Circle the wagons
We've been having problems with theft at our place, and its been ramping up for months now. At first, occasionally we'd come out to our car in the morning and find that someone had rifled through our glove box looking for whatever. We didn't get too worked up, as our policy was to never leave *anything* of value in the car. Shortly after BM, the backpack of a friend was stolen out of our car, which we did not know held his digital camera. We felt really bad. Later this fall, Husband's backpack was stolen, which held my wallet, his cell phone, and our digi camera (we left it in the truck believing we had locked up, which we had - but we did neglect to notice one window was slightly rolled down enough to reach your hand inside. Fuck.)
Since then, we've not left anything of value in the vehicles AND started locking them. Obviously someone had started to peg us as easy targets and we wanted to let them know we were onto them as well. Things had been fairly quiet fora few months when one day Whizz came up to me and said someone had stolen some mail out of our box. Apparently, she'd received a package in her box, but had left it there because she was running an errand, and when she came back, it was gone. So, as a household, we started bringing in the mail, at least as far as the inside of the gated courtyard so it wouldn't happen again. About a week later, someone stole the DVD out of our outgoing netflix return mail right off our mailbox, and left the empty envelope just lying on the ground. So now we don't put outgoing mail there either. And this past weekend, someone opened our gate, strolled into our courtyard and stole Husband's bike -- at 10 in the morning!
Needless to say, everyone here is angry, and not a little bit creeped out. Doors are being locked, and suspicious eyes are being cast about the neighborhood. Our house is full of unlockable sliding glass doors, so we've gone out to get wooden dowels to lay in the tracks to prevent them from being opened when we don't want them to be. I feel fairly secure being in the back house; the back gate locks, and the wooden walls against the alley are at least 8 feet tall. Our front door - the one that leads into the main courtyard - locks, and is not very obvious if you're not looking for it (and sometimes even when you are.) And even if someone *did* come into our house (god forbid,) at least having a really messy house might finally come in handy. :)
The general consensus is that this thief is pretty casual and is getting the low-hanging fruit, but still. Creepy. Husband bought an infra-red video camera and will be installing iin front of the house near the gate soon. We're going to hide it in a mailbox so its not really obvious. He's super pissed off about the whole thing. Rightfully so, too. Hopefully this will all blow over soon. I'd really hate to have to get a locking mailbox, or get a lock for the courtyard gate. Or just live in fear in general. :(