Before you get to thinking that I've gone rogue and have written an X-Rated blog post, you must read this entire article! This is not a story that will give you a happy, tingly feeling. I often write about my life events; both good and bad. It is a way for me to work through emotions and deep seated thoughts. I must admit - this event knocked the wind out of my sails here in paradise.
The trade winds were blowing and rain had set in for about a week. Temperatures were in the 60's and I was getting a bit of cabin fever. When Sunday rolled around, the sky was baby blue with few clouds and no rain. Yeah! With all my daily chores done by mid-afternoon, I was ready for a stroll on the beach to get some sun and to meet up with friends. It was an enjoyable, leisurely day that concluded with a fantastic meal at the "Caramba" Restaurant, locally made ice-cream for dessert and a stop at the market before returning home.
As we parked the golf cart outside my villa, we heard a noise from inside. Thinking it must be my kitty anxious to see us, we proceeded to carry the bags of groceries to the front door. I put the key in the deadbolt lock. It was unlocked. I spoke out loud to my friends that something wasn't right. I always lock the deadbolt. Unlocking the second lock, I opened the door to the villa where the cat was worriedly awaiting my return. I took one look inside and announced that either someone had been in here or that the kitty had one heck of a party while I was out. Closet doors were opened, pieces of a flashlight lay on the floor, and my coffee table was askew. That was what I witnessed at first glance. I immediately checked for my computer - which is my lifeblood. It was gone. I didn't panic but the anger was growing by leaps and bounds inside of me.
My friend instructed me to turn on all lights which I immediately carried out. No one was inside. As I scanned the interior, my friends scoped out the grounds outside. They encountered the security guard standing on the pool deck. They questioned him about what he may have seen or heard. He said he did hear the cat making a lot of noise. I joined the trio outside and continued with the questioning of the security guard. Why was he on post early? He wasn't due there for another 2 hours. He must have heard or seen something if he was securing the villa... it just didn't make sense that he could have not seen or heard someone inside my house.
Security then went to the front of the complex where I approached him again. "Who are you? What did you hear? What did you see? Why are you here early? Do you know who did this?" I wasn't getting the answers I wanted. Pointing my finger in his chest and face and, admittedly, frothing a little at the mouth, I told him not to move - that the police were on the way. He stayed in that exact spot. Luckily, the police arrived within 5 minutes. I reviewed things with them inside the villa and told them of my suspicions of the security guard's involvement in this invasion. They told me not to touch anything and proceeded outside to talk with security. They questioned him and asked him to empty his pockets. As I walked toward them, the police asked if the ear buds pulled from his pocket were mine. YES! They immediately handcuffed him and proceeded to interrogate him as to where the other items missing from the house were. Not 5 feet from where we were standing, we found his backpack with several items that belonged to me - including my computer. I was raging by this point!
We all met at the police station. I would have loved to have taken pictures but my camera was among the stolen items. The Officer pulled my belongings from his backpack and from a purse taken from my closet. I stayed at the station to complete the police report while the officers came back to the villa to look around for other items that may have been taken during the robbery. Upon their return to the station, they had my cherished black bag in their possession with many other items that had been taken. When they emptied the bag on the counter it contained clothing articles, a curling iron, straightener iron, dresses, blouses, jewelry, perfume and a pair of my pink panties. REALLY?!? I asked the police officer if they had a pair of boxing gloves so I could use him as a punching bag...
The next morning, I searched my home and the grounds for additional missing items. I then discovered he had eaten my fresh strawberries and helped himself to some "Gentleman Jack" Whiskey in my cupboard. I found a few more items on a neighbor's veranda.
A burglary is never a pleasant thing to have to deal with. When the invasion happens from the security unit that is supposed to be protecting you, it is even more unnerving. There are good and bad apples in every organization.
I have experienced many events since coming to Belize. Most of them have been good. I often find the thoughts bouncing in my head that bad things can and do happen; no matter what town, city or country you may live in.
I must have re-written this blog post 20 times before I finally decided to publish the event. No matter how cautious, diligent and alert you may be, you can always fall victim to circumstances. In summary, I am forever grateful to have gotten most of my belongings back and to have the support of family, friends and neighbors. I was asked if it was time to come home. My answer? "No. There is still a story left to write."