Another Thief in the Night

macocael

Bronze
Aug 3, 2004
929
10
0
www.darkhorseimages.com
Yep, we were hit last night by a particularly nimble ( and very thin) thief who got up onto our fourth floor balcony by entering the building (I know, poor security here) squeezing through an impossibly small crevice (made so in order prevent just this sort ofthing happening), swinging round to our balcony (the only one without bars -- I have complained several times to the owner of the apt), and taking advantage of the fact that for once our balcony doors were open. I had been up late writing, but knocked off about 2:30am. I think he entered some time around four. He got my laptop, which was right at the side of my bed, and my cell phone. Nothing more and no one was hurt, thank god. I woke suddenly around 4 45 because of a weird light, so it is possible that in fact he may have exited swiftly just before then and caused the desktop monitor to become lit somehow. Dont know.

called the police, they sent a patrol, they patrolled. A waste of time. OVerall my fault partly for letting down my guard.

lesson learned. word to the wise.
 

El Tigre

El Tigre de DR1 - Moderator
Jan 23, 2003
2,306
54
0
Holly crap. Sorry to hear that man. That will put you back a few grand easily! And I won't even mention all the valuable things you had in that laptop. Que pena!!!
 

Mirador

On Permanent Vacation!
Apr 15, 2004
3,563
0
0
Very unfortunate! I hope your description of the robbery encourages others to review their security systems and installations. The fact that the thief broke through "impossible small crevices" suggest that a small child was used or a particularly undernourished seven or eight-year old, working in pair with an adult, who waited outside. For those of you who own a firearm, I would be a tragedy to shoot in the dark an unarmed child, which are increasingly being used for these types of burglaries...
 

El Tigre

El Tigre de DR1 - Moderator
Jan 23, 2003
2,306
54
0
Mirador.

You and others might think what I'm about to say is funny but I've always said to myself that if I ever get to live in the DR I'm buying night vision goggles to keep next to my bed near my 9MM. I guess it will be an advantage over a thief to be able to see in the night.
 

Mirador

On Permanent Vacation!
Apr 15, 2004
3,563
0
0
Mirador.

You and others might think what I'm about to say is funny but I've always said to myself that if I ever get to live in the DR I'm buying night vision goggles to keep next to my bed near my 9MM. I guess it will be an advantage over a thief to be able to see in the night.
Tigere, I own a pair myself, except I find them impractical to use, unless it's for checking strange rustlings in the bushes, which always turns out to be an errant cow, or goat.
 

2LeftFeet

Bronze
Dec 1, 2006
1,147
14
0
I think claymores would be more useful than the 9MM. You'd have to hear the ladron to use the 9MM. If you don't know that he's there he could steal it and or use it against you!!!
 

macocael

Bronze
Aug 3, 2004
929
10
0
www.darkhorseimages.com
MIrador is right, I suspect the thief was a probably a skinny teen in league with an adult. The crevice is so tight that only a very small person could get through -- I am small and I cannot even get my head through there. But we found evidence that confirms this was in fact the means of entrance.

I will tell you another thing -- though I wouldnt tell anyone not to have a gun, in this case it would not have made a bit of difference. And if a gun had been found while I was sleeping? dont get me wrong, I am not anti-gun, I grew up around them. But they can give you a false sense of security too.
 

Criss Colon

Platinum
Jan 2, 2002
21,843
188
0
34
yahoomail.com
Put Up The "BARS" Yourself,TOMORROW!!

Bet they would have been cheaper than a new Laptop!
Do you have a maid?
Most thieves would not have gone to that much trouble if they didn't know that there were valuable "Available" in 4th floor apt!
To much of a coincidence.
CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC
 

NALs

Polls Forum Moderator
Jan 20, 2003
9,528
398
83
Bet they would have been cheaper than a new Laptop!
Do you have a maid?
Most thieves would not have gone to that much trouble if they didn't know that there were valuable "Available" in 4th floor apt!
To much of a coincidence.
CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC
Macocael did state in his OP that his balcony is the only one without bars.

Doesn't seem coincidental to me.

Every neighbor in his building shifted the risk of being robbed via their balconies to zero and Macocael's balcony remaining as the only one without bars meant that all the probability or risks was shifted to him.

