5 Things No One Tells You About Being Robbed

#2. You Will Try to Crack the Case Yourself

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After beating myself up for not burying my valuables in the yard every morning, my thoughts turned to detective work. I have seen every episode of NYPD Blue, The Shield, and The Wire, and I am certain that, had I not become a journalist, I would have made an excellent detective. This conceit was confirmed when I arrived at the house 30 minutes after the police left and discovered the open window the robber used to gain entrance. The police had missed it ENTIRELY. I took a flashlight outside and found the window screen in a recycling bin and shoe scuff marks on the wall. I felt like Bunk and McNulty when they recreated Deirdre Kresson's murder in The Wire's famous "fuck" scene.

In which the word "shit" is uttered 137 times.

The following day, I walked around the neighborhood at the same time our house was robbed the previous day. I talked to my neighbors and chatted with two delivery guys and the mailwoman. The mailwoman said she had just seen a suspicious car. I had seen it, too. It was driving a little too slow. Just then the car in question turned a corner in front of us. The mailwoman wrote down the plate number. I called Mike. Mike called the plate in to an actual detective. Twenty minutes later Mike got a call back. The mailwoman and I had made the undercover cop who was assigned to patrol our area.

Between that brilliant piece of undercover work and the responding officers who failed to notice an open window on a cold and rainy day, I had no faith in the LAPD's ability to solve this case. I was convinced that it would be me who broke this case wide open and took down the burglar and Avon Barksdale and Stringer Bell in the process.

As always, Marlo Stanfield got away.

#1. You Will Finally Accept Communism


I have come to grips with the fact that I don't actually own anything. I have no personal possessions. None of us do. We all just have some stuff that is ours until some highly motivated and unscrupulous individual decides he wants it for himself. So, yeah, just like communism.

Stalin was a cat burglar in his off-hours.


They caught the guy who robbed our house. He was 21 years old. Unfortunately, police were unable to locate my belongings, which they believe were pawned. Here's how he was caught. The guy robbed another house nearby. That house had a camera system, which did not deter the robber, but it did catch a look at his face. Like I said, you picture your robber as a maniac or a criminal mastermind, but this guy was pretty bad at his job when you consider that he set off our alarm and was caught on a neighbor's camera.

Anyway, the cops knew what he looked like. During a routine traffic stop, patrolmen pulled over the guy who robbed our house, but they did not realize that he was our robber until later. So the LAPD got hold of the guy on the phone and one of the officers said, "Hey, my partner lost his wedding ring and we think he lost it in your car. Can we come and take a look?" This robber -- the one who had shown so much promise by incorporating my pillowcases into his home invasion -- told the police where he was. The police snatched him up, questioned him, and got a confession. Good work by real police.

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Not bad, for a cop with no mustache.

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Joe Donatelli

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