Saturday, December 24, 2011


This morning bright and early I went for my early morning walk with the Fairhaven walking group. It was blustery and rainy at Lake Padden, but this is what I found when I returned to my car: a shattered passenger side window and the pillow that covered my purse/pack on the floor moved aside and my valuables were just gone. Inside was my wallet with credit cards, debit card, checks, and driver's license, along with sundry other things I hope I have remembered.

They also stole my iPad2 and camera, both of which I carry with me almost always. It hurts like the dickens, but the hardest part is the feeling of violation. Feeling that they are looking at my entire life story, with my home address on my license, all my cards simply... gone. Everything that tells people who I am is gone. By the time I had canceled my debit and credit cards, the thieves had gotten six separate charges on them, three on each. They filled up their car with gas, to start, then went off to buy groceries ($80), bop over to Rite Aid ($190), and a quick stop at Starbucks ($180). Figure they got gift cards or something to rack up that amount. A stop at several stores with the credit card, totaling another $350, and by the time they got to Macy's, the nice something they tried to buy for themselves for $518 was denied. I will not have to pay any of the charges, but the crying, the helpless feeling (have I remembered everything?) have not gone completely away yet. It's been six hours since I discovered it.

Having two direct deposits and having to close my checking account... all this pain will continue for weeks, if not months. I also had a key to my car in my wallet, and they know my address. Some nice neighbors have allowed me to park my car in their driveway, with their cars behind and beside mine, so that until the window can be fixed, nobody can take it. I'll get one of those bars you can place on your steering wheel, I guess, so that nobody can drive it away once it's fixed.

And it's Christmas Eve. I am determined to have a good holiday, because I just don't want them to have the satisfaction of destroying me, too. I remember long ago when my mother was robbed, heavy silver and furs all gone, she never got over it. Well, I can replace everything, and I still have a choice to make about how I deal with this misfortune.

The police tell me that this is a common occurrence at Lake Padden. It's shady and the thieves sit in cars with tinted windows, waiting to see you show up and go for a nice walk around the 2.6-mile lake. You won't be back soon. When nobody is coming, they strike quickly. They must have figured that the pillow covered something they wanted. Nothing else was touched.

I have my little camera that I used before I bought my latest one with a zoom, and I still have my iPod, which I'll use. Fortunately Smart Guy wouldn't let me put any critical passwords into my iPad, but they have my email address and are probably going through my pictures and looking for whatever they can find to use before wiping the iPad clean and selling it. This is not helping. Positive thoughts, positive thoughts...


  1. Oh no... I am so sorry. I do the same thing, covering my bag with a flat box when I go to tai-chi at the park. I can just imagine what would be taken if my bag were gone.

    I'm really sorry this has put a damper on your holiday season. Thank you for the warning. I'm going to look through my bag and see what I don't need to carry.

  2. I'm so sorry. Such a feeling of violation too. It's creepy to know people are looking at your personal things. Do iPads have the Find My iPad feature like iPhones do? If you've activated it you're iPad can be tracked wirelessly and remotely wiped clean and locked.

    Please try to enjoy your holiday anyway. It is such a pain to get everything replaced, but luckily cards, licenses, etc. even iPads and cameras are replaceable.

    Thank you so much for the many kind comments and thoughts you've shared with me this year. I consider you a friend, and hope you know how much I appreciate the compassion and concern you've shown me. I hope you have a Merry Christmas.

  3. oh i am so sorry djan...that sucks..i guess there is the chance they could catch them if they try to hock something but...ugh...

    i hope you can find some joy in this season...merry christmas

  4. Swines !
    You are correct, it's a feeling like non other, your personal information out there for the taking.
    What is wrong with people ?
    A curse of a thousand sand-fleas in their crotch !!

    Wishing you the strength and courage to still enjoy this beautiful season,

  5. How awful, DJan! You have my sympathy. I hope those crooks are caught and brought to justice. I know how violated you must feel. Nothing is private and sacred anymore. Sad.

