I’ve been a journalist for longer than I’d like to admit.
In that time, I’ve lost track of how many yarns I’ve done with the police where the message has been simple – hide your car keys, even if you’ve locked the house.
It’s easy to think that’s a bit redundant, but I can now tell you from personal experience it is indeed sage advice from the boys in blue.
On Sunday night, after putting my three-year-old to bed and watching some gloriously trashy television with my wife, I locked the front door and put the car keys on a bench just next to the door.
I slept like a baby, only getting up to feed the actual baby.
I would have been up for a good hour-and-a-half on Monday morning before I needed to put something in the car.
I looked at where I’d put the keys and I was puzzled for a second – had they fallen off the bench?
That’s when the memories of all those stories came rushing back and I absolutely knew what had happened.
I walked outside and our silver Hyundai Santa Fe Highlander was gone.
That means the pram was gone.
The kid’s car seats were gone.
My damn prescription sunglasses were gone and, for once, there was actually someone else to blame apart from me.
The keys were easily visible from the door, and I’ve got no idea how they got through the door, although it’s worth noting I didn’t put the deadbolt on.
The keys were the only thing they took.
Now I’ve been broken into once before, a lifetime ago, when some scumbags kicked in the chipboard door to a unit in South Hedland and stole a bunch of stuff while I wasn’t home.
Insurance covered it, so I wasn’t too bothered.
It hits a bit differently when have a wife and kids.
Insurance will hopefully cover this one too, but it’s a whole bunch of hassle (and panic) that could have been avoided if I’d taken the same advice I have been publishing for over a decade.
Hide your bloody keys.
It’s just not worth the stress.