Blog dedicated primarily to randomly selected news items; comments reflecting personal perceptions

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Home Vendor Beware

"Nobody broke in. I find it very difficult to think that somebody would have broken in [as I have] four dogs. And if you are breaking in, why leave everything undisturbed?"
"I had all kinds of jewellery that was well hidden because obviously you don't want anything out in the open for an open house. But you also don't expect people to go through your [bureau] drawers and closets."
"Nothing had been out of place. How can you come to an open house and wipe out that much stuff without anyone noticing?"
"The only thing I could think of is that they used some kind of metal detector. That would be the quickest way because they would know exactly where everything is without disturbing anything."
"[The whole experience has been] very unsettling. I am still not sleeping that well with all this. I had all these people sticking their hands in my closets. It is kind of upsetting."
"I will never have an open house again."
Genny Landis, homeowner, Kingston, Ontario

A gold chain and bracelet were among items a Yarker woman believes were stolen from her home during an open house. (Supplied photo)
A gold chain and bracelet were among items a Yarker woman believes were stolen from her home during an open house. (Supplied photo)
She certainly appears to have taken due care to secure her fine gold jewellery. Most women value their jewellery, acquired over long periods of time, some pieces with sentimental value, others perhaps handed down in the family, and some pieces of jewellery particularly valued as favourite design items. Jewellery, of course, like all material possessions, represents 'things', 'objects' whether treasured or not, that women like to feel enhances their outfits and themselves when they're worn.

Jewellery is not indispensable to the quality of life, but it does represent objects that women often crave and enjoy wearing aesthetically. Taken for granted possibly, since jewellery pieces may have been possessed for long periods of time, but meaningful in their own way. And as with all things whose possession is valued, when they're lost their absence takes on new meaning of poignant regret. All the more so when they've been taken by intrusion into our private lives through theft.

Genny Landis suddenly realized her jewellery box wasn't in her bedroom where she always kept it. No sign of it anywhere, and nor could she find other pieces of jewellery that she kept elsewhere in her bedroom. An estimated $15,000-worth of jewellery suddenly absent, an overwhelming feeling of loss and anger. Her rings, earrings, bracelets, watches and neck-pieces vanished as though they never existed. Stolen, yet there was no evidence of a break-in.

The only answer to the question of how was an open house that had taken place in her home located in a small community near Kingston, Ontario weeks earlier. She had placed her jewellery box at the bottom of a clothing closet, hidden under shoes. She had secured other items under items of clothing at the back of dresser drawers, and when she looked purposefully for them, they were no longer where she distinctly remembered placing them; gone, everything gone.

Yet she had seen nothing that might give a clue of someone rifling through her cupboards and sifting through her dresser drawers; nothing had seemed to be out of place. She reported the theft of her property to police, handing them a list of the jewellery that was missing. Her home insurance covered a fraction of what had gone missing. The dismay she felt led her to believe that she could not conceivably be the only person who has experienced such an event.

So she checked on the Internet and discovered advisories from Britain with descriptions of thieves using metal detectors to discover where jewellery might be hidden for safety from unwanted detection by intruders in homes. She theorized that during the open house, people working in tandem succeeded in discovering her hiding places and robbed her. One person might have distracted the real estate sales agent, while the other went methodically and carefully through her bedroom with a metal detector.

She wanted to make her dilemma known on a wider scale, to alert people to the potential of such a loss occurring to them under similar circumstances. And to that end, she advises people to be alert to such potential occurrences, and to do what they could to avoid becoming victimized. A small safe would do, a safe bolted to a floor or wall, secured within a cupboard, to ensure that thieves utilizing such methodology would find themselves at a dead end.

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