  6. My dear Jan, It was such a downer to our wonderful walk this morning. But your attitude is great and eventually the feeling of violation will surely fade. I know you won't hang onto this experience forever. A beautiful, clear sky Christmas Eve is upon us, where did all the clouds and rain and wind of this morning go? I have learned from police talking about just this situation that the thieves watch to see where we 'hide' our belongings so they can only break into the trunk, or the window right beside our treasures, or the glove box. But whoever would have thought it in an urban park like Lake Padden, with so many people coming and going? Keep the faith in your fellow (man), you've spread so much goodwill and it will come back to you. See you soon and a Merry Christmas in spite of it all. Holly

  7. OH, dear sweet lady, I know this feels bad right now, but it will fade soon. My Best thoughts are with you

  8. I don't know what to say. I guess I want to express anger and frustration, but I know I can't really help. Damn it, damn it, damn it. I'm very sorry. I love you.

    I always suspect the worse--the predatory nature--but I also always wonder what levels of desperation might be involved.

    See what I mean? I'm not helping at all. Please try to retain enough perspective to appreciate the good things you still have this Christmas. I'll talk to you tomorrow on iChat.

  9. So sorry this happened! I know it's a tremendous violation - like voyeurism in addition to robbery. Hope that, having done your necessary things, you'll be able to take it easy this weekend.

  10. Oh DJan, this makes me heart sick for you! I am so, so sorry. It's sickening, and sad, and so completely unfair.

    I hope they get caught, and pay some of the consequences, but nothing will give you back that sense of safely.

    I'm so sorry for all you have to go through to deal with this mess.

  11. DJan, I'm really sorry to hear this. You are not alone. Como Park, right in the middle of St. Paul and drawing thousands of visitors every day, is plagued with thieves who rob from parked cars. I was hit once but all I'd left in the car was a canvas bag with work papers. You lost keys (literal and figurative) to your personal life. I hope you are able to feel secure again soon. Meanwhile I applaud your determination to be positive. Merry Christmas to you, and bah humbug to the thieves.

  12. I just read all the posts I missed and it seems I have been gone so long. But this last post is so sad and also made me so mad that someone would take your things on Christmas Eve. How terrible! I know how you must feel – violated and so much aggravation. This happened to us when we bought our first house. Just before Christmas we moved a couple of things there, all our Christmas ornaments and three large boxes of slides – all the pictures on our wedding and our first baby, a TV and a radio. They took everything. I am still upset at having lost the wedding pictures and the baby pictures. I hope your thieves will be found. You are so sweet you don’t deserve to have something like that happen to you. I still wish you a Merry Christmas with your loved one.

  13. Oh DJan, I am so very sorry you had to go through such a dreadful experience. Having it happen this close to Christmas makes it even worse. I hope the police can find some way to catch up with the thieves, maybe security footage at one of the stores, and bring them to justice.

    I always worry about leaving anything in one of our vehicles even in the trunk. If I know I'm going to the park or out for a long walk I take my camera, in it's case, cell phone, driver's license, debit card and keys. All of this goes in my camera case and everything else I leave at home. The camera and case are with me on the walk/hike.

    Please try to enjoy the rest of this holiday weekend.

  14. I am so sorry..what a bunch of bums..The fleas..yes I wish them triple fleas in their pants.
    When you set up your next billfold..keep it really simple 1 debit or credit card and your Drivers License..and make copies of them..fronts and backs. I try never to leave anything in the car..the feeling of violation will go away..but in the meantime it really sucks.
    I am so sorry that this had to happen to you:(

  15. How terrible! That is so sad. What is wrong with people these days? So sorry that happened at this time of the year to such a nice person. I wish I had something good to say, but that is terrible. Some bad, bad people out there.

  16. I am so sorry DJan! It really is unnerving. I hope that your Christmas is enjoyable in spite of this. I wonder if that is a safe area to walk alone.

  17. Oh, DJan.. no! I'm so very sorry you have to go though this horrible violation and loss. That's so disturbing.

    I'm thinking that if they filled their car with gas, would they not be easily traced from gas station records/videos? I hate this for you. I'm so sorry.

    I hope you can have a lovely Christmas despite this event. Hugs to you, dear DJan.

  18. Sorry to hear of the terrible experience of being robbed. It's certainly being violated. Your post describes in detail what happened and how you are devastated by your loss.
    I certainly sense your pain and wish you the strength to carry on. As you say you don't want to let these creeps ruin your Christmas.

  19. Oh, I am so sorry. That feeling is horrid, I have been there and I get it. My hubby the fabulous insurance agent says that while the stuff in the car usually isn't covered by your auto policy, it is usually covered by your renter's insurance to replace the stuff and sometimes it will even cover the expenses you incur trying to deal with the identity fraud. Let me know if you want his number, he'd be more than happy to chat with you and give you some info.

