I thought it would be fun if that actually turned out to be my 11th criminal victimization since moving here, but turns out, it’s only about the 7th or 8th. But good effort, jackholes!
As you may have surmised, I’m in the anger phase right now. I know it seems superficial, but the stages of grief do seem somewhat appropriate here, for although it was only material possessions that were lost, they carried with them a lot of emotional value. Among the stolen items were my high school class ring, the earrings my parents gave me on my 16th birthday, and most of the jewelry I inherited from my grandmother. I know memories can exist without physical tokens (yes, I’ve watched my share of Hoarders), but those small pieces of my past served as happy reminders whenever I wore or even came across them. And now they’re gone.
Also stolen was my laptop, and I have to tell you, the idea of someone having that piece of hardware is more unsettling to me than the fact that they dug through every hiding place in the house looking for drugs and guns. It’s like having someone take your entire family’s birth certificates, Social Security cards, bank statements, and checkbook, plus all your home movies and photo albums. It’s an intensely personal chunk of plastic, and the unease of having it in the wrong hands is far more upsetting than the loss of the machine itself.
I also lost a lot of writing, and, in bad news, possibly my entire iTunes library.
But if there’s anything I’m known for, it’s making the best of a bad situation. Oh wait, no, that’s TV’s Kelly Ripa. Anyway, I’d still like to take this opportunity to help y’all (i.e. other Memphians) avoid this type of scenario by taking a few preventive steps:
- Back up your computer. Right now. NOW. And then keep doing it regularly, ideally through an off-site service like Mozy.com (which allowed the more disaster-prepared resident of my house to share his data rather than lose it all outright).
- If you’re not a home-owner, invest in renter’s insurance. You’re gonna need it. Seriously.
- Write down the serial numbers of all your electronics and keep them in a safe place. The police actually do send this info to pawn shops and I know of at least one iPod recovered this way.
- Password-protect everything.
- Consider laptop recovery software (laptop lo-jack) that can trace a stolen machine through GPS.
- Don’t like or attach sentimental value to anything you own, because sooner or later, some crackhead is going to take it away from you.