Saturday, January 8, 2011

Feeling like the three bears…

Just like when Goldilocks entered the 3 bears home without permission, we too came home from a trip to find “someone’s been sleeping in my bed!” only it wasn’t Goldie, and the perpetrators didn’t sleep in our bed, they just dumped all my jewelry (that which they didn’t want) on top of it!!!!

Beretta: “Somebody’s been messing with my food!”

Brittany: “Somebody’s been digging in my drawers!”

Nick: “Somebody’s been trying to get into my safe and they succeeded!”

Shortly after New Year’s Day, Nick and I headed to the mountains for our much anticipated ski trip (though we snow-boarded). It was a great vacation, which I will blog about later…. However upon arriving back home, we were greeted by the damage of an unexpected break-in!

Nick and I didn’t figure out what happened right away…the front door was locked and our house appeared to be ok…of course, who really checks their house for break-ins every time they come home??? Not us! We have never had our house broken into before and therefore weren’t paranoid about such a thing happening. Unfortunately, these things occur when you least expect it!!!

The door off of our living room...they used a screwdriver and tapped the glass, thus making this wierd crack and unlocking the door!

We live in Japan…a country that supposedly has a LOW crime rate! “Japan is so safe” we have been told, “People leave their windows and doors open!” Nonetheless, we did have our doors and windows locked….we even had our storm shutters closed over our windows for an extra barrier of protection. Ironically we also have a safe, you know to keep our valuables SAFE!?! But that is exactly what they stole!

While Nick was unloading the car, I was in the kitchen getting dinner ready. We had yet to turn on all the lights or walk through our house, so we still didn’t know we had been robbed. After Nick finished bringing in all our snow-boarding gear, he went into our living room to turn on the heater so we could eat dinner without freezing! When he did that, he noticed a BIG mess on the living room floor! At first we thought our friend Sarah, who had come over earlier in the day to drop off our dog, had made the mess! Nick’s tools were scattered on the tatami mat floor and the doors to our entertainment cabinet were all open! (No offense to Sarah, we just assumed she needed something…after all, she had been watching our dog while we were gone…I just thought Beretta must have broken something and she needed a tool or 2 to fix it!) Then Nick noticed the scattered powder everywhere and the broken pieces to his safe that were mixed in the rubble of tools! It was then that he realized his safe had been broken into and that someone had been (or could still be) in our house! He immediately told me to get out of the house and take Beretta with me!

Nick then did a thorough inspection of our house; assessing the damage and making sure the perps were gone! Luckily, they were! After that, Nick called the base police and reported the incident! Meanwhile I was trying to call Sarah to find out if anything was unusual when she was at our house earlier that day dropping off our dog! (I wanted to know…did it happen before or after she was at our house???)

The police showed up shortly after…2 uniformed American base police, a translator, 2 Japanese cops, and 2 CSI-type men with gloves and a brief case full of gadgets! It was a full house and the “fun” didn’t stop until after 11pm that night! The white-gloved men looked our house over with a fine-tooth comb, finding footprints and fingerprints everywhere! We can only hope they find the guys who did it!

We were fortunate that they didn’t take a lot of our things….whoever broke into our house, was looking for “high-valued” items, or so we were told. The biggest thing they took was our safe! (And that sucker was HEAVY, so there had to have at least been two of them!) Fortunately, they were kind enough to open it up before they took it (using our tools and breaking a couple in the process) and leave behind our important documents that were inside…aka: our passports, marriage certificates, tax documents, etc. Unfortunately, they did take the money (duh) that was inside, as well as the collection of coins that Nick had been given by his grandparents every few years since he was a child! And they went through EVERYTHING we own…opening up EVERY drawer, cabinet, and closet in the house! What was odd to us was that they left American cash that was in one of Nick’s drawers and some items which we thought would have been stolen, such as our new flat-screen tv, but went to the trouble of taking the safe, despite the fact that they opened it and were able to get it’s contents out prior! What they wanted with a broken safe is beyond me!??! They also stole my 2 best necklaces :( …which of course were the most expensive. One of them was my birthday present from Nick, a pearl necklace from the Philippines!

We were hurt that our house was invaded, and felt violated that someone would go through all our things, but most importantly, we were shocked that such a thing would happen in a country where we thought we were so safe in!

The break-in apparently occurred sometime shortly after we left for our ski trip…we know this because we called the credit card company to report our stolen card, which was in the safe, and were told the thief tried to use the card the day after we left! Luckily, whomever it was tried to take out too much, thus resulting in it being declined! This was a blessing, because the perp had the access code (which was also in the safe) and would’ve been able to use the card, but since he/she tried to take out more than the daily limit, they were denied…if they would have tried again with a lesser amount, they would have succeeded in getting more of our money, but they must have assumed it had been reported and therefore didn’t try again! Thank Goodness!!!

Nick and I are frustrated because of the things that were stolen, but at the same time are thankful because it couldv’e been much much worse! No one was hurt and our things can be replaced, however, we will forever be more cautious when leaving for a trip as well as returning!

Thanks to everyone who called, texted or emailed us….offering help and words of encouragement! It was a rough night, but we are all the more grateful to know that we have such a supportive group of people here! We feel tremendously blessed!

Don’t collect yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But collect for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where theieves don’t break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Matthew 6:19-21


  1. Brit!!! oh my gosh!! How awful!! what polite thieves to leave your marriage documents, but what--do they think that makes it ok?!

  2. OH MY WORD! Brittany, that totally sucks! Do you guys live off base?

  3. oh my goodness, Brit! That is terrible - I'm so sorry for your losses and more - your sense of security. So thankful they didn't take your documents, at the very least. And of course, that you all are safe.