Burglars

Halloween!  The night that gringos dress up in silly costumes and Panamanians shake their heads.  We went to a big party last night.  David looked like an 80s porn star and I went as a prostitute.  Good fun!

When we got home, everything appeared normal.  We didn’t notice anything different for several minutes.  In fact, I was already in the shower when David noticed that his nightstand was open and things were strewed on the floor.  Then he noticed the bedroom curtain tied in a nice knot, covering the open window and slit screen.  At that point, we knew we had been invaded and looked to see what had been taken.

They even took off some of the molding to break the lock.

They even took off some of the molding to break the lock.

IPad, my Kindle (both with ‘find my stuff’ electronics app) IPod, and some jewelry.  I had taken off my wedding ring and another ring while putting on my Halloween make-up.  I just put them in all the bathroom costume mess so they weren’t seen.  My purse was overlooked.  My cats and dogs were not harmed.  It could have been so much worse.

They may have been in the house when we got home since the laptops and other small items weren’t taken.  Molly, the smart dog, was crazy when we got home.  Now we know why. We’ve only had her about 3 weeks and she is deserving of a steak dinner for saving many of our possessions.

The police arrived shortly after we called Rodny at Alto al Crimen.  The chances of getting our stuff back are somewhere.  They told us that there is an electronics theft division who are very interested in the Find a Phone type features of our electronics.  We should get location notifications as soon as they turn on our things.  The police told us that they used a crowbar-type tool to break the locks on the bedroom window.

Long time residents say that you’re not a true local until you’ve been robbed.  But what makes me really mad is:  We ordered security bars for every opening in our house about 8 weeks ago.  They were delivered last week.  The bars for the patio and the carport were installed.  The bars for the windows are still sitting in our front yard waiting for installation.  The company did not show up yesterday to finish the job.  What’s worse is that the thieves used one of the uninstalled security bars like a ladder to get back over the fence.

We did everything we could do to prevent this from happening short of never leaving the house.  The dogs should have been in the yard but they both were spayed last Sunday and are recuperating with their cones of shame, so they were in the patio.  This was no crime of opportunity so the dogs were probably lucky that they weren’t out in the yard.

Metal covering the huge hole in the fence until it can get fixed

Metal covering the huge hole in the fence until it was fixed today

The thieves got on to the property by cutting a huge, 6′ high hole in the chain link fence, avoiding the barbed wire.  Crowbar and wire cutters – these guys were prepared.  Almost like they had been inside our property recently.  Just sayin’

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16 thoughts on “Burglars

  1. Wow! Sorry that happened to you, that can really shake a person. I hope you get your things back and get your bars installed soon :). Glad the pups are alright!! Best wishes from Iowa 🙂

  2. I’m very interested in how it goes with the electronics that have the “find me” app. Please post it so we know.
    I think i am going to put cameras around my house & property…..I sounds like you are well on your way to taking all the precautions.
    Good luck! I’m so glad Noone was hurt.

    • IPhone/IPad have an app, FindIPhone, and it will locate those 2 items. It works well but they have to turn it on first. The newer Kindles have a link under Manage My Kindle to deactivate, send an alarm or locate my Kindle. Again, they have to be on wifi. I was on chat with Amazon this morning because the thief somehow deactivated ME from my Kindle. they were able to put me back on and I can still locate them if they turn on wifi.

  3. I am so sorry about the invasion. My first thought was also that someone knew the house or had been on the property or told a friend/family member about the property. I am just glad you and your pets are safe!

  4. A happy ending to this story would be to hear that the thieves get caught, you get your stuff back, and they go to a Panamanian jail. So sorry about the loss and hope there is a good outcome.

    • The unfortunate part about your happy ending is that they won’t go to jail. We heard first-hand, a judge say “He would never punish someone for being poor.” That was an outrage…. because how ’bout punishing someone for being a low-down thief!!??

      • Yea, I’ve heard about the lax justice system here. Juvies get it even easier. Luckily there isn’t that much crime here and petty theft is about as bad as it gets. But their system does make me wonder how many people take the law into their own hands and criminals become buzzard food in the canyons.

  5. We have friends looking out for 9th floor condo in Coronado and they told us someone was in our condo and took some cash we had left for workers. They had to come in from our balcony via the next balcony because the front door was not disturbed. They get in somehow if they really want to. It really sucks, but unfortunately part of life anywhere you live. Glad you all are safe and well!

  6. These days of November… their national holidays, provokes the nationals to travel around Pmá. A LOT OF BREAK-INS happen this time of year. Take extra precautions when you leave. They actually leave their homes without enough money to complete their destinations. They break-in, pawn something quickly and continue their travel. Then go home having escaped capture or punishment. Ugh! Sorry this happened. And yeah, it could have been someone who was newly familiar with your security bar job/ or your property too. Scoundrels!

  7. This crime issue is the only thing that concerns me about retiring to Panama. I don’t know anyone here at home (Alaska) that has bars on their windows and burglaries are restricted to drug dealing houses. Heck, even growing up in New Jersey a mile from NYC we never had bars. Would a home safe have helped keep your stuff safe, I wonder? Like the kind we use for guns maybe?

    • Yes, there are several things in place now. Bars are up and security cameras installed. We know who it was (the only people who knew where the open were) so this was just a crime of opportunity. Many people have a ‘safe closet’ for their most important items. Almost everyone has a dog or two. I’m from S. Florida and feel much safer here.

  8. Enjoying your blog too, great info. Just wondering, is there homeowners insurance in Panama like we have in the states that covers theft? Thanks, By

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