She promptly asked him what the fuck he was doing in her house. He had broken in from the rear garden and locked our dog, Louie (a 70kg beast of a dog) in the living room before Louie had realised it wasn't one of us coming in through the back door. The dog by now knew something was up and was barking the house down. Dee blocked the robber's exit from the garden. He blocked her access into the house. The guy tried to give back the camera and leave but Dee wasn't having any of it. She blocked his path and told him to wait while she called the police. He tried to shove past, they struggled. Dee gave as good as she got and was grabbing the guy and shoving his face. Eventually he got free and ran off down towards the back of the garden, to climb a rickety fence, and hop gardens into obscurity. Dee ran in the house, opened the living room door and set the dog on the guy. Louie bolted out of the house but the guy got over the fence. Probably a good thing too, I have no idea what state the guy would have been in if the dog got him. Dee sent Louie down through the gardens along the access path but Louie was pent up and didn't know which way to chase until the guy was safely over another fence. Like I say, probably for the best...
Dee called the police who got there in minutes, sent the police dogs down the gardens looking for the guy and even got a helicopter out. I don't think they got anything useful.
I come home to find a police car parked outside the driveway to my flat, and cops shining torches through every nook and cranny in my building. My heart sank horribly as every worst case scenario I've ever imagined runs through my head and then I see Dee with the police, she calls to me that we've been robbed. Thank fucking christ for that, I think, although I still felt gut-punched.
We find out after a thorough search that all he made off with was a pair of antique earrings Dee had. But he must have had his hands in Dee's jewellery box, with her family jewellery under his clammy hands, as he stood right next to the boring looking case that houses my Canon XL1s camera, with our iMac on display, which has all my video work saved on it. He could only have been in the house for seconds before Dee got there. We were lucky she stopped him from taking everything. We were even luckier that he wasn't a physical guy and wasn't looking for a fight. I'd take the loss of everything I own over the personal well-being of my loved ones every time.
We spoke to the police, Louie going apeshit at the cops in the house, clearly overcompensating for his epic failure to keep our place burglar-free. He's an Estrela Mountain Dog, a guarding breed! People aren't supposed to have the stones to burgle a house with him in it. Outfoxed by a burglar, and he's pretty angry about it.
|I mean look at him! He's huge!|
Since then we've had forensics over, who dusted the house for prints and took one of Dee's cycling gloves to check for DNA (she was shoving the burglar's face during the physical struggle she had with him and there may be some saliva on the glove) and we've had community support officers visit the flat. Still waiting to give an official statement to the burglary squad.
I feel terrible that Dee found herself in that situation. But she stepped up, didn't take any shit from the guy, and saved our stuff. She's got a fresh set of bruises from the struggle, including a big one on her leg. She was pretty shaken up by the whole thing but I am so proud of her. She's my Batman.
We have had a very good outcome (all things considered) from a very bad situation. We were lucky.
We have new locks for the back door, a timer to make our lamp turn on at night, and we're a lot more aware. I always thought it would never happen to me, but I think this kind of thing... it kinda happens to everyone, eventually. And it's usually a lot worse.
Turns out Forest Hill police dealt with five interrupted burglaries in a two hour period. They normally get one every two weeks.
(I wonder if this is the karma I get for joining the Thieve's Guild in Skyrim. I'll never be able to burgle a virtual house again without feeling guilty or punching myself in the face.)