Post # 1
Forgive me, I wasn’t sure where to put this post. Please move it, if necessary.
I live in a not-so-awesome city in MA. I would honestly never choose to live here if it wasn’t for the fact that my FI already owned a home here. Long story short, I feel very stressed out and unsafe living in this neighborhood.
First it was the drama with our crazy neighbor (click here if you missed that gem of a post) and now I go to leave for work this morning, and find that someone had been in my car and went through my stuff. The one time I forgot to lock my car. I found papers and random things strewn around both front seats and the floor, fortunately nothing in the back was touched (my iPod was in my gym bag on the back seat.) So far, it looks like the only things missing are maybe a mix CD I made several years ago (no big deal) and my vehicle registration (pain in the ass!) I’m not really sure why they would take that, and I feel awful because the car is currently registered to my dad, so now he has to deal with the hassle of going to report it stolen and getting a new one.
I know it could have been a lot worse (thank God they didn’t find my garage door opener!) but the whole thing has me really shaken up and even more unhappy about living here. 🙁
Any kind words? Similar experiences to share? Anything at all?
Post # 3
I don’t want to discount what you’re going through, because it sounds awful, but I just wanted to say that I live in a very safe, family friendly community, and every summer there is a rash of vehicle break-ins, especially with cars that are unlocked. And crazy neighbors will pop up everywhere, even in million-dollar gated communities. I don’t think you can live anywhere that is 100% crime or crazy neighbor free.
Always lock your doors and never keep anything in your car, even a gym back. It just makes people say “hmmm, I wonder what’s in there?”
Keep a log of when your neighbor has any interaction with you. Ask them for specific information like “when did she see him”, that way you can more easily say “he was at work” or “we were out of town” at that time. It will be especially helpful if they ever go to the police or you have to file harassment charges.
You need to do everything possible to make sure you aren’t a victim.
Post # 4
My sister’s car got broken into once, and I they took her laptop bag but she had stuffed textbooks in it, which are expensive but not as expensive to replace as the laptop the thief was expecting to find! Hopefully it isn’t too much trouble for your dad to get the registration sorted out.
ETA: Out of sight, out of mind. The only stuff I have visible in my car are papers (like napkins/paper towels, in case i ever need them) and sweaters in winter. Everything else goes in the trunk. Not that anything in my trunk is worth stealing, but still.
Post # 4
My ex boyfriend’s car was broken into in a nice neighborhood in Cambridge a few years ago. They smashed both the back windows, there was glass everywhere, they took really expensive textbooks and folders upon folders of really rare classical sheet music. My parents also had their car broken into in their really quiet Cape Cod neighborhood and my husband’s truck was broken into when we first moved here.
Sign of the times unfortunately! I pretty much keep nothing in my car anymore (unless they want a crumb covered car seat and Dora the Explorer toys), but it is the creepiest thing in the world when someone has been through your vehicle.
Post # 5
We have friends in Toronto who have had their car broken into 3 times. Each time, the person smashes their window, and then didn’t find anything inside. It woudl cost the $300 to replace the window each tie. Finally, my friend put a sign on the window that said “Doors are unlocked. Nothing inside.” No broken windows since!
Post # 6
I live in a gentrifying area of my little city. I grew up locking the car and house, even in the nice suburbs of NYC, so I haven’t had anything stolen. Many of my neighbors have had things stolen from unlocked cars and windows smashed when they’ve left iPods of gps units in view.
I DID find a homeless woman living in the utility closet for my building (room for phone, cable, and Internet for all the condos). The management swore that it was against the law to lock those closets, but I eventually got them tobdo it…there is no such law or ordinance.
Another odd thing happened with a door-to-door guy (almost all around here are scams and they usually leave when they see my dog). He knocked and as we were going to the door, he jiggled the handle to try to come in!.
Post # 7
That’s so scary! I definitely agree with keeping stuff in the trunk.
Post # 8
The second apartment we lived in was in a historic district of a not so great city. This district was supposed to be relatively nice and considerably more upper class than most of the other areas yet the degenerates still found their way in. My car was broken into when we were living there and they got away with my CD player, a pill bottle that I stupidly left in plain sight (I think that’s the reason they broke in – hope they had fun with the anti inflammatory meds I was taking for an infected tooth!) and some CDs. The car was on it’s way out anyway so I wasn’t livid over the theft but I definitely felt violated. We moved a few months later since the area was going to shit.
