Stolen from the City – Counting the Cost of a House Break-In

Hi folks,

In my last post I mentioned that I’d been broken into, but it was all still a bit too raw to write about. Now, a week or so after the fact, I’m feeling more like talking about it and, in a blog which is essentially about money, it seems right to look at the impact that being broken into has on finances. We’re still sorting through the insurance etc and haven’t yet got a clear idea of how much we’ll be out of pocket exactly, but here are the gory details, together with a round-up of what we lost.

Bascially we were broken into during the night, whilst asleep. Yuk. And the scary thing is we heard nothing. The guy jemmied open the front window, which had two locks on it, and basically jumped into the living room. Police reckon he’d have been in and out of the house in seconds. And because we’d just returned from holiday that night and dumped our bags in the hall before going up to bed, intending to sort everything in the morning, he had easy pickings. So, we lost a laptop, phone, camera, Ipod, a watch, house keys, purse, make-up bag, car keys and – the car. Yep, bonanza for the burglar, who stole the keys then went outside and nicked the car as well.

The worst bit has been losing both the camera and laptop, and therefore all pics of baby Skint. That’s the stuff that can’t be replaced. So, we’re now in the process of dealing with the insurance to recover what we can, and taking photos of baby Skint like mad to make up for lost time. I couldn’t wait for the insurance money coming through to replace the camera – some things are too important and with baby getting bigger every day, I’m now snapping photos like mad in an effort to make up for losing all the ones from the early weeks. I swear she’s going to think the camera’s part of my body soon, cos she never sees me without it now.

There was a lot of other stuff on the laptop too which has gone forever. (Not very optimistic about getting anything back). So, onwards. We’ll replace what we can and start over with the stuff we can’t. What else is there to do, eh? And at least everyone chez Skint is  fine. As a pal pointed out, it was a good thing in a way that my bag and laptop were in the hall, because had they not been, the burglar might have ventured further trying to find stuff.

dealing with burglaries

Cat burglars – not as cute as they look . . .

With insurances not yet settled – we’re dealing with two, both home and car – what’s the damage, financially? More than we’ll ever get back, of course, because insurance is a business and the customer doesn’t tend to win. Whilst we’ll recoup money eventually for many of the contents, there are excesses and depreciation and all sorts of other costs that insurance doesn’t shell out for, like getting an emergency locksmith out on the Sunday morning that the break-in was discovered. But from what we’ve totted up so far we’re looking at this:

Camera – £120

Smartphone- £200

Laptop – approx £500

New locks on all doors, Sunday rates – more than £400  

Ipod – £130

Make-up – £130

Spare reading glasses – £54

Vintage watch – beautiful and irreplaceable. Don’t know how insurance will value it, but meant a lot to me.

Handbag – £65

Purse – £30

Car – £1100. Not the newest on the block by any means, but it will cost much more to replace than we’ll get from insurance.

New roofbox – £250. Just fitted for going on holiday, it had been on the car for 9 days!

Kids car seats – £250. Again, one was new, but at least we have the receipt.

All the assorted gubbins that you carry around in the car – you know, picnic blanket, a buggy, all of our maps, umbrellas, my gym bag etc. Several times since the break-in I’ve started looking for something, then remembered it was in the boot of the car.

The car had also just had three new tyres fitted for going on holiday, so we can wave bye-bye to that cash (£190). On the upside however, we hadn’t gotten round to renewing the road tax, which expired a couple of days ago. Ha, take that thief! Now you’re driving around illegally! Even more illegally than before! Bet that’s got him worried. I’d love to know what happened to the car. It was hardly the speediest or most desirable model on the road, so who knows what it was used for? Where do ten year old stolen Astras go to die?

There was also other stuff lost which is just a pain – squillions of points on my Boots Advantage card which I was saving up; ditto the Nectar card and other assorted loyalty cards. Oh and a gift card for Next that we’d been given as a baby present.  

Anyway, enough! We’re actually doing fine, just sorting things out bit by bit. After all, they’re just things and can all be replaced (apart from the photos, that’s the real stinger for me). And I’ve learnt some lessons for the future, like checking the small print on insurance clauses and making sure to record serial numbers of all electronic goods to make it easier for the police to trace. Friends have been lovely, above all dearest Lorna and Alan who lent us their car till we got another – thank you so much, guys.

Thanks for indulging me folks – I promise to make the next post cheerier! Already coming up with new plans to make some more cash – Skint, but not out! So, there we have it. A rubbish week or so, but it’s over and done with now. What about you, Skint pals, have you ever had the misfortune to be broken into? Or do you have any super-duper burglary prevention tips to share? Go on, do cheer me up with a comment.

Skint xx

PS – A bit of good news: there’s still time to enter the Groupon giveaway which closes on Friday.  Entries have been coming thick and fast and I’ll be announcing the winner at the weekend.  

 

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About Skint in the City

Skint in the City provides stylish, practical tips and advice on how to live the high life on a shoestring budget.

5 thoughts on “Stolen from the City – Counting the Cost of a House Break-In

  1. […] a big conifer tree outside the front of the house, but we chopped it down this summer after the break-in. We didn’t want to give another burglar someplace cosy to hide, so this year I’ve had […]

  2. […] with kids, sorting out some IT stuff with this site and still trying to tie up loose ends from the break-in. But can’t complain, I’ve ticked loads off the list for once (though only about half of […]

  3. Susan

    Hideous experience for you all Ashley. Some things don’t merit a positive spin! I really hope you get as much back on the insurances as you can. My top tips….stone chips in the front garden are meant to put burglars off due to the noise and of course a dog! xx

    • Aw, thanks Susan. Stone chips is a brilliant idea – I guess that’s why big posh houses often have gravel drives . . . And a dog, yes, had Ronnie been here we’d have been fine. You guys should start a hire-a-dog business and market it as a burglary prevention service! Lots of love. Hope all well, xxx

  4. Meg

    I’m so glad you’re feeling a bit better. Keep snapping away!

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