Last night I sent S. a text message that said, “This message was sent from a sweet little iMac G4 that is glad to be home.”
After giving him a reasonable period to respond (45 seconds), I called him – landline to landline.
“Scott! Go get your cell phone.”
“You’ve got a text message – read it, please.”
Sounds of big thumbs fumbling on little keys. After about 5 minutes he was able to access the message, but once he got to the message, he immediately realized that this meant that we got the computer back. As well as the printer, pressure washer, 2 tv’s (one is going to the ranch), printer, DVD player, and most importantly, my mother’s guitar.
We didn’t get back the fax/answering machine. My little bit of schadenfreude is that it never worked well, and the darn thing has a 60 page manual that we still have in our file o' manuals. The .22 rifle wasn’t recovered, either.
So, after exactly one month, this chapter is pretty much over (there may be some trial or hearing dates, but perhaps not).
Our next task (and this should be yours too, if you haven’t already done so) is to:
1. record all serial numbers
2. mark your driver’s license number (TX 000002 DL) on everything that is mark-able. UTPD has engravers on loan (or free?) for members of the University community, and I’m sure many other police departments do also.
3. take pictures of all valuables and write the date & serial number on the pictures.
4. keep copies of these records and pictures outside your home – i.e. your office or a safe deposit box.
(Thanks to Detective Tate for some of these suggestions. And a big thanks to Detective Tate and everyone else on his team for the hard work they did in this case!)
We had serial numbers for a lot of the items, but not all in one place, so we spent a lot of time getting the information together for the police department and insurance company. Having everything in one place would have saved a lot of time and stress.
Other things we are doing:
1. S. put locks on our back door gates – if someone really wants to get in they can, but we’re not going to make it very easy for them. He's going to make one of the gates stronger too (or perhaps replace it).
2. Adjust the dog door so no one can reach up and unlock the deadbolt.
3. We’re going to bring the Ford Ranger that they aren’t using in Ft. Worth to put in the carport here. I’ll alternate between taking the Ranger and my car to work, so that it won’t look like we are parking a car there to make it look like someone is there. (When we lived on Barton Hills Dr., we didn’t move one of our cars out of the carport at all, and after 6 months, someone came to the door and asked if we wanted to sell the car. So people notice when cars just sit there.)
4. We used to keep the radio on when we were gone – guess we’ll go back to doing that. Perhaps there’s a way to rig it so that when someone approaches the door, the radio goes on?
5. Alarm system? Perhaps we should get some sort of alarm system?
I’m open to suggestions, here – just click on “comments” below and add your security ideas.