Rhonda's A 'Muse'-ing Rambles

Life and Times of a Busy Woman

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Crime in the Suburbs

Posted by Range Officer Rhonda on August 9, 2010

It’s sad when an Instructor for Personal Protection In & Out of the home – gets robbed. Today, I am the victim and it hurts. A bunch. While I was shopping at a local discount store, I was robbed. My wallet was lifted sometime between the time I paid for my soft drink to the time I got to the register to check out. I am sure it happened there in that 45 minute time slot because I HAD the wallet, and used it, in the store.

Yes, I did all the things you are supposed to do – went back and checked all the spots I had been to. Talked to clerks and managers. Nobody had ‘found it’ – in the off chance I had dropped it – nor had anybody dumped it outside the store [do you know how many trash cans, etc they have in the parking lot?] Whether the manager will check the store security videos remains to be seen.

I called the police to report this – and find they are having an extraordinary day of like crimes, theft and vandalism in discount stores. The officer was very polite, but of course he knows they won’t recover it. He went through all the steps, though, including getting my credit card number in case they find it or activity on it. I have a case number, but it’s almost worthless.

What should you do if you are such a victim? Well, first thing is make a list of all that was in the stolen bag/item. Write down when and where you last touched the item and used the things inside. Contact the store manager[s] and police. Check every spot you have been to and search under/between/behind any items you may have touched. Remember unusual events that may have happened [in this case, a young male ‘bumped me’ by accident]

Then start making calls. First off – the Credit card company[ies]. I was fortunate in that I only have ONE credit card and I contacted them within an hour of the incident happening. Damage can still be done in that amount of time as most credit cards do not require signature or ID for purchases under $25. And the secret ‘code’ for verification – is printed on the card itself. With the police report, tho’, and my quick reporting, any charges made today can be disputed and removed from the account. It will take time and effort.

Meanwhile, what more can you do? It will escalate from here for me because I have a lot of accounts that automatically draft on my card – such as my internet service. Now I will have to contact my auto draft accounts – when I get the new credit card – and sign new papers, etc to get my drafts changed.

And the worst part of the credit card deal – I file tax returns electronically; which requires me to pay a fee on line in advance. This goes to my ONE credit card [I only use it for business]. Which was stolen. And I have 4 tax returns to process tonight, which I can’t – not until I get a new card and settle with the company that recieves my payments. Now, I can just mail the returns to clients, have them sign and mail the returns to the government – then wait for their refunds. And wait. And wait. Instead of the normal approx. 10 days, it will take them weeks, maybe months to get their refunds.

If I miss a vendor, I could find myself without internet access, utilities, cell phone service, postage, on-line orders and more – delayed or denied. And what does this do to my credit while I hash out the disputes?

Let’s go on from there. Driver’s license [with a very blurry dark photo] AND Social Security card are gone too. Sure, with a little time – they are easy to replace. But now, I’m set up for a perfect shot at identity theft – they have it all!

Not to mention the cash. Although the amount is over my $500 deductible for Home Owner’s insurance, the insurance company only pays up to $500 of missing cash. How the heck did I not ever see that? So, lost money. I NEVER carry that much cash, but had just recently cashed a large check so I could dole out some money to hubby, son and my petty cash/change drawer for a class I have coming up this weekend.

Sure, the money loss hurts a lot – but what really hurts is that I feel violated – and probably will continue to have to deal with this for weeks to come. I’ve helped a few of my clients ‘recover’ after such an incident, and hardly ever does it come out well.

Another thought here too that was tossed out to me. Our police force is somewhat reduced today because all extra officers have been called in to help with our President’s visit. Does the extraordinary day of crime happen in a lot of places where Political or Royal giants are in attendance? Are criminals capitalizing on our areas Presidential visit, knowing that police response time could be delayed? How many people have you seen speed up on the highway when they see an officer or two is busy writing citations? Yep, while the cat’s away, the mice will play. Not mice – RATS.

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5 Responses to “Crime in the Suburbs”

  1. Joyce Spurgin said

    You are living one of my nightmares. A friend of mine was on vacation with her husband & at some tourist attraction. She had left her purse in the car. Someone broke in, stole her purse, and their luggage.

  2. Kathy said

    Rhonda, I’m so sorry this happened. As you say, the feeling of violation is what really hurts. I appreciate your taking time not just to write about the crime, but to list steps to take when such things occur. Best wishes for a quick resolution.

  3. susanideus said

    Rhonda,
    I am sooooo sorry! What a mess for you to have to deal with. On lifewriters, there’s been a discussion of how one person’s actions can affect so many people. This is a perfect example. This doesn’t resemble the ripples-in-a-pond theory. This is more like a spider web, spreading everywhere. Thanks for taking the time not just to let us know what happened, but also how to deal with a similar incident ourselves. This is so rotten! I am just seething thinking about it–I can only imagine how you feel. Hang in there, dear one.

  4. Range Officer Rhonda said

    Update on this post: OK, I apologize to the police for my near sarcastic dismissal of having a ‘case report’. They followed up AGAIN today and are requesting the videos from Walmart, getting detailed description of where I went in the store and when – they are going to try and track me! Wow

    And on the HO insurance? They only cover $100 cash loss – not the $500 I mentioned, so I never stood a chance of getting anything back.

    Another thing – I mentioned all the auto draft items on my card? INSURANCE – medical – is on that card as well; and we all know how difficult it is to deal with insurance, right?

    I have to say though, other than management at the ‘store’, whom of the three CSM’s I talked too all showed at best a liesure, uncooperative denial attitude, all others have been helpful, friendly and quick to help – police, insurance, bank, credit card people. And I was blessed by a young waitor who bought my drink today because he could see something was troubling me. And then he told me God would bless me in some other way soon. Sometimes, my faith in people is restored.

  5. bchukran said

    Oh no! I’m so sorry this happened to you, Rhonda. I hope they catch the theif, even though I know it’s a long shot.

    We recently had a credit card number stolen, and had a helluva time because of all our automatic payments. It took us months to fix it all.

    We still don’t know how the culprit got our card number, either–which makes it even more disturbing.

    bobbi c.

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