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Published: January 18th 2017
New movement encouraging neighbor collaboration to combat theft
There are some neighborhoods that now have these signs in the windows of the homes.
Last Saturday night while I was on the computer and my host sister was taking a nap, some robbers broke into my host family's house. I heard a loud crash downstairs which made it obvious that someone was entering who shouldn't. I ran into my host parent's bedroom and woke my sister up and we locked ourselves in the bedroom. Just then they came up the stairs and immediately started kicking down the bedroom door. It sounded like a group of people and they were talking loudly, completely brazen. I thought we were going to get raped, minimum. We had nothing to defend ourselves and we were terrified. We hid in the bedroom closet as I prayed profusely in English. God heard my prayers. They gave up on kicking down the door even though they could have easily entered. We found out later that they had busted the wooden front door with an ax. However, we were protected. A house phone happened to be upstairs when usually it is downstairs. Elisabet and I were together. She needed me to wake her up and I needed her to call the police. After that, she called her grandad. Her uncle happened to be at her grandparents' house nearby so they rushed over. They got there before the cops did. The next door neighbor pulled up and saw the front door bashed in. He started yelling, inciting the robbers to grab the stuff and run. He also caught the license plate number on the vehicle. Upon arrival, Elisabet's uncle called her name loudly and we came bounding out of the closet, completely shaken up. Police confirmed that that same vehicle had been stolen from Playancha, another hill in Valpo, just earlier that day. The police were already looking for them. My laptop is gone and so is my cellphone along with the TV, the radio, Isaac's laptop and oddly a tub full of Marco's toys and some snacks... I guess bandits get hungry too? However, they didn't steal my purse which was RIGHT next to my laptop. They also didn't take my camera or other valuables and I am most certain that God didn't allow it. The Lord is still good and I'm so thankful that He protected us that night. I have a very strong feeling we'll get our things back too.
What sucks is the post trauma. Even though I know that the whole ordeal is over, Elisabet and I still jump at our own shadows. Every time Papa Samuel comes home, we nearly fly out of our skin. We become alert at the smallest provocation, the faintest noise. We've even come around corners too suddenly and screamed at the sight of each other! Also, Elisabet and I squeezed in and slept like sardines in my small bed. Sleeping alone that first night was impossible. We preferred being cramped, with the other's foot in our face, than alone. I now leave the house feeling insecure and that makes me MORE angry! Yeah, I want my stuff back but that wasn't the only thing that was stolen. Those intruders stole my sense of peace and I am desperately trying to get that back.
Nothing like that had ever happened in this house before. It wasn't common. We don't live in a bad neighborhood. Also my host dad is remodeling so the house looks hella ugly from the outside. It isn't a house that one would look at and target, especially now with paint scraped off. Some think that maybe they saw me coming home and followed me. Before the invasion, I had just gotten home about 15 minutes prior. I had been traipsing in Vina del Mar alone, loving life. I'm foreign so maybe the burglars saw me and figured I have money. Maybe it's someone who noticed there are often American students in this house. There are many theories.
Whatever reason they came in here, it infuriates me that they left walking. I told the police candidly that if said event had happened in my house in the States, those burglars wouldn't have left alive. We pack. But on the other hand, I'm thankful that guns aren't common in Chile. As scared as I was, I highly doubted that the intruders had a gun which was a slight relief in all the madness. I'll fight a man. But apparently they had an ax...so no. Maybe not. Oh and to add insult to injury, there was a woman in the group! !La muy canalla!
Two men and a woman. Go figure! *Eye roll* The neighbor saw them.
So life has gotten extra real as of late. And that is the understatement of the century. The surrounding neighbors and us are already looking to purchase a panic button to put throughout a series of houses. At the push of a button, a blaring alarm will sound to alert everyone in case of a similar event. Also the cops began circulating the area at random, looking for suspicious activity. That's the benefit of all of this: Solidarity, awareness, and preparation to kick an a*** if someone steps in this house again or any other house on this street for that matter. We'll be waiting.
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