workmen, maybe get local recommendations, and of course be part of the community. Not just the expat community, but the REAL COMMUNITY. 

Our neighbors, the fishermen and the store owners who live near us, are our community. If I walk to town without Mike, they all want to know where he is, and is he ok? Likewise when he goes on errands. Does this mean we are safe from theft, no way, but we have more eyes on us, and that is a good thing.

It was difficult to get stats on Home Invasion, one website said 8000 per day in North America, another report stated that was a ridiculous number, and it was more like 4000+ in US if you were to use the above number of 1 every 15 seconds. (I confess I have not done the math) I know that I've been stolen from in California, both home and vehicle, purse snatched in New York, broken into in North Carolina, and had a theft here in Ecuador. Wherever there are people, there are problems...guess we better just get used to it, be prepared and keep our chins up, otherwise life would be miserable.

So, stay tuned loved ones, the adventure continues, cautiously, but it definatly continues!!

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