  20. Junkers, that's what they are. The lowest of the low.But you'll get thru this, you've gone thru worse. Angels and miracles are on your side.

  21. Oh no. I had my purse stolen once, and another time had somebody come into my house and . . . handle things...
    The purse was more of a pain in the neck, but the "handling of my things" although I lost nothing creeped me out far more. Violated is exactly the word.
    All of a sudden, the world is not a safe and friendly place anymore. I hope you heal from this in time.

  22. As people are struggling there is more crime. We have a lot more robberies and break-ins up here, too. This time of year there seems to be even more. These crooks had to be hard up if the first thing they got was gas and groceries. Sad.

    I am glad it was only possessions, dear lady, and nothing happened to YOU. It's awful feeling so vulnerable and violated, but the feeling will lessen. I'm sure you'll find a way to take less with you and carry everything on your person when you hike or shop from now on. I'm glad your neighbors are helping you out with the car.

    I am just so relieved that you are okay. So relieved. Please try not to let it spoil the rest of Christmas for you, sweet lady!!
    *big hugs*

  23. Our daughter having lived in Bellingham all thru WWU schooling knew of that place, she knew about where most of the thieves broke into cars, her boyfriend worked for the sheriffs office, kids at school never listened and she thought that sad, they broke into the cars at WWU a lot..why would anyone let their kid go to a major public university and take a car? As for your loss,shame on them for taking your possessions and running up those charges why I say? why can't people mind their own dad blasted business and work like decent people do to get what they want to purchase? No they have to violate others sense of being by taking their personal information and making the person who is violated feel like crap, sorry but that is they way I felt when I went in to a grocery store the company my husband retired from after many years of service and steal my tiny purse with info of who I was, pictures I just got replaced of our wedding, our only child as a baby and irreplacable pictures of my Mom, Grandmother and others who have passed from this earth, not to mention money I had for a purchase to help out a family who needed food a lot..I was fuming, locked out of our home, it started to snow and get ugly, thanks to a higher spirit but the store people who know my hubby and myself were wonderful, but it was a horrible feeling to know creeps got info about me and our family, etc. never ever found the purse, etc.police told me many never report it at all, not me, I became vigilant about my person after that, had to get locks changed in our home (expensive, cancel everything, get a new ID card I don't drive)big hassles, now I am vigilant about everything about myself, taking walks anywhere, etc. Never take anything much with me when I go anywhere..I am sorry some creeps stole from you a good sense of well being, it has taken me a while to get over thinking many are out to steal from me and my hubby.we never go to parks to job, leave our car anywhere someone can destroy our only vehicle and never carry a camera unless it is on my or my hubby's person..we just don't believe most people won't break into our car, etc. we are vigilant..But very sorry that creeps took your possessions, it will the feeling you have pass but it will take a while, happy holidays no matter what.not all who take walks and enjoy the splendour of Whatcom county are creeps like the ones who did what they did to your car..we think it is one of the most beautiful towns in all of Washington..peace to you..

  24. What a horrible thing to have happen to you, let alone have it happen on Christmas Eve. I hope everything goes smoothly in trying to address this, and please know the Pixie Household is sending you warm Christmas hugs.

  25. I am so so sorry. Words cannot express the hurt and fear and yes violation I am feeling on your behalf. I hope you can put it most of the way behind you and enjoy Christmas anyway. Hugs from afar.

  26. Oh, I am so sorry this happened. I had a credit card stolen from the place of origin. Whoever stole it had a great time, but I didn't have to pay the charges either. That is a blessing. Praise the Lord you weren't hurt!

    I didn't know you had this blog. I'll be back.

    Try to have a Merry Christmas! :)

  27. Dear DJan
    Gee, that is so sad to read on Christmas Day. I feel sorry for you and what you have lost. Wish there was something I could do to help. Know that I am thinking of you and remember that olde saying my Mom always said "What goes around comes around".
    I know the feeling of violation in being robbed and know exactly how you feel right now. My reaction that first night was to sleep with my loaded rifle beside me. Seems silly, many years later that I did that, for I would not shoot anyone. Just remember DJan, paper n plastic are replaceable, I hope you backed up your iPad - and its like Keicha said you can track your iPad online right to a street and residence, lock and wipe clean, so it would be unusable to others. Check into that.
    I NEVER NEVER leave my purse,etc in the CAR, NEVER. I leave most stuff home and carry ID n Cards in small packet, which gets zippered in my jacket pocket. For myself it was a home breaking and a week prior to Christmas, so everything, EVERYTHING around and under the tree, much jewellery and items around the entire house were stolen.
    Unfortunately, we live in a world that has become DTA(don't trust anybody), when you leave your home or vehicle. It is rare today for one not to suffer the wrath of thieves. HARSHER PUNISHMENT for all - put em on an island and give em a can of soup without an opener.
    Take care DJan and know I agree with "Brit living in Tennessee" in reference to the FLEAS.
    Luv Ya Kiddo

