Wednesday, August 19, 2009

There's this thing I do, when particularly tired, and switching between riding the shuttle and bike home, that occasionally results in me leaving my house keys at work. Last time, this sent me off to Noisebridge to learn to pick locks (with some small success). So this time, having realized on the walk home from the shuttle that I'd (a) left my keys behind again, and (b) had a set of picks with me this time, I was bubbling with enthusiasm to try out my recently acquired mad skillz.

Unfortunately, the door was already unlocked when I arrived (not that I didn't spend a couple of minutes poking before realizing this), and the apartment in minor disarray. All told, about $1500 worth of electronics had vanished, the laundry hamper, and a large tent bag. I'm a little puzzled as to why they needed so much storage space, but maybe I haven't discovered all the absences yet.

The miscreants were very polite about it, though. They even left me a $20 on the bed, presumably in case I wanted to get pizza (my fridge stays pretty empty). There was probably $100-$200 in cash that they would have found lying around, but it's still a nice thought. There was minimal trashing - drawers pulled out, furniture moved, but they left my passport alone (which is probably the single most important thing there), art untouched (although I'm suddenly wondering if my Money Series painting is still there - I'm sure it would gladden Anthony White's heart to hear that his work had been the subject of an art heist), and, most importantly, the cats in fine spirits.

I can just imagine the burglars trying to keep the cats out of the bags as they were piling things in. "Are we going somewhere? You're taking me with you, right? Meow?"

I'm feeling remarkably unfussed about the whole thing (although I did have some evil thoughts after the lights went out). It's partly that I had a credit card stolen many years back of which I was exceedingly fond (the last 8 digits of the number were 0000 9999), and I took to bed for two weeks in a black depression over having to cancel it. I figure that's probably my lifetime allowance of fugue over petty crime all used up.

A friend who came over to keep me company was even chastizing me for updating Twitter instead of immediately calling banks - which I did do immediately thereafter, since they'd collected several checkbooks along the way, leaving the rest on the bed (again, considerate). So now I've called all the various banks and changed account numbers (although they didn't actually take the credit cards that were lying around), and put a freeze on my Equinix credit file ($10 fee, although you have to get through the hard sell of the $15/month credit file monitoring service, and the backup selll of the $12/month service to find that out). And now we'll find out how this whole identity theft thing plays out.

Identity theft has been one of my bugbears since moving the US. All the other bugbears were demolished in short order - TSA have never confiscated my laptop or strip-searched me, all my interactions with the medical system have been smooth and trouble-free, I have yet to be shot at by drug-crazed juvenile gang members - so we'll see how this one goes. I expect it to be entirely uneventful. However, the one concern that I do have is that they took the spare key to the iTriumph and left its paperwork on the bed. I'm not sure that there was any documentation of where its parked while in the city, but it's the one thing weighing on me. Now that I'm back at work, I might go downstairs to check that its still here...

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