A New Day
Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed we woke up the next morning ready to go back to The Palace. There’s something about diving into a new project that fills you with motivation. The kids eagerly loaded up and we set off to continue cleaning up the personal belongings that remained.
The kids had each found pennies on the ground the day before. They thought that this was clearly the best house ever. “See mom, we MADE money!” Hah! If only they knew the extent of fixing this house needed, they would need to find a lot more pennies…but that’s another post.
When we arrived I noticed that something was a little off. After opening the door, it was immediately obvious that someone had been in the house. Well, obvious to someone OCD like me. Things were moved, shifted over. Upon further inspection things were missing and the back french doors were open to the world.
The Palace, apparently, is not Fort Knox.
We had officially been broken into.
What a start to the day!
Luckily I hadn’t left much behind: a few cleaning supplies, lawn bags and items for the bathroom. It was an uncomfortable feeling nonetheless.
There was a baseball bat I had noticed among the personal possessions. So, bat in hand and heart pounding, I called my husband on speakerphone. I canvassed the house after having the kids hideout in the car for a moment- just in case.
The house was empty. I set the bat down next to the fridge.
The french doors that I hadn’t switched out the day before were still swung open. I returned to the car and gathered tools needed to put on our own locks. The kids speculated about who had been in the house as I made sure that the doors locked securely.
I was pretty sure that it was someone from the old family, but hadn’t anticipated that they would go into the property after seeing new locks on the main doors.
We resumed our clean out and I resolved to make “No Trespassing” signs to later post in The Palace windows, while the kids took a nap.
Before leaving I made sure to double and triple check all of the locks.
While everyone slept I made up the signs, grabbed some tape, and set it all by the door. “That takes care of that!” I thought triumphantly.
The last thing I want is to be liable for an injury incurred after illegal entrance to the property. Putting up signs helps to defer liability and protect us if someone were to break in… again.
On our way back over to The Palace we chatted about the morals of right and wrong behaviors.
Pulling up to the house my jaw dropped.
There was a car in the driveway!
I parked, blocking the car in and walked up towards the door.
Once again, it was open!!
There was a dog running around. I went back to the car, locked the doors, and called 911.
A few minutes into the call a woman came out of the house onto the porch. She made hand gestures for me to leave, before yelling at me, flipping me off and going back inside.
Police Are On The Scene
I hope you caught my Vanilla Ice reference ^.
Shortly thereafter the police arrived, four squad cars pulled up and approached the woman.
They explained to her that we owned the house and that she was not welcome to be inside, take anything, or break in again. Apparently her nephew had broken into the house previously so the door was able to be bumped.
Note to self: replace door ASAP.
The woman was a daughter of the previous owner and apparently had no idea that the house had sold. She had taken my belongings the previous evening.
The police asked if I would like to press charges. I declined. There’s no need to hit someone when they are down. This poor woman had lost her father two years prior, and is now saying goodbye to her family home.
She was understandably upset, the emotions of it all were still raw.
I spoke with the woman and told her how sorry I was that we were meeting this way. We had tried to get in contact with her brother several times to explain that we had purchased the house but he had not returned our calls.
She had been working on cleaning out the house and had her mother living with her now. She lost her father’s ashes that she had left in a drawer upstairs, and asked me to be on the lookout for them.
Wait a second… what did you just say?
Yes, you read that right. Her dead father’s cremated ashes were missing, and I might come across them cleaning out The Palace.
*Please don’t be haunted, please don’t be haunted, please don’t be haunted*
I walked through the house with the daughter. Noticing she had taken the belongings I had brought over that morning, I asked her to return them.
Police officers had been watching my kids in the car, and they gave the most adorable full report of activities when I returned.
“The little one took her shoe off, and the big one says she likes watching fishies. The boys talked about soccer and asked us about our jobs.”
The daughter went to her car and unloaded the boxes of my supplies to give them back.
She got in her car, ready to leave.
But where did my keys go?
One of the police officers had taken my keys initially to prove they matched up with the door. Our county auditor updating lags behind actual purchases so another officer had called downtown to verify that we owned the property.
While searching for my keys, one of the officers told me the reason why there had been so many squad cars and different townships reporting to the call. Apparently the break-in-nephew’s car was registered to this address.
Earlier in the year a deputy in the next county had died during a standoff. This nephew had been outspoken against the police force online, I’m not sure what exactly he had written but it must have been pretty bad to have him flagged in the system.
After reviewing body-cam footage, my keys were located and we were able to move my van, park, and begin our work.
I called our go-to guy and he agreed to come out to The Palace in two days to replace the door for us.
As my mom always says: “there’s never a dull moment!”
[ctct form=”250″ show_title=”false”]