Sunday, October 18, 2009


Being robbed is a unique emotional cocktail, two parts fury mixed with one part helplessness and three drops of aggravation.

On Saturday night, someone broke into my first floor apartment.

At first I don't notice. The door is locked, nothing appears to have been ransacked, all of our clutter is still in the same miscellaneous haphazard mess that only single guys can create and would take an art director weeks to perfect. Weeks of mail is still stacked on the table, remote controls scattered about the room, books and papers piled up against book cases.

When I get to my room I habitually check my email before going to bed. I've been out all night drinking, but it doesn't matter. Like a cat that runs to the kitchen the moment it hears a can opener, when I get home, I check my email.

The key board is gone.
The key board is gone.

Not the computer, just the keyboard, along with the iPod Touch. The mouse has been disconnected. Now I'm confused. Who the hell takes just a keyboard? Did my roommate need to borrow it for some reason? I give him a call and leave a message at his work.

No, that doesn't make any sense. Why would he need my keyboard? He has a PC, and like most PC users holds a slight disdain that curls around the edges of his mouth when he looks at my Mac.

I do a quick check of the house. Checks are fine, cards are fine, TV, computers, phones are fine. I stick my hand in my pocket to put away my loose change in my pirate chest.

The chest is gone! They took my pirate booty! Sixty some odd dollars worth of silver and copper specie!

Arrgh, the bastards!

Now I know it was a thief, either a crack head or a kid. I search for points of entry. The screens to my windows are intact, nothing appears to be broken. They even left my X-Box.

I understand taking the Ipod touch, but why did they take my key board?
Then it hits me.
They need the keyboard to charge the Ipod touch. It won't charge out of a regular wall socket.

Now I know it's a kid.

Christopher comes home and quickly discovers that someone has crawled through one of his windows, but nothing has been knocked out of place. His monitor has been moved slightly, but that's it. He notes the alarm clock flashing at 9:02; its blinking, meaning someone inadvertently switched it off when they hit his light switch.

Little did they know that all of his light bulbs had burned out and he was on his way to the store to get a new ones. All they did was switch off the power to his room.

So they moved over to mine.

I move aside the screen covering Christopher's window in an effort to get a look.

"Don't touch that. They might want to dust that for prints."

I stare at him.

"We need to call the cops."
"So we can report it."

I shake my head. Let it go, Leiken. Let it go. I place a call to 911, and am reconnected with local LAPD. A couple hours later a young Latino officer comes in and dutifully takes down our report.

"Sir, what color was the keyboard?" he asks.
"The Ipod touch?"

"Maybe it had a serial number on it, so they can track it down?" Christopher adds hopefully.

I shrug. "I don't remember if it did."
"Didn't they give you a receipt for it? If it gets sold they might be able to trace it and you can get it back."

I bite my tongue. I'm sure the good pawn shop owners of the city will be diligent enough to call the police when a kid suspiciously shows up with a key board.

But he isn't going to show up with the key board. He took the key board so he could play games on the I touch.

The officer asks more questions, I dutifully answer them. This is not the first time I've been robbed. My former Honda Accord was broken into four times, and stolen once in Phoenix. After the fourth time I just gave up on ever having a car stereo system. I've made police reports before.

It's a ritual, you do it not because it's going to help, but because it's the "right" thing to do.

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