During 2002, my first year living in my previous apartment, I had a car break-in...sort of. Absentmindedly, I'd left a door unlocked in my 1988 Honda Accord hatchback when I'd parked it. I almost never do that, unless maybe if I'm visiting my parents out in Dundee. This time that my habit failed me, someone got into my car, and later I went out and found:
• some (not all) of the change in the change drawer gone, some of the rest scattered near the tray;
• nothing else of mine in the car touched, including any part of the relatively new CD player that had the detachable face (stowed away in the (untouched) glove compartment);
• and a glove. A woolen glove that wasn't mine. Just one. Whoever did this might not even have broken even on this break-in.
As lessons in vigilance go, this was about as painless as possible. Heck, I almost want to think that the one glove was a calling card. "They call this guy the No-Glove-No-Love Bandit," Lennie Briscoe'd say as he glowered at my car. (Would he say that? I barely saw that era of Law & Order. I didn't watch even semi-regularly until its 19th and last season. If I jinxed it, I'm sorry.)
Some months later, though, was a more disturbing close call: circa 2003, SE Portland had a rash of car window smashings. One time the guy parked next to me in the gravel lot behind our building found his car's rear window turned into safety glass chunks. The way we were parked, that meant that whichever jerk smashed the glass either walked past my car to get to the neighbor's, or stood next to mine when smashing that glass. Obviously not a close call for my neighbor, unfortunately. (Possibly) random vandalism is a pain. Hard to be vigilant about it.
And most weirdly, in the backyard area next to and a few steps above that parking lot? Years later, one morning, I woke up and saw TENTS. Don't know where they came from, don't know who was in them, didn't want to confront anyone to find out. Later that day, also with no explanation, they were gone. It wasn't some cute "let's camp with the kids in the yard!" sort of thing, it was trespassing, but at least nothing dramatic happened and nothing questionable was left behind.
Nothing like these events have happened since and I hope I can keep saying that.