  28. Shit. I know the feeling of violation well, as this has happened to my husband and I three times in our lives. The things can be replaced but the unresolved feelings of violation and frustration linger for years. It it's any consolation, I don't imagine they bother to look at your files or photos, as much as they are quickly clearing things to turn them over and make a quick buck. May this never happen to you again, and may you find happy diversions to distract you from this over the holidays.

  29. Jan, my prayers are with you! Ugh, what low-lifes!! I believe in Karma too, and pray that you get justice!! Violations are the worst!! You sound like you've got lots of loved ones in the friend/family department, I hope that despite this theft you are able to have a wonderful Christmas with them!

  30. DJan, you wrote this post six hours after you discovered the break-in, so you began your recovery process right away and writing in your blog was part of the first step. Goes to show how much writing in our blogs helps us.
    I hug you and sympathize with you as you honor your feelings of sadness and anger and even some fear. These are all normal and you are right to face your feelings, allow yourself to work through the feelings until you are able to move past them to a safe place emotionally. I know you won't let this incident take away all your joy today. You have much to be grateful for, one of which is how much you are cared for in blogland.

  31. That's awful D-Jan. I'm so sorry that happened to you. Where I live in England, we would never leave anything of value in our cars, not for a moment. It's a hard lesson to learn. I hope it goes no further and that you can recover some of your life. It is just too awful.
    I'm glad you've got good neighbours.

  32. Oh no DJan! What a terrible thing to happen, and even more so on Christmas Eve!
    My first year in Belgium some people broke into my studio and took some things, I had never felt so violated in my life! I empathise with what's happened to you!
    I hope the police catch them, and I hope this didn't put too much of a gloom on your Christmas celebrations.


  33. sucks... absolutely sucks... been away from blogs a while and jeeeez I hate reading this..

    rat bastards

  34. Just read this-it's terrible D-Jan! SO Very sorry to hear this.Hope u get your belongings back soon.hubby lost a cellphone on our holiday in Germany not too long ago and lost a lot of data and pictures,I felt so helpless that day. Hope you get over this soon and have a lovely year ahead and enjoy a happy new year's day.

  35. Sad to learn of this loss. I'm late in reading posts due to hubby's op but now I'm back. By now you have dealt with some of the horror of this and are mending. Might I point out that the digital items in your car probably attracted the thieves. Sadly there is now software out that allows people driving past parked cars to sniff out those devices. Your iPad and camera batteries keep them on even though you have them off. That's to protect their memories. Crazy folks got the idea to zoom in on just that!! I guess your purse was a bonus to those idiots! These days we cannot leave ant electronic digital things anywhere without being discovered. We live in a new world and one that we barely understand!

  36. I came to catch up with your blog and had to come back a few posts to find out more about this incident. Djan, I am SO very sorry this happened to you. I understand full well the violation you speak of...back in 2004, my van was stolen and found the next morning by the fire brigade and police, completely gutted and burnt out. The theft was so senseless. Police felt it was young kids out for a warped sense of fun. It made life extremely difficult as the insurance didn't pay out a lot and my finances weren't great so I had to manage without a car for over a year. Quite difficult when I had five kids depending on me. I am lucky that I didn't have any valuables in there at the time but it was heart-wrenching for us nonetheless. You have my sympathy. (((Hugs)))

  37. DJan, I am so very sorry about this. It is such a terrible feeling to be so violated. We had our car windows smashed while moving to Minnesota. Parked right in front of a nice motel outside of Salt Lake, Utah. I will always have a bad feeling about going there again. It was so senseless. Luckily we were able to replace the windshield that day and continue on our journey, but it left a bad feeling, just as I'm sure you are feeling. Our younger daughter had her identity stolen in Portland and the same thing happened - they had checks written in several places within hours. It took months to straighten it out. The girl was caught, however. I hope they catch your thieves, at least. Ugh!


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