Sunday, December 4, 2011

Robbed, tips for being prepared

I know it's been awhile, sorry for my silence. What I am about to share is not a vintage post, please forgive me. I feel the need to express these things in the hope for healing. We were robbed. There I said it. Home doesn't feel the same to me, as I look out my window I feel a bit blue. Among the items taken were most of my fine jewelry, including my wedding ring. These pieces that were stolen were like old friends to me. We spent  years together, some pieces were engraved, they all were very personal, intentionally bought and meaningful.  They were given to me, on our wedding day, for my college graduation, and at the birth of my sons. The feelings I have are hard to work through.  I am doing my best to wipe off every tract of the word "victim" that has embedded into my forehead, for I know that what happens to me is not who I am.  I refuse to live with that word plastered across me in neon lights. I know it will take time to recover. I learned the hard way, the cost was great. I made a list for you. Here are a few tips for hanging onto your stuff and being prepared just in case.

1. Like in real estate, Think LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION. Find a good place to put your jewelry and valuables.  It's best not to hide your jewelry inside your bedroom. Most theifs will  look there first.  My stuff was in my dresser drawer, under the bed and in my closet. A better place for these items would be a safe or a hidden compartment within a wall.

2. Keep your business quiet. If you have money hidden somewhere, don't tell anyone! It's takes only one person to leak out information that can cause you to become a target.

3. No matter how long you have done business with a company, their employees can change, so remember to watch them carefully while they are in your home. You may consider a video camera. The police told us that a man just last week had 50,000 dollar of jewelry stolen from him, but he had got it all on tape.

4. Please keep your receipts for any jewelry you buy. This was my BIGGEST mistake. I  am still looking for certain receipts that my insurance requires for proof. The amount of time getting "proof" that I owned anything is turning into days.  Your are busy, so get that stuff in order now. One file in your cabinet can save you a lot of grief.

5. Take pictures and video. I have a lot of pictures of me wearing my jewels, but not one straight on, close up shot of my emerald ring that was stolen. It's good to do this every couple of years for good record keeping. This is also good proof to an insurance company that you really owned a item.

6. Get appraisal and have them on file. Thankfully my wedding ring has an appraisal and hopefully I won't need to fight with the insurance to pay for another one.

7. Insure your things with a replacement policy. I brought a gold chain 8 years ago for 400.00 dollars, that same chain at the store is 2500.00 dollars now. I could never replace anything with 400.00 dollars. Gold prices are skyrocketing.

8. Decide if the real thing is worth it to you. Sometimes it's better to own costume jewelry and not be a target. As I look back, my family could have been hurt because of these few items that I owned. They are my true treasures for sure.

My hope is that you all have a safe Christmas season and that this post was helpful to you! I should be back soon with some vintage pajamas and sewing projects.

Have a wonderful vintage day!



  1. Oh, Gina, I am so sorry to hear this terrible news. I do hope that God heals the pain in your heart. Thank you for caring enough to share your tips with us. I'll say a prayer that God would comfort you and bring you peace.

  2. I am sorry this happened to you. I have a few tips to add, since my loss was a fire. Our house burnt down and there were several lessons learned. Keeping all those records and receipts is a good idea, but keep them in a safe deposit at a bank. Safe deposit boxes are cheap and you should keep papers and records there. Also keep your computer backed up, either in the 'cloud' or onto a hard drive that is also in that safe deposit box.
    Send copies of your favorite pictures to family members, that way you can get duplicates if needed.
    Always have "replacement value" insurance, if you aren't sure ask your insurance company, it's important for jewelry, it's vital for your whole household.
    Time does help. I hope you feel better soon.

  3. I am so sorry to hear what has happened. Thank you for sharing Gina. This must be a very difficult time for you and your altruism is inspiring. Look after yourself and your family xx

  4. I'm so sorry this has happened to you Gina. Take care that it doesn't get you down too much, easier said than done I know. Good to hear your family is safe and well.
    Looking forward to seeing what you are sewing!

  5. How terrible! I'm so sorry to hear that. Thank you for thinking of us though and sharing your advice. I'm just glad to hear that no one was harmed.

  6. Ugh! What ahorrible thing to happen to you. Sorry that you're going through all this. We were almost broken into TWICE. Once in Texas while we were sleeping and once in London while we were away. What saved us? Our home alarms. I will never ever live at a place without one. The alarm scared the burglars off before they got anything. But even though they didn't steal anything our home has never felt the same at either place. I am always hyper vigilant of noises and shadows. And it sucks to behave like that at home.

    Hope things start brightening up for you!

  7. I'm so sorry. I don't own a lot of fine jewelry myself but I know I'd be crushed if my wedding ring got stolen.

  8. Gina I'm so sorry. Big hugs to you and thankfulthat your "true treasures" are safe and sound.
    God Bless.

  9. Oh I'm so sorry and I so identify.

    Years back (just at this time of year in fact) when I still lived with my parents, we were broken into and all they took was jewellery. They left some really good silver items but took everything gold including cufflinks and a wedding ring my gran had given to me after the death of my much loved grandfather only a short time before. It must've been obvious they would be precious as they were in a little vintage cufflink box on the dressing table in an obviously teenage girl's room! They could've taken every other item I owned if they'd left those. Also the thought they'd been through my things was horrible.

    The feelings do ease, they really do, but it does change how you see 'things'. I always put a lot of sentimental importance on jewellery but I've been less inclined to do so ever since that happened. Items were replaced, but they're just bits of jewellery and meaningless.

