This afternoon, I installed a bigger version of the message that was already in my window. It’s a yard sign that says PLEASE STOP ROBBING ME. (I also attempted to say this in Spanish, but being a non-native speaker I decided to cover that part with tape.) It’s like the “we’re glad you’re our neighbor” signs. Ironically, I agree with that message too – unless they keep breaking in, of course.
Predictably (?), the sign was an immediate conversation starter. It makes people uncomfortable, but that was part of the point. It even amuses me, because I’m feeling liberated from the all-is-well routine. Perhaps people feel when I have fortified the house to my satisfaction, I will no longer feel the need to publicly say something so uncomfortable. That may be true, but in the meantime I have an excellent reason to keep saying something else: what happened here is not okay, and I want to speak publicly about it, without shame. I admitted to a neighbor that doing it via yard sign was a weird thing to do. But if you’ve experienced what I have you might do something “weird” too.
Admitting that I am vulnerable is hard, but also freeing. It is obvious by now that I am not in complete control of who enters my home anyway. It was suggested that I might be placing myself in more danger by a public proclamation. It elicited conspiracy theories and anti-burglary tips, including the ever-popular canine acquisition strategy. Meanwhile, I very intentionally did not print a sign reading “PLEASE GIVE ME ANTI-BURGLARY TIPS!” I’ve noticed most tipsters have not been violated themselves.
I have not heard anything from the police.