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Had a fright!

Last night, in bed, I heard a noise. Strange noises are not that unusual, because sometimes the house just “settles” as it cools after the heating and hot water have gone off - it could have been a pipe creaking. Also I have a flock of starlings in the loft. Sometimes they get restive in the night, and squabble and fidget a bit, even though it’s not yet bird-wake-up-time.

So even though the noise did not sound exactly the same as usual, I thought: “OK, pipes or starlings - one or the other.”

I lay awake and listened for a while - I think I even switched the light on - but no more was heard, so I surfed the net for a bit, before going back to sleep.

Thought no more about it, until I came down this morning, and it was freezing, and the kitchen door was wide open! I don’t mean just unlocked - which I’ve done any number of times - It was actually open.

Yes, I did pop outside the back door to put some rubbish out last night, and I’m positive I must have forgotten to lock up.

BUT, I have never known, in years of living here, the door just to “pop open”, even if it was unlocked.

So obviously, I panicked - expected to find the laptop gone - or my purse and cards.

Nothing seems to have been taken, or even moved - though it was a great mess to begin with, so hard to be sure - but you know your own mess, don’t you, and if anyone’s been tampering with it, so I would say no.

So now I don’t understand what happened. Did somebody come in, see I’ve got nothing of great value (all the technology’s well outdated - the laptop’s the newest thing, but even that’s nearly three years old), and decide: “S*d it, it’s not worth it?” Were they scared off when my light went on, or they heard sounds of me stirring?

Or is it not a person at all? My cat, Daisy (long since gone) used to be able to open the kitchen door (if it was unlocked) by swinging on the handle! So is that what’s happened here? There are many local cats who show an interest, and often try to come in out of the cold. Could it have been one of them?

I don’t understand how the door could possibly just “pop open”, but I also don’t understand why an intruder - if human - would touch nothing and leave. My money’s here, my mobile phone’s here - all easy pickings.

Obviously it’s a lesson to me that I must be more careful - not only to lock the back door, but not to assume a noise in the night is birds or pipes. But equally, I must try not to upset myself when no harm appears to have been done. They must be very strange burglars if they didn’t even snatch my handbag - which was in plain view. I fully understand they wouldn’t bother with a 20-year-old CRT TV, and a stereo almost as old! They haven’t touched the CD collection either (not to everybody’s taste!)

So is the “cat” theory it? I’ve even checked the door keys: I wondered if the plan was simply to snatch those, so they could come back at their leisure (i.e. when I’m out) and take their time.

But the door keys are still in my handbag, with the phone & cards etc.

Really weird. Definitely nobody is hiding in here waiting to stab me - I’d have found them by now - or they me. I know it’s my own stupid fault I left the door unlocked - but that bit, at least, I understand. I don’t understand about it being opened, but nothing touched. Even my passport is still here (I only just thought of that), so that rules out it being ID they were after, more than valuables.

Tina

Oh Tina,

You’ve given yourself one he** of a fright there, I am pleased nothing’s been taken and it looks like no one has been in.

A few weeks ago I left my keys in the front door, must have been there for about 2 hours, not advisable where I live!! I have never done that before, I though that was bad enough.

You may never know the answers though, take care & be careful,

Cherry xx

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OMG Tina,

That is really scary I guess you may never know exactly how the door got opened. Thank God nothing got stolen or you didn’t end up face to face with anyone.

I bet you are really shaken up, I had a scare a few years ago that a burglar was casing my house, so am probably a bit OCD now checking all the doors are secure downstairs pre bed but it’s easy done when your really tired to forget.

Might be worth logging it with the local police just incase you later discover something is missing.

Hope the rest of your day is stress free.

Snowqueen

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Thanks, Snowqueen. I’m not going to tell the police unless I find anything missing, because they will have to come round and see the state the place is in (not caused by burglars), and also I will have to admit being an idiot and leaving the door unlocked, and get a lecture about that!

So all seems a bit pointless unless I later discover something missing.

There doesn’t seem much left to check. Clearly, if a major appliance or piece of gadgetry was gone, it would be instantly noticeable. None of my jewellery appears to be missing - it was all upstairs anyway, but some of it in plain view - such as my rings on the handbasin.

My passport’s still here, all the contents of my handbag. Is there something I haven’t thought of that would be a target for thieves? I honestly don’t think I’ve got much. Oh, camera’s here - just checked. Watch is on me - LoL!

Tina

x

Hi Tina

It was quite a windy night last night. You forgot to lock your door yes? if was not pushed shut properly then my guess is it’s blown open from the wind and everything is ok.

Like you say though, a reminder for to lock your door

It is scary though, when you live on your own and these things happen.

xx

3 Likes

Thanks Blossom,

I did notice it was a bit gusty at times last night, so I’ve been trying to persuade myself that yes, that’s all that happened, and that must have been the noise I heard. However, I have never known the unlocked door fly open unexpectedly before, which makes it still a bit odd.

It normally latches on quite firmly, and needs a definite push of the handle to open - it’s not one of those doors that often doesn’t quite close, unless you double-check.

It’s far from the first time I’ve left it unlocked - I think everybody’s done it once or twice. I’ve always told myself I’d have to be exceptionally unlucky for someone to try it, just on the night I’ve left it unlocked. But I’m still unclear if that’s what’s happened.

I’m half amused by the thought some prowlers have taken a look and thought: “God, there’s nothing worth it here - let’s go!”

I have some stuff that was cutting edge once, but I never replace anything just because it’s old or outdated, but only if it wears out/breaks. So a burglar would find little with much market value - who’s going to want 2005’s latest thing in 2015?