Once Macocael put some bars on his balcony, he will effectively equally redistribute the risks of being robbed via the balcony, because the next thief that attempts to break in via balconies will have to remove bars. If there are 8 apartments and all 8 have bars then all apartments will have at least a 1 in 8 chance of being broken-in via their balconies. That, of course, is much better than the risk Macocael was accruing by taking 1 in 1 risk of a balcony break-in because in comparison to all the other bared balconies, Maco's was the one which offered the least resistance to a thief!

Coincidence could still be a possibility, if there is more to the story, but so far Macocael's story appears to NOT point to coincidence or an "inside" job, at least not on the level of a maid, if Macocael does have one.

What this incidence does points towards is what happens when a person takes 100% the risks of being robbed via a balcony and do too little too late to avert such occurence. But, these are things that can happen to anyone.

Sometimes, we all take risks or are too passive at removing unnecessary risks from our lives.

-NALs
 
Last edited:

Criss Colon

Platinum
Jan 2, 2002
21,843
188
0
34
yahoomail.com
Get A Life,PLEASE, Get A Life!

:rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC

And "Learn English" while you are at it!!

Start with "Nuance"!
 

Texas Bill

Silver
Feb 11, 2003
2,174
26
0
93
www.texasbill.com
Macocael did state in his OP that his balcony is the only one without bars.

Doesn't seem coincidental to me.

Every neighbor in his building shifted the risk of being robbed via their balconies to zero and Macocael's balcony remaining as the only one without bars meant that all the probability or risks was shifted to him.

Once Macocael put some bars on his balcony, he will effectively equally redistribute the risks of being robbed via the balcony, because the next thief that attempts to break in via balconies will have to remove bars. If there are 8 apartments and all 8 have bars then all apartments will have at least a 1 in 8 chance of being broken-in via their balconies. That, of course, is much better than the risk Macocael was accruing by taking 1 in 1 risk of a balcony break-in because in comparison to all the other bared balconies, Maco's was the one which offered the least resistance to a thief!

Coincidence could still be a possibility, if there is more to the story, but so far Macocael's story appears to NOT point to coincidence or an "inside" job, at least not on the level of a maid, if Macocael does have one.

What this incidence does points towards is what happens when a person takes 100% the risks of being robbed via a balcony and do too little too late to avert such occurence. But, these are things that can happen to anyone.

Sometimes, we all take risks or are too passive at removing unnecessary risks from our lives.

-NALs
Normal logic, Nals. But, NEVER rule out any suspect until proof positive is presented. Investigator's rule #1.

Or, that is what they taught me at Military Police School in 1943.

Texas Bill
 

Lambada

Gold
Mar 4, 2004
9,478
376
0
77
www.ginniebedggood.com
Damn. Not all your writing gone? I pray you had backup on the desk top........

Nals, no-one least of all macoceal needs a lecture on probability theory right now. Please try to be a bit more sensitive. I'm sure everyone will appreciate it.
 

macocael

Bronze
Aug 3, 2004
929
10
0
www.darkhorseimages.com
NALs is right up to a point, this was no "inside job". As for the rest of it, well as usual such abstract reasoning is all well and good, and not exactly incorrect of course, but it lacks details. our balcony has no bars but the doors are securely lockable, heavy, and easily prevent a thief from entering. It is not as though there is no barrier -- and the arrangement is one that the owner has insisted on so the placement of bars in addition to the present barriers has been a bone of contention. the thief took a chance that the barlessness might indicate easy ingress. And with a bit of luck he was proven right, given that our doors had been open. there is no way to ascertain from the street or any other vantage point (unless you are in someone else's balcony with binoculars) the exact nature of the entrance from the balcony tothe inside of the apt. As I said, the bars have been an issue between us and the owner of the apt in an ongoing dispute, which, on top of other things led us finally to decide to move. The house is in fact all packed up.

The opportunity was noted by an enterprising thief who investigated the situation a bit (barlessness and a couple other factors regarding negligence on behalf of the condo's maintenance); however, it should be said that mere barlessness, while of course it would call a thief's attention, would not have been sufficient to convince him of the possibility of pulling this off because other mitigating circumstances, upon close observation, would have discouraged him and that is why it never happened before. It is a bit complicated but it has to do with things like height, location, visibility, and structural details of the facade which prevent access. This particular thief was able to take advantage of the condo's descuido in one aspect which he must have carefully ascertained beforehand and which I was entirely unaware of: the front door of the building has no lock at the moment, it is wide open and none of us was informed of its condition; normally the procedure is that the door be locked at midnight. They have been expecting to install a new intercom system but due to delays and lack of cooperation they simply left the matter unresolved and neglected to fix the lock in the meantime.

