I’ve been robbed a lot; three times to be specific—four if you count the time in college when my credit card was somehow used to buy soccer jerseys and ship them to Yugoslavia.
2007 was the beginning of a crazy time for me. I suffered a major injury in May, my sister and best friend moved a million miles away in July, I witnessed a horrific car accident that left me literally holding someone’s body together in August, and in October, I was robbed at gunpoint.
Today my two co-workers and I were robbed at gunpoint. I knew the second he walked in that something was off. In my head I was thinking “what would I do if we were getting robbed?” Before I could finish the thought he saw me and made me come out of my office… I actually said “Dude, are you serious?” He and his Glock were very serious… He dragged my co-worker around by her hair… Yelled at me to get on the floor while another co-worker threw the little bit of cash we had at him… he got away with $68.40…
Our robbery was the first in a string of robberies in the small downtown area where I was working. After us, they always used masks so we were the only ones who could ID them. When they were caught, we were called in to the State’s Attorney’s office for interviews but it never went to trial since they pled guilty to avoid federal charges for a different robbery. We’d seen them and they knew it… I was paranoid for months.
The second time it was my truck in April of ‘08. Shortly after, I posted THIS to Flickr:
My car was broken into Thursday night and my purse was stolen along with my phone, mp3 player, USB key and some Blockbuster videos yet to be returned… I know, stupid me for even leaving my purse in the truck. I promise I’ve already kicked myself! The thieves managed to wipe out my checking account, charge my company credit card as well as my personal cards before I could cancel them. Praise God for fraud insurance! All charges have been removed and all the money will be returned to my account shortly.
The bummer is they got my phone and I don’t know ANYONES phone numbers!!! Please help me get my people back and send me your phone numbers!
I ask you, what is the worst thing you can do to a flickrite?
The tragedy is that they stole my camera… like severing an appendage… I feel lost…
As some of you know this has been a crazy year for me so although this wasn’t an attack to my face I think I’m taking it harder than necessary. Please pray for the resolution of all these complications and for God to restore my peace.
I had everything I needed to report the lost cards and file insurance claims but I was still shaken. In a time when land lines are dwindling, without my cell phone, I was lost. Thank God for my awesome roommate and the use of her credit card and cell phone!
I called the police and they told me to file a report online. Are you kidding me? I was freaked out! I’m a tax payer! I made them send a cop, if only for me to feel a little more secure.
You don’t know how much you have in your bag ‘til it’s gone. Things add up fast and most car insurance covers a minimum for lost property. The three Blockbuster movies I had stashed in my bag to be returned cost me over $60 alone! Throw in a camera, MP3 player, phone and you’re over $1k… let’s just say, I was still out a lot after the insurance check was cashed.
The third time, they crowbarred my door and burglarized my house just two months later…
I live in Orlando for goodness sakes! The home to the “Happiest Place on Earth”!!!! Turns out that Florida is actually rated fourth in the country for robbery according to StateMaster.com.
I was numb…
I was done…
In August I witnessed a horrible car accident on the Turnpike… I stopped to help and drove away that day covered in someone else’s blood… For weeks all I saw when I closed my eyes was rolling cars and bloody torn open bodies… Now I see guns flashing in my face, my co-workers being man-handled… I can’t stop the should have, could have, would haves… what’s done is done… the cops say we did the right thing… I just want to close my eyes and see nothing but the dark…
To keep sane, I focused a lot on dealing with the technicalities. Getting together insurance claims can be painful and grueling, even if you have all your ducks in a row.
A quick Google will give you lots of tips for what to do to prevent a robbery as well as things to do after a robbery has occurred. Some great basic tips can be found at CrimePrevention.org but here are a few practical things I’ve learned:
- Trust your gut; if a person or situation seems really wrong, it probably is.
- Know your insurance—Know what it covers, how to file a claim, your deductibles , etc. For instance, based on your plan, some things stolen from your car won’t be covered at all.
- Know what you have—my biggest problem was that I owned a lot more than I thought I did. My stolen jewelry was estimated at over $4k for replacement but my insurance only covered $500. If I had know that, I could have purchased additional jewelry coverage.
- Keep things to a minimum in your bag and NEVER leave it in the car.
- Pay attention to your credit reports. You can get these free annually. DO IT. Here are the links:
It’s been over two years now and aside from keeping the car empty, I’m not sure that I’ve really changed any habits. Inside is another matter; I know I’m a different person. These events as well as several others earned me an honest to goodness diagnosis of PTSD. I’d always thought that was reserved for war veterans. Six months in therapy helped, especially after all the shock wore off. I saw how quickly my life could be taken from me. I knew what it felt to be completely powerless. I learned how little I cared about material things. I found out how important it is to have a community of friends around you… without my people, well, I don’t want to think about it. There is still some residuum I deal with but I take it a day at time… all you can do is all you can do.
More than ever before, I had to remember to trust in God’s reasoning, His timing and His provision… and He got me through it all.
Have you ever been robbed? Do you have any tips to share? Tell me about your experiences and how they’ve changed your day-to-day life.