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To be too scared to go into this house?

(12 Posts)
Rolf Thu 28-Mar-13 00:36:54

My Dad died last year. His house was burgled a few weeks after he died. The police thought the burglars had been watching us. I was very nervous going back in the house after that, but eventually my brother and I managed to finish clearing the house and we put it on the market.

I live locally and I go past the house pretty much every day. I look at it as I go past to see that the door and gate look closed, and there isn't anything obviously amiss. But I don't go in every day. Partly because it's really sad and depressing, and partly because I still get really nervous when I'm there.

I had a phone call from the police this evening saying that a neighbour had reported that the back door was open. The police went in and some floorboards have been taken up in each room and the copper piping taken. I haven't seen it yet but it sounds like the boiler has been taken too. The police have made it secure for me and I'm to meet the police there in the morning.

I'm absolutely terrified about going back into the house. I don't want to see what's been taken and what damage they've done. I don't want to have to arrange for improved security - I'll have to wait in the house for tradesmen and I'll be wondering if I'm being watched. I guess we'll have to tell the estate agent to hold back on any viewings whilst we sort it out. I'm really shaky and I can't sleep.

Poppet48 Thu 28-Mar-13 00:44:16

That's good the police are meeting you there, could you not arrange to go there with friends/family every time you needed to pop in? I would find it extremely uncomfortable too in your situation.

Very sorry about what has happened OP and I hope it gets sorted out soon sad

Rolf Thu 28-Mar-13 00:46:45

I'm going to talk to my brother about it. He could make a detour on his way to or from work, to check on it. We're not likely to be available at the same time so couldn't do it together.
Thanks for posting smile

dollyindub Thu 28-Mar-13 00:48:33

You poor thing. How horrible.
Scumbag burglars angry
Is there anyone who can wait with you, or visit with you each time you go to the house? Can the police advise you what to do?
Sorry for the loss of your dad btw.

samithesausage Thu 28-Mar-13 00:50:32

Is there any way you can short term let the property, just so there are people occupying it? If people are watching the property as you say, and they see "life" they lose interest and back off.
Perhaps you could hire a gardener to maintain a presence, so people see the garden being done they assume someone is on the propery regularly.

ThatVikRinA22 Thu 28-Mar-13 00:56:46

metal theft is huge at the minute, im so sorry you are being put through this.

expect a mess. The last one i went to they hadnt even bothered to turn the water off before they ripped the pipes out....

bastards. it wont get them that much either. shame no neighbours heard them - ive caught a few bang at it now and we have a very scary dog man with dog with a very sharp end....

are you insured? check if you can claim.
i would also say dont go alone - not for fear of danger, but it may be distressing.
honestly - the last 2 i caught knicking copper piping were about 17 and 2 of the wettest, least scary looking idiots you could imagine. They were doing it for beer money.

dont be imagining great big hairy blokes....they ll be streaks of piss that couldnt punch their way out of a paper bag. i promise.

dont be scared.
if you can claim on insurance get the best locks etc you and have a word with all the neighbours to keep an eye out.
maybe get those cheap alarms that go off if doors/windows are opened. they are loud, but not expensive.

ask the neighbourhood police about them - sometimes ours give them out for free. Also talk to your neighbourhood police anyway - make them aware - they could just let the PCSOs know and give it a bit of passing attention.

EchoBitch Thu 28-Mar-13 01:05:37

Not U at all to be upset and worried.

My Mum died last year and we still have the house waiting to be sold.

I keep the front and back grass cut and the garden tidy so it looks used and lived in.

We are lucky enough to have good neighbours who have my phone number and would let us know (and the Police) if there were a problem.

It's hard,but going in regularly means anyone watching might think someone is living there are would be put off robbing.

I finally finished off getting my Mum's furniture moved this week,there is nothing there to take.

EchoBitch Thu 28-Mar-13 01:08:13

Vicar is right.

Any sort of alarm is good,any noise will send them running.

Jojobump1986 Thu 28-Mar-13 01:18:24

You could get a plug-in timer that you plug a lamp into & program it to turn the light on & off at appropriate times in the evening. If you do that though, make sure you set it to slightly odd times like 6.08pm rather than on the hour just to make it look a little less staged! We do this when we go away & it makes me feel like the house is safer! smile

Rolf Thu 28-Mar-13 01:20:40

Vicar - that's the attitude I need! Thanks smile
We have buildings insurance but not contents. I'll definitely take advice about improving security.
The house isn't really habitable. The wiring is unsafe. The water is turned off at the mains.
There's a for sale board and it's obvious from the estate agent pictures that the house is unoccupied. It's v delapidated and on a busy road so pretty visible.
The police were great last time.
Thanks for the kind posts.

ThatVikRinA22 Thu 28-Mar-13 01:34:47

youre welcome. just sorry i cant do more. do talk to your neighbourhood bobbies.
buildings insurance should cover it - thats usually for the fabric of the property so look into that.

you need good locks.
noisy alarms (cheap, but they do make a hell of a racket if a door or window is opened!)
good neighbours who will keep an eye and ear out
and timers are a good idea....get some cheapo curtains up (nets are good) and get a lamp or two coming on.

Rolf Thu 28-Mar-13 13:21:23

Oh my goodness, who'd have thought there was so much to take! They've taken the boiler, and taken up floorboards in almost every room and removed the copper pipes.

The good news:
we'd had the water turned off so the house isn't soaking
we have the serial number of the boiler
they left behind some bags of copper
they left DNA grin

They were disturbed by a neighbour who called the police. The neighbours are lovely and have been keeping an eye on the house, and it's on a busy road so I am utterly bemused at how no-one noticed anyone carrying a BOILER and loads of pipes out of a back door, through a side gate and into a van.

There's an alarm being fitted right now.

I still haven't heard from an investigating officer so don't have a crime number, and don't know who they've spoken to, but I guess that will come.

Thanks so much for the support last night. It took me ages to get to sleep.

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