This being a night before a major holiday (when the thieves are also working overtime in order to pick up a little something to enjoy the fiesta), the usual protocol came almost entirely to a halt. The condo is bustling, usually, even in the dawn hours, people come and go, etc. But of course given the date, the place was a ghost town. The door was open, no one was on hand to man the gate at the entrance of the condo's lot, and the thief had already figured out that by entering the building itself and using an extremely small accomplice who could squeeze through the crevice I mentioned and swing round and up onto my balcony, there would be a possibility of entering and perhaps hitting a jackpot.

I should mention that this building is at the front of the condo and is a multiuse building with a mix of businesses and residences -- so people are always coming and going and thus the building is available for inspection by undesirable people looking for an illicit opportunity. Controlling that traffic has also been a consistent bone of contention. the building was made in the days when such problems were not on the average designer's mind.

Anyway, this crime was pure opportunism graced by the negligence of the condo and my own unwitting negligence in having for once left the balcony door open to catch a bit of a breeze. If we had had a dog or some such alarm, it might have been different. Believe me, I readily recognize my own failure to act appropriately in this matter, and that is one reason i posted this thread -- to serve as a warning: never let your guard down. During the dismal end of the Mejia admin, our building was victim of several robberies -- one that involved a very nasty armed push in robbery which obliged me to perform first aid on the victim when I unwittingly interrupted the tail end of the event -- those were indeed bad times. Things have improved mightily at the condo and as i said there was a protocol, albeit an unsatisfactory one (another reason we had decided to move, though essentially our move is motivated by a desire to get our own place and stop renting).

This was a Fagin style operation: a small cat burglar probably aided by an older teen or adult who waited nearby. Let me point out an irony about the protection lent by the bars. Dont be overconfident. the crevice through which this thief squeezed is no wider than the bars on the other balconies. They are in fact the same width,they were made purposely that way. I cannot get my head into that crevice, and I am a small thin person. This boy could have squeezed through the bars too. Course my own barlessness pointed to an easier opportunity, so I am not saying that bars are no deterrent -- they are -- but they are not foolproof either and I can give several examples. Not too long ago, some months, the condo just one block down, with bars on every balcony, had a similar breakin which very sadly resulted in a violent end (assault, rape, etc). none of the bars were broken or cut, the thief managed to slip in. A friend of mine in the colonial zone, who owned a very well known building there, also had a long drawn out history with local thieves and bars that amounted to a macabre comedy of errors and outrage such that he finally decided to sell off the property after losing so much.

There is no doubt about the MO, we were able to reconstruct how he did it. It was pure opportunism -- they just wanted a quick haul, there was no attempt to seriously cash in -- and a little more thorough search of the place would have yielded some riches. No, they just wanted something valuable they could cash in on quickly. The MO restricted what they could have taken away with them anyway, as nothing bigger than a radio, laptop, cellphone or other such small items could have fit through the crevice. They got lucky.

But we got lucky too, really, because no one was hurt. These situations often turn ugly. The day after, my wife went to a local comedor to get some take out. The young woman who works there, very nice young mother, asked my wife if something was wrong, and was given the story. She responded, well you arelucky because you are all safe. It turns out that she lost her husband in a similar incident: they entered the house and simply killed him while he slept. The couple had a month old baby sleeping just nearby. This poor woman lost her husband on the eve of their new life together, and now she must struggle as a single mom working in a comedor and dreaming of some means of getting a leg up.

Lambada, I usually back all my work up, but it turns out that I have lost some documents. Mainly I lost some work I was about to post to a new website dedicated to a comprehensive analysis of the bateys -- work I am doing in collaboration with many orgs in compliance with a fellowship I received. That work all has to be redone from scratch. But that is OK, the only real labor involved is meticulously reconstructing the bibliography I had amassed. Exaggerating a bit, I feel like Carlyle after his maid burned the first draft of The French Revolution - but he had to rewrite a thousand pages and i just have to re-pen some articles and do some web coding, etc. And of course I have to replace the laptop.

Where did this happen? does that really matter? You are missing the point. It can happen anywhere. This is a cautionary tale for your benefit.