I am pre-apologizing for the long post... BUT... I slept an entire night last night! Here I was, blaming Baby Garvin on the lack of sleep... come to find out, it was the false sense of security that my newly installed (and ridiculously expensive) house alarm cost. However, the good news is... THEY HAVE BEEN CAUGHT!
Yesterday afternoon around four, I had just settled in from a long day at work (that started about six o'clock yesterday morning) and had JUST changed my clothes when a man in a police uniform knocks on the door.
He says "Jessica Garvin?".
"Were you recently the victim of a burglary?"
"Would you happen to have lost any sports memorabilia?"
"YES!"(I got super excited at the prospect of getting my signature OU football back.)
"Could you describe it?"
"A white OU football with Simms, Owens, and White's autographs. It's brown on the bottom. Owens signed it in the left upper corner and the other two are on the right side." (I only remember that because my neighbor and I were discussing it the day before it got stolen)
"I am guessing you would be able to ID it?"
"YES!!!" (Almost in tears at this point thinking I could possibly get Stephen's deer rifle back.)
So I put on some shoes and my coat and got in the back of the police car. We went AROUND THE CORNER to the NEIGHBOR'S HOUSE to check out my stuff! Seriously!
Here is the long version. Ten days after we got burglarized (robbed is apparently not politically correct since we weren't home), I had walked in the door from work and gone to the bedroom for a minute. Literally, a minute later, our alarm starts sounding. Scared to death, I grabbed my gun and went into the living room to find the jerks. Yes, this was possibly the stupidest thing I have ever done. But I did it. I called 911. They advised me to lock myself in the room until the police got there. When they did, the first officer who arrived told me that the wind must have opened the door. Little does he know, you cannot set my house alarm unless the door is all the way shut and dead-bolted. So yes, it must have been the wind who opened the glass storm door, unlocked the deadbolt, and blew open the big front door. I asked the second officer who arrived if there had been any other break-ins in the neighborhood. He told me yes and where the guy (who now has a name, Scott) lived. That night, we went and talked to Scott who told us that HIS neighbor was home and watched the burglary and didn't call the police. BUT he did take a picture of the truck as it left, full of Scott's belongings. Scott took the picture to the police on Saturday the 18th AND told them where the guy lived (right around the corner from him). And no one had contacted us to warn us... and the guys came back. A few days later, they had burglarized several other houses (five total) in our neighborhood.
With all of that said... Yesterday afternoon, a neighbor of ours was driving out of the neighborhood and saw a few guys with guns unloading TV's (yes, multiple TV's) out of a tiny little beat up car at EXACTLY the same house that Scott has told them the truck lived. They arrested a kid (under 18) in the driveway with the holster to a pistol on his hip. No gun, just the holster. (I am betting it was my 40 cal. We know that since this kid is not over the age of 21, he doesn't have his conceal and carry license, so it can't possibly be his gun.) They arrest him. Have me ID the football that was still in his car, along with my computer charger, several wii's, some xbox games, and some other sports memorabilia. The football was mine (even though the kid said Jason White himself gave it to him... which was ironic because I personally picked up the football from Jason White's office in Norman and he handed it to me himself). I was also able to ID my computer charger because Jack ate the power cord when he was a puppy (which I now feel guilty about because I am almost positive I beat him for it at some point... but I gave him some lovins and cookies when I got home.)
The police knocked on the door several times trying to get the people to open up. It didn't happen. They staked out the house waiting for a search warrant (which was apparently hard to get since it was New Years Eve and so late in the day). During that time, two of the guys ran out the back door and threw a TV and a framed OU autographed picture over the fence (like that was going to lessen their sentence at all)... and around 7:30, we were told they had served the warrant and were taking inventory and pictures of the items in the house.
HOPEFULLY we will hear something Monday and be able to ID the rest of our stuff. I am sure most of it has been sold or ruined, but all of the prayers have paid off. I have always been told that God answers prayers, that His answer might be "No" or "Not right now" but He ALWAYS answers prayers. In our case, God was telling us "Not right now." In the past few weeks we have learned some valuable lessons.
1. When someone offers to help or do something nice, just let them help and say thank you. Because God has given them the talent of being able to help and you shouldn't deny someone of using that gift.
2. Cling to each other and rely on each other. God has truly strengthened our relationship through all of this. He has made me more thankful for Stephen and the security that he provides to this family. The desire that I have seen in Stephen recently to take care of me and protect me makes me know he will be an even BETTER father than I already knew he would.
3. Rely on God. God isn't going to give us mountains we cannot climb. We have to trust that He will answer our prayers. That is part of what faith is all about.
4. There are horrible people in this world. We need to raise our children to be better than this.
5. Get a gun safe.
6. Insurance doesn't cover some things unless you have insurance on those items (such as gun insurance or jewelry insurance)... So extend your policies people! Make sure that EVERYTHING is covered... not just up to 2500 dollars in firearms... which will only cover one or two of the firearms you lose if they all get stolen.
7. Write down serial numbers to EVERYTHING you own.
8. Things are replaceable. People are not. But once you realize all of the material things you have that ARE replaceable once they get stolen, you might realize (like we did) that we were living much too excessively and that we could do more useful things with our money.
9. God will bring the justice in His own time. Whether it's through the police, or on judgement day... He will take care of it so give it to God.
10. My mom always says "Forgive and forget"... but I have changed that and will tell MY kids "Forgive but don't forget to learn from it." I don't believe one can truly forget when someone does something wrong to you. BUT I do think you can forgive and move on with your life. You can forgive and learn from the experience. I forgave the guys the minute I came home and all my stuff was gone, because I came home and the most important things in my house were safe... Stephen, Baby G, Alabama, & Jack (oh, and Paisley- my neighbor's dog). But I will never forget this experience because it has helped mold me into the person, mother, and Christian I am and will become.