We Were Robbed. Literally.


Well, we’ve been back exactly 10 months and to celebrate, our house was burgled.

Figures. Live right outside New York City for 15 years with never a peep of a problem, then move home to a little Yorkshire village where everyone assures us that burglary never usually happens, and get burgled!

We’re extremely lucky. The robbers thought the house was empty – we had just left about 15 minutes earlier – but we actually had a friend staying and he was at home. He was shocked to see a masked man burst into his bedroom, but not quite as shocked as the masked man was to see him. John leapt up and yelled at the robber, who turned and fled down the stairs shouting for his friends to run.

The police came right away but unfortunately the burglars had already escaped.

But here are all the ways we were lucky:

– Because they were interrupted, the thieves only got 2 laptops and an iPad, all of which are insured.
– Because it happened here in the UK, there were no guns involved
– John wasn’t hurt
– Our two cats were fine and didn’t get out (my worst worry to be honest)
– The house wasn’t trashed and no damage was done to our possessions.

The police were wonderful – efficient, kind, and very thorough. They think this same group has committed a few other burglaries within a 30-mile radius, so they really want to catch them. Therefore we had an armed response unit, a sniffer dog, CSI and CID along with the regular policeman who took our statement.

Everyone tells us that they can’t remember the last time a house in this village was burgled (just our luck!) and it seems the burglars were after jewelry because they made straight for the master bedroom and pulled out all the drawers. Sadly for them, neither of us wears any jewelry and we own nothing of great value. They grabbed the computers because they were lying on the bed, but they must have been a little disappointed in their haul. Should have picked another house, guys.

17 thoughts on “We Were Robbed. Literally.

  1. How dreadful for you, so glad to hear that your friend is okay and that what little was taken was insured. And good to know our “Bobbies” were so efficient. I worry that when we eventually move home, people will think we are well off because we have lived in the US…we already seem to get that reaction when we just visit, and like you, we don’t wear lots of jewellery, and we don’t make any overt display of wealth. I do hope you will be able to settle into your new home soon and leave this unpleasant experience behind you. And I hope the police soon catch those blighters!

    • Jan, I honestly think this was random and was triggered not by who we are but by the fact that our rented house had a really easy-to-break lock on the back door and high hedges that presented privacy for burglars. The police think they were watching for people leaving for work and then hitting whichever house was easy to access. Unfortunately that was ours. We now have a much better lock!

  2. Louise, I’m so glad you’re all okay! And the best part was, no guns. Imagine if it had been in the US where guns proliferate, your friend might have been shot. Without a gun, the best thing the robbers could do was just run–which they did–leaving everyone intact. Having your house broken into is a rotten feeling. My own house on the South Side of Chicago was broken into 6 (yes, 6) times when I was a child and so I longed for the blissful, safe summers that we spent with grandparents in Derbyshire. Things are changing in England, but at least there are very few guns and very few deaths by gunshot.
    Virginia A Smith, theyearoflivingenglishly.wordpress.com

  3. Wow, wow just like on TV. As you say you were so lucky someone was home. I hope they get these criminals. I think they know something about you but that could be any number of people. They probably know you are from the states. Think money here. They must have been watching the house because you don’t leave on a schedule.
    This is a wake up call.
    The cheek, wearing a mask!
    Not a nice thought but they could come back again.
    Don’t like guns huh? Me neither but I would have liked to have had one handy when they entered as a sort of welcome thing.
    Interesting that my American MIL had a necklace stolen when she was visiting a museum in York. It was an expensive necklace and was whipped right off her neck.

    • Cheers, imagine if you had that gun – in that scenario they would have had one too. And they would be younger and faster not to mention frightened. It doesn’t bear thinking about. We might not have our friend anymore today. So yeah, I don’t like guns.

      As for York, I see you one MIL and raise you my mum, who had her handbag, with all her credit cards, stolen on her very first night in America.

      I don’t believe they were watching the house, nor that they targeted us in particular. We live in an area where there are far bigger and more desirable properties, any one of which reeks of money. But they were looking for people leaving, we did, and they had an easy way in due to a crappy lock. That’s all it was.

      Now they’ve seen that we don’t have any valuable, I don’t think there’s any reason for them to come back.

  4. So sorry to hear your news. You are so right, you almost expect it in the states but Yorkshire, not so much.

    Glad you and the furries are okay.

    Sonia – contents in the container and on their way back – we fly home next week, hooray!

    • Sonia, that’s great!! Congratulations. Despite this hiccup, this is the best thing we have done for ourselves in our entire lives. I hope you are as happy as we are when you get back πŸ™‚

      We learned from the cops that North Yorkshire has the lowest per capita crime rate of any county in England, so yes … unlucky!

  5. Sorry this happened to you. I was robbed once and the feeling of invasion stayed with me for quite awhile. I hope you feel safer now that you have a secure lock. I’m so glad nothing happened to your friend and your ‘fur faces’ – that would be my biggest worry, too. Peace to you and yours!

  6. How frightening, Louise! I hope your friend isn’t too shaken by the experience. What good timing that you’ll be moving soon – it could to hard to ever feel safe again in this place, even though you know these people aren’t coming back.

    • It’s funny but it hasn’t really bothered me too much. I suppose when the neighbors find out we’re moving, they’ll think it’s because of this!

  7. I hope this experience doesn’t unnerve you too much. The main thing is that you, your husband and your pets are all ok. Is it possible to add an alarm? I’m not sure if you have moved in to your new house yet. Let’s hope the police find the culprits so that you can continue to enjoy all the UK has to offer.

    • No, we’re still in the rented house so we can’t upgrade security here. But we’re fine. It’s just one of those unlucky things. We’re still having a blast πŸ™‚

  8. Sorry to hear this and glad to hear that everyone is fine including your two cats. We don’t have any valuable items at home that would cost us financial hardship other than some sentimental items without actual financial value. Like you, my only concern is my catting getting out.

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