It was a rough week for our family. First, there was a robbery, then there was a mugging. Ah! Travis' mom, Brenda, and step-dad recently moved to a new subdivision in Illinois. They lived in North Carolina for a few years, but decided it was time to move "back home". The subdivision they moved into is a really nice one, which is why I think they were the target for a home robbery. It happened while they were sleeping - thank goodness they didn't wake up and interrupt the burglars. Who knows what could have happened! When they woke up one day last week, their laptop, two cell phones, cash from Brenda's wallet and a six pack of beer were all missing. I'm thinking they may have been kids. Not joking - a six pack of beer. After their morning discovery, they decided it was time to get a home security system. Everything is installed and in working order. Hopefully they are not so unlucky again!
The mugging involved my sister Ariel. Thank goodness she wasn't hurt, because it could have been worse. She was walking home from the gas station a block from her apartment on Sunday afternoon when some punk grabbed her wallet out from under her arm as he ran by. Instinct took over and she raced after the kid in her skirt and sandals. He ran across the street and jumped into a getaway car. I don't know if she got the plate number - I'm doubtful. Honestly, I'm glad she did not catch him because who knows what he might have done to her. With her wallet, she lost her social security card, drivers license, debit card and cash. Now she gets to worry about identity theft. She didn't have her cell phone with her, so she had to wait until she got back to the apartment to report it to the police and the credit bureau. After work last night I tried to pick up pepper spray for her to put on her key chain, but the two stores I checked were out. I will check back later this week. After that I took Ariel to the police station. The police officer who wrote the report said if she gives a written statement, they will have a better chance of charging the kid with a felony if he is ever caught. I'm doubtful that will ever happen, but it was worth a try. The police officers were delightfully pleasant with us. Different from what I have thought of the police in our area.
I have started to worry about myself more and more as each year passes. I am in a constant state of paranoia, convinced that someone is lurked behind every corner waiting to attack. I do have reason to feel this way, even more so now than before. When I first moved down here, my mom was at a gas station and noticed a policeman in line. She told him that her daughter had recently moved to the island and she wanted to know if this was an okay area. He told her that I should never leave a cigarette (I don't smoke so that's not a problem) or even a quarter sitting out in my car. People will break in for anything.
Since I have lived down here I have had a bicycle stolen from my front porch and I have friends with similar stories. The day before Sara and JR were moving to their new apartment, they had their car parked on the street. Sara had left a Walmart grocery bag with a box of new plates in the back seat. In the middle of the night, someone threw a brick through her window and stole the plates. It was a huge ordeal, as she had Logan who was only an infant at the time that sat in his car seat in the back. There was broken glass everywhere (dangerous) and an open window (rain and wind). A few blocks from where Sara's car got broken into, another friend had her purse stolen off her lap while sitting outside a coffee shop that I, and numerous friends, frequent. Actually, it was the same night we visited while my family was here. Luckily, her boyfriend scared the guy enough that he dropped the purse and kept on running.
I didn't realize how cynical I had become until I went to Illinois this past July. Chrissie and I made a quick trip up to the gas station for coffee and when I parked my car, I rolled up the windows and closed the sunroof. Chrissie made fun of me for freaking out and told me I could have just left the windows down. When we got out of the car, she pointed out that everyone else in the parking lot had their windows down. NO WAY would I EVER do that here. I remember when I was growing up, we never locked our home or cars. And we never thought twice about it. Granted, I live closer to a big city now and not in the middle of corn fields. But I can't help but hate the constant anxiety I live with.