September 17, 2004

Second attempt

The burglar came back on Thursday morning. At three o'clock in the morning, with everybody who had a key already inside and asleep, there were prolonged rattling noises as somebody tried to open the door. Or so I'm told. Personally, I slept through the whole thing, just as I slept through the initial burglary.

Anyway, he didn't get in. Janet had the locks changed the day before, since when she came home, she confirmed that, as we'd suspected, a bunch of keys had gone missing. Lucky for us, then, that he didn't come back a couple of days earlier, before the locks were changed. We'd been relying on the less-than-reliable latch, leaving a key in one of the Yale locks and putting a front-side light on overnight.

This lad (if lad it be) can't be the brightest light himself though, as he may well have been the individual arrested at Victoria station on Monday morning in possession of my cheque book and filofax, as well as other stolen property taken from an address in Battersea. I have no idea how he came to be arrested. I can't imagine the Met were doing a citywide sweep for my missing passport to pass the time in the days before the hunting demo. All I know is that I got a call from my doctor's surgery on Monday morning, because they'd been called by the transport police and asked to contact me. I must have written their number somewhere prominent in my filo. So within a few hours, I was off work and down the police station giving a statement and being reunited with my chequebook and filo. Or, at least, with a transparent plastic bag bearing my chequebook and filo within, in case they were needed as evidence.

There were two pens attached to the filo, something I never do - and besides, the pens weren't mine. Perhaps the thief had intended to use it for himself but hadn't had the wit to take out the pages which identified it as mine. But you made just one tiny mistake.....

Afterwards the fingerprinting people came round and dusted Effi's windowsill half to death. I don't know if they got anything useful, and we still haven't heard anything back from them. This is awkward, as the suspect is maintaining that he "found" the items in his possession, and without any convincing fingerprints or any identification evidence - shame nobody saw him out of the window yesterday morning - he can probably get away with that. They could charge him with handling stolen goods, but it's scarcely worth it for so few recovered items, and a caution will probably be as far as it gets. At least I'll get my filo and chequebook back, albeit a bit late given that I already replaced them on Saturday.

I've not replaced my radio yet, which the police may have seeing as they called me on Monday night to try and identify one they'd found in the suspect's possession. I think it was mine, though it's hard to tell as I was trying to identify it down the phone, a difficult proposition with a radio even if I'd been allowed to listen to it (ho ho). I also had to try and identify some keys, a task in which I failed, not least because I didn't know for sure that any were missing or what precisely they would have looked like. I was trying to take the call just outside the cinema where I'd been watching Supersize Me (a reference to Morgan Spurlock rather than Alfred the cat). Funny how this always happens when I go to the pictures. When I went to see Fahrenheit 9/11 my trade union called - twice - and my boss called me right at the end of Donnie Darko.

We keep finding things, or rather not finding things. Things keep, as it were, not turning up. Janet's suede jacket. (He nicked my jacket as well. Wonder if he wore mine over hers or hers over mine?) Effi has found all her CDs are missing. She also can't find her recipe book. Hard to believe a thief would run off with a recipe book.

It looks like Effi and I can't claim for our missing stuff, which is a particular blow to Effi (especially now the CDs are gone) and means I can't recoup, among other things, the seventy quid I had to spend applying for a fast-track passport on Wednesday. Moreover, we're more than a bit nervous that somebody still seems intent on getting back into the house and walking off with whatever was left behind the first time. I'm away in West Bromwich for the weekend. Mind you, apart from a couple of thousand books, I'm not sure that I actually have anything to steal. And who's going to steal my books? (But if he did take the recipe book...)

They're what I have to show for my life, really - a couple of thousand books. Little enough. Little enough.


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