Jan 7, 2011 at around 7:30 AM. A burglar broke into my room while I was sleeping, took my laptop and cellphone and almost got away.
The sound of the door opening and the sudden change in the air woke me up. I noticed that my laptop, which I placed on a box beside my bed, is gone. Impulsively, my mind said someone is playing a prank on me. Then I realized, I barely know anyone in the compound. Worried, I ran out to the street half-naked and looked for any suspicious individual carrying a laptop. None.
Feeling defeated, I ran back to my room. I saw a man jumped off the backyard fence. I knew it was the burglar. I ran for him but my lame body wasn’t strong enough to climb over the fence. He shouted, “It’s not me.” But he added, “I left your laptop over there.” pointing towards the beaten table left outside to rot.
A quick glance and I saw the laptop inside a cellophane. He must have planned to sneak the laptop through the main gate. Then I shouted at him, “You’re dead if I ever see you again!” He dashed off to somewhere.
Instinctively, I picked up the laptop and brought it back to my room. Dazed and confused, I grabbed my toothbrush and started brushing my teeth. Other boarders came out of their rooms, having been awakened by my really loud voice.
The landlady asked what happened so I told her that a thief broke into my room and tried to steal my laptop. Then she asked me something that never crossed my mind, “How about your cellphone.” I didn’t know what to answer so I said, “It’s fine.” Her husband came out and asked if I can identify the burglar should I see him again. I said yes.
The burglar is barely 5 feet tall. Wearing a black beanie or hat, a black long sleeve shirt and tight black jeans. One could easily pick this man out of a place where students number more than locals.
We, me, the other boarders and the landlady’s husband, patrolled the area looking for such person when someone tipped us that a man was caught in the other block while climbing over a fence. We so we went there to check it out. When we arrived, the man was was brought to another block where he has managed to escape.
We went back to the compound. I felt thankful that the thief has not managed to escape with the laptop. Things settled down for a few minutes and I started to prepare my things for work. A fish vendor informed us that a suspicious man was caught many blocks away. The police came (I have no idea who called them.) and escorted us to the location where the man was caught. There he is…the burglar handcuffed by the community.
The people found my cellphone but it was all wet. Now it’s dead.
Without the help of the community, this man would have continued to break into someone’s home and steal. He’s currently in jail and I’m pursuing a case to put him behind bars.
According to some sources, the burglar has been caught many times but victims didn’t bother to file the case. Later that day, the burglar seemed friendly and we even talked.
I hold no grudge against him but as a citizen it’s my responsibility to bring this man to justice. What a pity. He must have been really desperate (for whatever reason) to steal.
- Shout. This will alert neighbors and the community.
- Keep your presence of mind.
- Install, at least, 2 locks.