Sunday, 23 January 2011

Thieving Indo Bastards

This post's title belays the fact that we almost had a wonderful day yesterday. It all started out so well; Oscar had his breakfast and watched some telly while Rae and I had a much deserved lie-in, then we all went out to Jos and Lisbeth's where the ladies spent the afternoon making six curry dishes while the men folk went out for walks and to watch a friendly football match down at one of the expat compounds, and then afterward returned to eat a fabulous meal composed of two chicken dishes, two beef, Bombay potatoes and dhal. After which Lisbeth produced cheesecake cupcakes, which we washed down with freshly ground coffee, for dessert.

However when we returned home at about 8pm the day went pear-shaped. Rae immediately noticed that the garage door, which she knew she had double locked, was open. When we went through the house she saw that the sliding side door was open and the lock was hanging on screws. I noticed that the window next to it was slightly open and the wooden window frame was ragged.

Inside Rae realised both our laptops were missing, so while I looked through the rest of the house she went straight to the bedroom. All the drawers in our wardrobe were pulled out and her side table door was open. That's when she knew all her jewellry (including all the Tiffany rings necklaces, bracelets, and earrings - plus her engagement ring - were gone).

I got her calmed down and went down to see Duncan, an Australian who lived round the corner. Though only a passing acquaintance he'd offered on our first meeting several months ago to help out whenever we him. He and his wife (an Indonesian as luck would have it) very graciously came up to the house, called security and briefed them while the police arrived. Within 30 minutes we had 4 compound security and 8 police (including the forensics guy from CSI Balikpapan) who very professionally went through the house. Photos were taken and prints were dusted for. Their eyebrows were raised when they saw that the Wii, media player and DVD player - all of which were mere feet from the perp's point of entry - were still there, and that none of the cash and travellers cheques (several thousand dollars worth), passports and credit cards hadn't been touched. Their immediate assumption was it was an inside job and the thieves knew exactly what they were looking for and where it was all kept.

The police already had a suspect in mind - someone Rae and I knew from when we first moved in. I won't name the little shit until he has been apprehended and a confession extracted. Indonesian interrogation techniques tend to leave more than just bruises, so I'm sure the culprits will get banged up pretty soon.

At around 10pm they asked me to come down to the police station to make a formal report, so Rae called Jos and Lisbeth to keep her company while Duncan and I went down to the local cop shop. As we were filling out the necessary paperwork (by which I mean Duncan - who speaks very good Indonesian - translated my comments) a detective went back to the house and re-interviewed Rae. His conclusion was that the thieves had a key, let themselves in, took what they wanted and then forced the sliding door, window and garage door to make it look like forced entry.

It was 1:30am when Duncan and I got back from the police station. He took me back to the house and we all sat down and had a beer to settle our nerves. Jos and Lisbeth had done a marvelous job of keeping Rae together, and I gratefully thanked them for their care. Duncan got my heartfelt thanks too for helping me through what would have been an absolutely awful experience had he not been there.

We are still tired and shaken up, but the outpouring of care we've had from the expat community has been amazing. We always knew that expats stick together like limpets on rocks but it's only when you are faced with something like this you realise how much we all care and look out for one another.

So to all of you who has called today to check if we are OK, and to everyone who is undoubtedly learning about our robbery on the bula grapevine - thank you for your kindness in this incredibly emotional experience.