Sunday, December 4, 2011

Down but not out

I´m back --- sorry for the delay. But we had an unwanted intruder enter our apartment at 4:30 in the morning who stoled my computer, two cell phones, our digital camera, and my wallet. Plus he took Luiz´s backpack and my canvas bag to carry out the loot.

All this while Luiz and I were sleeping in the next room.

This post is a bit off key for my blog. I have a rule not to go negative when it comes to living and thriving in Brazil. But in this case it feels a bit hollow NOT to report on what just happenend.

Not to make too fine a point, this was a crime of opportunity, for sure. For whatever reason, our neighboring building left their gate open, which led to the rear area of the building. (They later said they had gotten a delivery of natural gas tanks for the building and failed to secure the gate. Very unusual.) It is an easy jump from their back area to ours. This thief saw the opportunity.

Luiz and I live on the third floor, and as such have thought little about barring our windows for security. Who would climb so high to steal? Well, now we know it is possible. Bars will be installed this week. The now-famous thief is being referred to as "Spider Man" in the press. He is a repeat offender.

It is shaking to be intruded upon (especially while you are asleep) and it is a drag to have several thousand Reais of goods stolen - that will need to be replaced.

Thank the gods there was no violence.

So now we have contracted a man to construct simple but effective bars over our rear windows, I have bought a new computer (with a painfully small screen), cell phones will be replaced with "credits" from previous expenditures, and we will wait for a friend to visit from the USA to have them bring a new digital camera (which can be more than three times the price here).

I am a big Brazil booster. I do not like to report the negative. But forgive me -- this time it cut close to the bone.

We are on the mend. All is fine. Things are getting back to normal.

And a final advantage is that I spent a lot more time in the past few days reading a terrific novel than I did watching an old TV show on the computer...

15 comments:

Shelley said...

Oh, so sorry! Glad you are safe. We were robbed in AZ, and even though we weren't there it was such a pain to replace things and so violating. Take care!

brasilicana said...

How awful :-( It's definitely a blessing that there was no violence. One of my English students recently had the same thing happen - and his apartment is on the fifth floor!

Colleen Chen said...

how invasive and creepy, having that go on especially while you're in the next room...I hope you and Luis can re-own your sanctuary soon. You do still sound about as positive as someone could, writing about such an incident.

SN said...

Jim!! I cannot believe that this happened. I am so thankful that you both are safe. I was wondering where you have been.

Oh- I have started a non-private blog about Brazil!
http://lifeinbarrabrazil.blogspot.com/

Hope to catch up soon!

Sara

Anita said...

So sorry.
Years ago TV news hosts Fatima Bernardes and William Bonner woke up in the middle of the night with a huge man in their bedroom. He entered in the apartment (in a condominium of high security in Barra) via a small rear window in the laundrette area. So you never can take care enough !

Jim said...

thank you all - it was a wakeup call. We hate to live in fear... but we will build up our defenses. I insist on a free life!

bee and jay said...

Yikes, Jim, so sorry to hear of this. Glad you're both well, even if feeling a little emotionally beat up.

Alex said...

Aw Jim, I'm so sorry to hear about this =(.

Like you said, thank god there was no violence! I'm glad you guys are safe!
I know what it's like to be robbed and it's not a fun/good experience at all.

It's important to remember that material things can be replaced!!

Abracos,
Alex

GingerV said...

This is not a Brasilian problem - entirely - I had someone come into my home in Houston once. I woke and they were shining a pin light on my face to see if I was awake - luckly when they saw I was awake they left in a hurry, went out the front door - we would leave the key in the dead bolt. not a smart thing to do. My purse was on the table in the kitchen - not disturbed they had come into the bedroom to find my purse - so except for having the beejeebees scared out of me nothing was stolen nor injured. The came back two days later and tried to get in the back windows and set off the new burgler alarm....

Meredith said...

I'm glad that you and Luiz are safe. Sorry to hear that you lost your possessions and hope that you guys are OK.

Ray and Gil said...

Dear Jim,

Don't feel bad. You are not being negative at all.
Crime is not a "Brazil" thing. It's a sad fact of life.
We have couple of friends who were robbed in their apartment in Dallas just a couple of months ago, they adopted a bulldog to protect themselves.
Gil and I have been robbed twice, once in Dallas and once in New England.
I didn't feel really safe at all in Toronto last year while on vacation and we kept seeing Taxis with big "Red Light" on the back of their cars with a "Bumper sticker" that said: "If the red light is on the driver is being attacked or robbed, call the police", that freaked me out, really? Does it happen that often you need a red light to rescue taxi drivers from criminals?
I see people getting robbed on the subway and at Penn Station in New York ALL.THE.TIME!
I have to agree with Ginger, unfortunately, it's universal.
Glad to hear you and Luiz are safe and will be safer from now on and like other folks have said here, you can replace the material things.

Forte abraco

Ray

Nina said...

That's so terrible. I can't believe the odds with your story. Sometimes, it feels like you cross all your "t's" and dot all the "i's" so how could it happen?

It's so scary that the guy did it with you being there. I hope you guys will get back to daily life. I am sure both of you are on shaky grounds.

In New Orleans I was super scared of being robbed while at work. Too many drug addicts for one city. Thankfully it never happened.

It's sucks about the loss of products. Brazil is already so costly.

Take care.

Rachel said...

Jim, is it possible that I smell a conspiracy and maybe an inside job? OR have I just lived in Brazil too long and have gotten all paranoid? ;)

Glad to hear you guys are taking steps to better safety. Sorry you had to go through this though! Scary, creepy, and so not fun

Jim said...

Thanks again, all. Getting my computer back up to what I had is still an ordeal - but at least it is faster. Plus this is the perfect excuse to get my non-functioning 21 inch monitor fixed (the laptop is just 14 diagonally and less than 10 inches high...

Rachel - more than one person has suggested your idea. But I smell racism when people automatically blame the housekeeper... But it is how brains work in Brazil.

Since this thief is in the news as making his rounds, I disbelieve the inside job theory all the more.

Corinne said...

How aweful!! I am glad both of you are ok!