We currently live in a town where we could leave our car running in the grocery store parking lot and no-one would screw with it (not that we’d ever do this though). I’m sure there is crime but to be honest, all I’ve ever seen/heard reported was some DWI’s and we’ve lived here for over 3 years.
Post # 9
Thanks for all the replies, ladies. I know it’s kinda terrible that it actually makes me feel better to know this stuff happens to other people because I really don’t wish it on anyone, but.. well, you know what I mean. It’s comforting in a way to know I’m not alone.
It’s just a really crappy feeling to know that someone was going through my personal property! I feel violated, not to mention the guilt I feel for inconveniencing my parents, who now have to drive 30 minutes to pick me up from work tomorrow because I shouldn’t be driving my car right now, and go to the DMV to explain what happened and get a new registration certificate. And of course it skeeves me out to know this happened in my own driveway.
But as I said, it could have been much worse. I’m not sure what someone is able to do with a stolen registration but I hope their plans aren’t too malevolent.
Thanks again for listening/reading.
Post # 10
My FI and I go to different grad schools about 2 hours apart. So he bought a home halfway in between in an awful town. Practically everywhere that would have been about halfway between the schools is a bad area, and we probably couldn’t afford anything better even if we had the option. Fortunately we have a garage (only reason I agreed to live here) so nothing has been broken into. But I’m constantly hearing people yelling at each other and there’s a homeless woman who walks around the neighborhood screaming every morning. It’s one of those neighborhoods where you see people standing outside or in the alley all day long doing nothing. My friends don’t like coming here, and one of them asked me to come pick her up from the street and drive her into my garage because she didn’t want to walk alone. I cannot wait until we are done with school, have incomes, and move out. So while I’ve never had anything stolen, I also hate my neighborhood! Sorry I don’t have any advice. 🙁
Post # 11
When I was going to college in Providence someone smashed in my car window and rifled through the glove box. It was so stupid, because my car was by FAR the oldest, least-expensive car on the block, and there was nothing worth stealing in it unless they’d wanted some old R.E.M. tapes. But of course I had to pay to get the window repaired. So frustrating.
My only theory was that they figured all the newer/nicer cars would have car alarms, and mine obviously didn’t!
Post # 12
@iheartnerds: my neighborhood is like yours! It’s so stupid, we bought this house because at the time my fI owned a business here- we both knew we did NOT want to stay in this town. So we found a really cheap house that needed some TLC on an older street and by day the street was quiet and we only saw children and old people everytime we were here to view it.
Well by night we have two guys who are convinced they are gansters (both of which live at home with their parents because they don’t have jobs to support their own children) living across the street from us. They are such pieces of S$%# it’s unreal- one of them gets caught selling pot about once every 4 months and goes to jail and they both leave their garages open YEAR ROUND with loud LOUD music blaring. It’s like…umm hello…there are children on this street who need to go to school in the morning? On the fourth of July they went and got some like M5000’s and blasted them off IN THE STREET! Our windows were shaking!
And the cream on the crop was one time one of them must have dropped acid and decided my car was pretty neat. We looked out our bedroom window at night and there was a guy *apparently* trying to break into my car. My FI opened the front door with a shotgun and asked the guy what he was doing- the guy was ASLEEP forehead first on my car drooling on my passenger window. When I realized it was my neighbor I just /palmfaced.
It sucks that a few jerks can ruin an entire neighborhood! Like I said, it’s an older neighborhood full of working class people and by no means nice but it doesn’t have to be as ghetto as SOME people seem to enjoy it.
Post # 13
OMG, that is horrible! I would have called the cops immediately and hoped for a parole violation, lol.
Post # 14
@mightywombat: I went to college in Providence, too! My house was on Eaton Street. Sound familiar or where you on the other side of town? 🙂
Post # 15
I used to have a boyfriend who’d occassionally drive my car to work in a bit of a sketchy area. He always locked it, but one day the window got smashed and they got in. I never left anything in the car, but this was the last day of school and I’d just picked up my graded papers, so the only thing they took was my honour’s thesis; “A geographical analysis of theft from vehicle, vs theft of vehicle dump sites in the lower mainland”. Annoying to get stuck paying for the window, but humourous that they only stole crime prevention materials.