Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Not a Break-In

Excitement like this I do not need.

At about 1:30 this afternoon I got a call from T’Ed, with a message to call Bill. Bill had earlier gotten a call from Brinks Security about the security alarm going off at my house.

Backstory – A few years ago our house was burglarized in the middle of the day, when Kate and I were both away. They got in through a blind corner of the property not visible from the street, and took the TV, all our CDs, a broken computer, and a pin made out of a skull from the Terminator movie. Only the last piece was irreplaceable. They missed Kate’s more valuable jewelry and all the original art on the walls. Soon afterwards we got a security system installed.

When the alarm goes on your system, the security company tries to call you at your work number. Failing that, they have a backup, a friend or family member to contact. If they can’t reach the backup, they call the police automatically. Bill is my backup. The alarm went off over lunch, so he came back to his office to find the message on his machine. That was about an hour after the initial report.

Bill and I agreed to meet at the house, and I drove in a fury up the hill, worrying if I was dealing with gutsy, deaf thieves (the alarm is rather noisy). There is no sign of entry, but only a bright green tag hanging on the front doorknob from the King County Sheriff, noting that they had investigated, found no visible signs of entry, and warned of civil penalties for multiple false alarms. The time on the report indicates that while they were not Batmobile-style fast, they would have gotten there about the time the would-be-thieves were loading the TV onto the back of their truck, were there any thieves. There weren't.

Bill and I checked out the house and the alarm system, which indicated that a door on the upper balcony was open. And that was our problem. I had not secured and locked it the previous night, and the wind (yes, we have winds up on the hill) blew it open. No thieves.  No break-in.

I called both the Sheriff's office and the security company to confirm that there were no additional problems, but it all left me a little rattled. I am not only glad I have a system in place, but that it functioned as well as it did given all the small things that went wrong (no one was available for the initial calls, my backup couldn’t reach me, etc . . .). While I felt badly to have had a false alarm, it was comforting to know that the system works.

More later,