Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sadie Frown of the Year: An Attempted Break-In...

This morning I discovered something unpleasant (okay, "unpleasant" is an understatement, and I'm really rather freaked out). I went into Sadie's room where she was sitting on her bed. Lately she's wanted to play for a few minutes before we go downstairs, which is perfect, because it gives me a chance to get ready for the day (especially since Paul's still on crutches). Sadie's room only has a fairly small lamp, so I pulled open the blinds to let in a little bit of light and the frame of the screen caught my eye.

I should start by saying that Sadie's blinds are almost always closed. The sun shines on that side of the building at the hottest part of the day and so we usually have everything shut down to keep the apartment from heating up too much. I'd opened them last week for one day, for the first time in a couple of months and Paul had closed them at bedtime. So I know that the screen was fine about a week ago.

Today when the blinds opened and I looked out it was clear that someone had pried the screen frame out at the corner and bent it back in an attempt to get into the room. I wish there was another way of looking at it, but I really don't see any other possibility. The window is set back in the building, between two rooms that jut out, and so it really doesn't seem like it could be the wind. It's a second floor window, so someone had to either climb up, or come out of one of the other apartments windows onto the roof's slanted ledge (it's about ten feet wide).

And of course, I'm especially upset because it was Sadie's room.

We called the sheriff's department and they were pretty concerned after they heard that it was a child's room, but there's really not much they can do. They're terribly understaffed. They took a report and said that they would try to send deputies on patrol by that apartment complex a little more frequently.

I have to say I kind of wish the apartments here had as many security measures as the houses I lived in when I was a student in South Africa. I wouldn't mind security bars and razor wire right now (or panic buttons!). And the upside down bottles set in cement and then shattered at the tops that lined all the walls surrounding both places I stayed are looking pretty good too... Somehow putting a bar in the window frame just doesn't make me feel quite as safe as those other methods...

The fact that the apartment complex is almost completely dark at night doesn't make me feel much better either....


  1. That is so beyond scary...I'm not sure how I would feel!!! Are you able to reinforce the window with some brackets or something so that it NEVER opens?! I would be unable to sleep without her in my room. I'm a worrier though...

  2. Very, scary!!! It sounds as if someone went to some trouble.

    There are things you can do to secure the window while still being able to open it from the inside in an emergency. You can also put an inexpensive alarm on it to alert you if someone opens it.

  3. I agree with Dixieeagle; you definitely want to be able to get out in an emergency, too. There are some very cheap and totally genius items that you can buy - just google "home security store." I have had the window alarms: if the window is opened, it lets out a PIERCING noise. It isn't hooked up to a 911 system like an expensive wired subscription system...but thieves don't know that. They also work to let you know if a little one is opening the window from inside, which is helpful. They also make a door-stopper with a loud alarm, which is something that you can put on doors that lead outside while everyone's inside and you're sleeping. They all really help with peace of mind.

    I'm so sorry that you're having to go through all of this in your area. It all just sounds terrifying - I'm impressed that you're as calm as you are!

  4. Hi, Cam. I also wanted to suggest the little window alarms. A friend of mine got some at a dollar store for only $1 each! They go off if a window is opened and yes, it is a piercing noise! I hope that will help! If nothing else it will show your would-be intruder that you are aware!

  5. Thanks so you guys for the tips! We went to the store yesterday and got two alarms, one for each upstairs window! They will definitely help me sleep better! And the baby monitor is set up again (it was off because our rooms are so close together, but it does give me peace of mind!).


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