    Good tips though. Especially on the receipts. It does make life easier. And get records/values for any vintage pieces. Anything really precious to you, either wear it or hide it well.

    Oh, and the only thing they missed was a vintage opal and diamond ring that my mum had stashed in a drawer convinced it was bad luck (opals!). They even turned the drawer out and missed it! She sold it soon after, even more convinced the ring was jinxed! :)

    (sorry for the long comment, but your post struck a chord. I hope the bad feelings subside soon - it takes a while, but they do)

  10. I'm so sorry that you've had to go through this, I had my car broken into and all of the contents stolen recently and that was hard enough, so I cannot imagine how difficult everything must be for you right now. You are clearly a very strong woman so I'm sure you won't let this beat you. Thank you for this post, I'm sure it will help a lot of people, and remember that living well is the best revenge. Whoever did this to you will get what's coming to them eventually.

  11. That's terrible Gina. I'm glad no one was hurt, and the losses are things that can in some way be replaced (although I know it's not the same). I hope you will be feeling better very soon.

  12. Gina, my friend,

    This is dreadful... to happen to ANYone is dreadful. Oh, my goodness. I am deeply sorry for your loss, but I am even more grateful that no physical harm came to any member of your family. I can only imagine your pain.

    I recently left an iPad in the seat pocket on a flight. I was furious with myself for my failure(s) and irresponsibility, but I felt almost a hopelessness in my fellow man whenever the clean up crew discovered that the book I was reading was still in the seat pocket but that the iPad was gone-- STOLEN!

    All the times I've been honest. All the times I told someone, "Uh, I think you just dropped that 5-dollar bill, M'am." All the times I returned the too-much change the clerk mistakenly gave me.

    Then I remembered that I've not always been honest. That I was once even a thief. That I made a whole lot of mistakes in my life. My prayer is that the thief would change his/her mind, stop doing that wrong, steal no more.

    There's not a single thing I can do to change what they did; it's done. I just pray that their future looks different and they'll repent and give their life over to a God Who loves them but hates their sin.

    I deeply appreciate your wise advice. I'm going to take the action you prescribe and hope and pray I never have a need for "proof" or "evidence."

    I have a question: Do you feel perhaps that any info you may've shared on your blog HELPED the thieves? I've been reading accounts lately of this fact, so just wondered. Adds yet another cautionary aspect in this horrifying event in your otherwise peaceful, generous lives.

    Praying for you ALL, Gina dear. xo

  13. I am SOOO sorry to hear that! My thoughts are with you. I hope you are able to regain the sense of home that you had before. All the best
    Zoe x

  14. I'm so sorry this happened to you, especially in this season of the year. I hope you're able to find all the paperwork you need quickly.

  15. I am so sorry to hear your terrible news, Gina! I wish I could help you out in some way. :( Thank you so much for the information too, as I now have to seriously think about how we store things and just what is precious to us in the long run. Let me know if I can help!

  16. Oh Gina so sorry this happened to you. Thanks for all the tips and what you learned going through this. The best to you and your family to try and move past this invasion of privacy. Nan

  17. Yes, you do feel victimized and angry...then you realize that even though all those things you have lost mean a great deal, the most important one is that you are all well and together.

    I am sorry that this has happened. It is such an invasion, such an intrusion that never completely leaves you...but always remember that things are just that. Yes, they had a great deal of meaning to you, but you and your family are safe and that is such a blessing.

    Stay calm and take your time looking for those receipts. You are a woman with such a strong faith Gina, focus on that dear friend.

    My prayers are with you.


  18. That's really terrible, and I'm so sorry. You made a wise comment that perhaps your family could have been hurt because some thief knew you had that stuff. A commentor also mentioned that maybe your blog alerted somebody that you had this stuff. Anyway, I'm really sorry this happened to you. Actress Sophia Loren was robbed of all her very expensive jewelry once, never got it back, but her husband told her "never cry over something that can't cry over you." I hope in time you will feel a bit better. This is sad for you.

  19. I am so blow away with your kindness and encouragement. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart. Your words have helped me to see this whole ordeal in a new light. Every single comment was so helpful. I think in the future I want to let go of these things and live more simple. You have been such a gift to me in ways I can't even express. Hugs to you all thank you very much for your prayers.

  20. I'm sorry to hear this has happened to you and your family! :( It is my prayer that you find relief from this situation as soon as you can.

  21. Sorry to hear / read this news. I'll be sending prayers and good thoughts that your home will feel comfortable and safe again. Thanks for the tips, hugs.

  22. Dear Gina: I am so, so saddened by this news!!! My prayers and thoughts are with you. *hugs*

  23. I'm so sorry to hear that you have been robbed. It happened to me once too and all my valuable belongings were taken in one sweep but what I hated even more was the feeling that someone I didn't know had rooted through my apartment. However, the most important thing is that you and your family are safe. All else can be replaced. Hope you are feeling better!

  24. Oh my goodness Gina, I am so so sorry to hear this news! I'm sure you must be feeling so upset, vunerable and angry - I know I would be!! Thank you for the very useful and sensible advice, which I definitley will be taking onboard!
    I do hope you are able to persuade the insurance companies...after such an awful event its so frustrating to have to also deal with them!

  25. I'm so very sorry to learn of your bad fortune. Things like this do make a person feel violated, there's no doubt about that. I pray you'll find whatever receipts or photos you require to satisfy the insurance company.

    God bless-

  26. I am just seeing this post, I am so very sorry this happened to you and your family.