Owning a home-away-from-home is a bit like a long distance relationship. You think about it all the time, wonder what's going on around and about, and you dream about seeing it again soon. It also comes with headaches and worries. My main fears are a leak (already happened), and a break and enter. Which is why we have a monitored alarm, high fence and locked gates, and security cameras. The Raz Man owns a computer business and sells a lot of hardware to people like Border Patrol and the Surveillance Industry. So it is only fitting that he likes to install such things in the Florida House. The camera's take a photo and sends us an email if something/someone enters our yard or the doors are opened. We can also log in remotely and move the cameras around both inside the house and out. This is 100% legal by the way on your own property. I've mentioned before that other than the requisite lawn guy and pool builders, the only other intruder is a large white cat who comes to dine on lizards in our yard.
Last night around 10:30 pm while us and most Americans were glued to the TV for election results we got that dreaded phone call. Our neighbor had received a call from another neighbor to say that a U-Haul was backed up to the alley behind our house and people were removing the contents of "the Canadians House". They had called the police and they were on the way. To say I was freaked out was an understatement. There had been no call from the alarm company to say there was an entry. We did the only thing that anyone could do from 1000's of miles away. Confident that the police would arrive in a minute or two, we ran to the computer to log in to the cameras. There was no email about a "door open" event, and so we nervously turned on the interior camera. I was terrified of seeing all our stuff gone, a vacant and battered house, but most of all, I was terrified of seeing someone in the house. We scanned the main level cautiously and nothing seemed to be out of place or missing. The door was intact as was the alarm. Hearts still pounding, we looked at the back yard camera which indeed showed a car behind our locked gate and a U haul in the lane way, although it clearly looked to be next door to us. We could see people with flashlights (assuming the police) and a while later the car and truck left.
Although at the moment I was mortified and panicked, I am so grateful to both neighbors, who cared enough to call each other and the police. It most likely was a neighbor doing a late evening move, but it could have been a large scale break in. It took a while for my adrenaline to settle after that and be able to fall asleep.
If you see something in your neighborhood that doesn't look right, call the police. It may be nothing, but better safe than sorry.