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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

I.D. - less and pissed

We read the statistics in the paper. We read the police blotters. Car broken into. House burglarized. We shake our heads and feel sorry for the people it happened to, and we move on. Until one day it happens to us.

As of 6:45 p.m. this evening, I became one those people in the police blotters. I went to the Downtown Y, a place that I felt safe and relatively secure in. I still put a super duper Brinks lock (can't be cut according to the maker) on my locker.

After my yoga class, I sauntered back into the locker room and headed for the locker. I try to use the same one each time. I can't see my lock anywhere. I look at the row of lockers ahead. I was in a hurry, maybe I put it in the wrong locker. Nothing. I notice there are no locks anywhere on the lockers. Unusual for this busy time of day. I panic, and start opening lockers. I find my gym bag. My clothes are strewn all over the locker. No purse.

They hit five of us. We immediately called 911 and talked to the credit card fraud division. That fast. I was told money had been taken out of my savings account. Money taken out of my checking account. Money even taken out of a closed account with a card that I'd forgotten about.

I had just cashed a bonus check I just got, and though I don't normally carry large amounts of cash I had to drop off my car in the morning to get repaired and wanted to pay cash for the repairs. I toyed with the idea of sticking my purse under the car seat, but we had been warned not to leave valuables in our car. Gone.

We filled out the police report and I watched as the other four women came running to the front desk, tears and the same shocked look on their face that I'm sure was on mine. The fraud division said money was being transferred in and out of our accounts, between our accounts at a fast pace. One woman had taken her wedding ring off and put it in her purse. All trusting of a place that we go to every day and trusting of a $24 lock. We live in Oklahoma City -- this isn't supposed to happen here -- not in our safe little worlds.

I was lucky that I had handed my car keys to my husband. I don't know why I did that, but I'm glad I did. Other women weren't so lucky.

I've been worried about the money. Money that I needed to get through the month. Then it hit me on the way home. I have no driver's license. My military i.d. is gone. My social security card -- don't start my husband's already given me the lecture about not having that in there. My cell phone is gone. Everything. Gone.

I have no identity. But what I do have after crying nonstop for four hours is anger. Anger at the Y for not taking measures to ensure that we are safe. No cameras at the locker room doors. Angry for them for my having to force the issue of them calling the police. I'm angry at the assholes who took my purse. For shattering my security. For turning my life upside down. Angry at a world that includes people who do this and so much worse. I will refuse to let it change my life. And we'll get the car fixed somehow, and we'll survive. But I'm going to do my damn best to see that we find out who did this. Yeah, I'm pissed.


Sherrie said...

Oh, man. I'm so sorry.

We had a card stolen last month, but thankfully, the company shut it down after three Internet charges from places my dh would never shop.

I'm sure you've hit the credit report companies already, but if not, do so now. Let them know what happened, so they can monitor. And let me know if you need help getting through to the Social Security Office to get a new number. NPR did a piece on that not long ago . . . it's not easy, but can be done.

Gina said...

I am so sorry this happened to you. And yeah, I would be mad too.

Wouldn't the Y have a list of all the people who were in that day? Obviously it would have to be one of those people, right?

CISSY said...

Sherrie: Thanks. I'll look that NPR article up. That would be awesome.

Gina: Thanks. Yes. The Y has a list. They are not being helpful at all. I plan to push that issue and am getting all the people together who's stuff got stolen and raising some cain.

Redneck Diva said...

Oh no!!! So sorry this happened! Sounds like they knew what they were doing, the a$$holes. Grr. Mean people suck.

Gina said...

Omigod! I just read this. I am so sorry.

A friend of mine here fell victim to identity theft a couple of years ago, and it caused a real mess.

Will had to get a new SSN last year because his card went missing. He went to an office instead of calling. It was a fairly easy process, but it would have been easier — and quicker — if he'd had his passport with him for ID purposes. So if you have a valid passport, take it with you if you go to a Social Security office. Even an expired one might help if it isn't too'll prove citizenship.

Anonymous said...

I am SO sorry! What a horrible thing to have happen. I bet the reason the idiots at the Y aren't doing much is because it happens all the time, so they are complacent.
Geez. I'm so sorry.

V-Grrrl said...

My husband always says most crimes are crimes of opportunity, and yet you took precautions to secure everything and were still robbed. And shame on the Y for its piss-poor attitude. Use your writing skills to write as many letters you can on the subject and make a PR wave--letters to the editor, letters to the Y's director and board, etc. True, the real problem is the asshats who stole your stuff, but if five people are victims in the course of an hour, something needs to change!