Larry Osterman's WebLog

Confessions of an Old Fogey
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I could get to like this "Internet" thing.

I could get to like this "Internet" thing.

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Last Thursday, when Daniel was at his music lesson, I got an email from a friend of ours.  We have a vacation home in the San Juan Islands (just north west of Seattle), and he was visiting his place on the island and looked in on our house.

He had noticed that the dining room set was missing and wanted to know if we knew anything about it.

Not surprisingly, we didn't, as soon as I saw that, I got that hideous feeling in the pit of my stomach that we'd been robbed.

I went up to the island on Saturday morning, spent the afternoon inventorying the things that were stolen and talking to the very nice policeman who came to take the police report.

One of his first questions was if we had pictures of the stuff that was stolen.  Of course we didn't (this is not at all surprising), but I was able to find a receipt for most of stolen items (this is actually pretty amazing if you know us).  But I still couldn't find a picture.

Until I got back home where I filled out the remaining forms.  Since I had the receipt, I had the manufacturers name and the model number for the items stolen.  I figured that it had been 8 years since we bought the stuff, so there was no chance I'd find it, but what the heck. 

I went to both MSN search and Google and between the two of them I somehow managed to find pictures from various furniture retailer's web sites.

The only item I couldn't find on the web was the dining room table (and 6 chairs).  I simply couldn't find any references to them and I didn't have the model number for them.  But eBay came to my rescue.  I searched on eBay and found someone who was selling the exact same table as was stolen (different fabric on the chairs but the same table).

Yipee!  I was able to fill the entire report complete with pictures from the web of almost all the items that were stolen.

Phew.

Now all I need to do is to deal with the insurance company (yuck).  And even better, I know people who are selling the stuff that was stolen so I can replace it.

Man, that "internet" can really come in handy.

 

  • "I know people who are selling the stuff that was stolen"

    Tomorrow on Slashdot - Microsoft developer claims links with sellers of stolen furniture! :-)
  • Bummer about being robbed. That is never a good feeling.

    Gotta love the english language though. Your second last paragraph could be correct readly but misunderstood to be saying that you are scamming the insurance company because you know the people who actually stole the goods in the first place.

    I guess on the bright side, you get new gear for the house. :)
  • just make sure not to buy back your stolen items off eBay.
  • Rosyna: Why? I think it's really lucky to be able to buy back the origional items, especially when it also give a clue for the police to catch the thief!  :P
  • Um . . . so I see you modded that out. I hope I didn't offend you. Just following my tester instincts. I'm trained (ok, so that's actually just the way I am and the job description has nothin' to do with it) to take a dev's (or anyone's) work and hack it into doing something else entirely. Honest - that's just what I'm made of. Maybe I owe you an apology. Please little r me as dcoop if that's the case. No offense intended, Larry!

    Heck . . . if I shoudn't have tried to post here and should have sent you an email instead, please let me know. I have a kind of rough time with all the social graces most of the time. Ditto if I should have just shut up instead. I don't know you well enough to understand what your personal (blog?) boundaries are.

    Again, hope I didn't offend you.

    (And in the hope that you'll both mod this comment out and also email me to make me feel less stupid)

    - Drew.
  • Hmm, I was told a couple months ago that it was weird to blog about our burglary:

    http://chilco.textdrive.com/~dmahugh/2006/02/04/rainier-beachs-finest/

    So ... you're weird, Larry.
  • I'm so sorry to hear that! Being burgled is one of those pit-of-the-stomach horrors.

    Where in the San Juans is your house? We used to vacation on Lopez, where our cousin was the school superintendent for a while. His mother lived in Friday Harbor (on San Juan).
  • I wouldn't need the internet in order to get photos of some 10,000 yen notes just like the ten that a burglar stole from me in 1991.  The serial numbers wouldn't be the same though.  No one told me in advance to take photos of the actual ones in order to track them down by serial number later.

    (Part of that is a joke.  No, not even in Japan would serial numbers be traceable in that way.  And even if they were, the police wouldn't care.  Police did come and go through the motions in order to make a report, but they still didn't care.  A friend said that police would care because it's embarrassing to have a thief operating in their area, but a few weeks later I learned how much they cared.  When a police officer from a neighbouring district caught our thief, and a colleague phoned the police in our district to inquire, our police didn't even know until they conferred with the other district.)
  • I was hoping for a neat story about how your motion activated web cam had emailed you video. Drat.
  • This just hit me. Someone stole your furniture from your home on an ISLAND.

    Either it's still on the island or someone on the ferry system will remember a large moving truck getting on the ferry. :)

    Maybe they are sophisticated and have their own boat?
  • Ummm, Scott's hits me too, but how can we take advantage of it?

    Someone stole my money from my home on an ISLAND.  And odds are, it's still on the island.  Time to start brainstorming ^_^
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