Tina

x

That’s it Tina, definitely no burglars. I reckon they would have felt so sorry for you, they would have had a whip round and left you something. They are very choosy now yah knows. They don’t deal any old thing

xx

you hadn’t closed the kitchen door properly and it blew open - end of story.

but what are you doing with a ‘flock of starlings’ in the loft?

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The starlings get in through the eves. They are an endangered species, so you’re not allowed to harm or remove them.

I wouldn’t wish to harm them anyway, but I might wish to remove them!

T.

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Oh Tina

That sounds very scary.

It sounds like after you put the rubbish out you didn’t actually shut the door but thought you had and it hadn’t actually shut properly. The noises would probably be the wind blowing the door open.

I bet you will go into OCD mode at bed time and make sure the door is locked.

I hope you sleep well tonight and are not lead awake worrying.

Take care.

Shazzie xx

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Very unsettling Tina, it’s just as well you are sensible and rational in your thoughts this kind of thing could unnerve a lot of people. I’m also a bit lax in my habits of locking up at night, my back door is always locked but I often forget about the front door. Perhaps now is the time for you, me and everyone else to get into the habit of locking the door on entering the house. My mum always does this but it took me a long time to get her to take the key out of the door as well. I was worried about not being able to use my key to get in if she needed help.

I Fainted/passed out a few weeks ago and my son insisted I get care call from the local authority set up (£16 ish). I am not happy about it but while reading your post it occurred to me if anyone ever broke in while I was in the house I could activate the alarm and this would perhaps scare the burglars into leaving quickly.

Jan x

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Sorry £16 is a month.

Jan x

After this, I’m sure I will be extra vigilant about it for the next few days, or even weeks, Jan, but if I’m honest, I know I will eventually forget again - it’s bound to happen. You’ve only got to be a bit tired or distracted one night, to forget to do it. I think you’re right I need to make a point of locking up as soon as I come back inside. I think what’s happened is I’ve forgotten I’ve popped outside at all, so didn’t realise the door needed locking, because the usual default would be locked.

Tina

x

I do hope you’re right, but it’s still strange that the door has never before blown open by itself in over 25 years of living here. Particularly in Summer, when I’m in and out a lot, the door is often unlocked all day - I’ve never had it fly open and give me a fright, because I hadn’t closed it properly, so I don’t think it’s such an easy thing to happen.

I’ve just experimented a bit with deliberately only half-closing it, to see what would happen, and it swung open again immediately, so surely I’d have noticed that before retiring to bed? Not least, there would’ve been a draught coming from somewhere! Would I really have not noticed it’s getting chilly?

Very strange.

T.

x

that sounds like a good idea from jan… i’ve nothing to add except i’m sorry to hear that happened to you. i would have pooped myself…

take care and remember to lock up!

fluffyollie xx

p.s. found this for you, to try and raise a smile: When a man attempted to siphon petrol from a motor home parked on a Seattle street, he got much more than he bargained for. Police arrived at the scene to find an ill man curled up next to a motor home trying to steal gasoline and plugged his hose into the motor home’s sewage tank by mistake. The owner of the vehicle declined to press charges, saying that it was the best laugh he’d ever had.

ha ha!!

love it fluffyollie

fancy going out to steal some sh*t!

i’ll be tittering about this all day now.

carole x

Thanks Fluffyollie,

I keep wanting to use your initials for short, but it looks really rude, doesn’t it? Bet you never thought of that when you chose a screen name!

I think the worst moment - after realising the door was open at all - was looking round to see what was gone, as I was so sure something would be.

And also realising “that noise” - which I must admit, I had been a bit suspicious about - wasn’t pipes or birds. You get used to your home’s little noises - all homes have them, I’m sure - and it didn’t sound quite like the usual, but wasn’t so blatantly unusual that I was sure anything was wrong.

I’m not sure it would have been wise to get up if I had thought there was anyone in the house. Probably best to hope they’ll just grab want they want and leave, rather than risk a confrontation. I would probably just stay under the bedclothes, and hope they’re no keener to meet me than I am to meet them!

Haha about the would-be petrol thief. Comes to something when people are too stupid even to be criminals! Bet he never tried that one again!

Tina

x

Are you sure you don’t sleep walk? Or have an absolutely terrible memory?

Burglars would definitely have grabbed your handbag. I actually think it was probably a stronger gust of wind than normal and that you don’t need to worry. That sort of weather doesn’t happen much in the summer.

I always double check both doors are locked but as we have a dog I’m not usually that worried about burglary. We have left the back door unlocked a few times when we’re out (with the dog) but have always been very lucky.

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No, I’m sure I don’t sleepwalk, although neuro has asked it before. Funny question, I thought. Is it common in MS or something?

I’m sure I was lying in bed and heard the kitchen door come open, without it crossing my mind that’s what it must be. To me it was just “a strange noise”. I think I was asleep at the time, so it was enough for me to wake up and think: “That’s a bit odd - sounds like it could have been in the house” (rather than the loft). But I’m quite sure I didn’t go downstairs, open it in a dream, and return to bed.

Tina

Hi that must have given you a scare, ive left the door unlocked a few times but thankfully its a quiet area and nothing happened

i have a small bell on the door that you can switch on and odd but it also has a trembler that sets off a high pitched alarm off if the door is banged or rattled i bought it on ebay it didnt cost much and attaches with sticky pads it might help to put something like this in the door for piece of mind.

Barbara.xx