Attempted Robbery

Photos by MJ Klein

UPDATE: Please see the end of this article.

Our home has a 4th floor balcony, and we’ve written about stuff we’ve done up there before.  The doorway onto the balcony is a set of sliding glass doors, and a single screen door.  We keep the screen door closed so we can simply slide open the right-hand glass door to get some air circulation.  So, naturally, when Hui-chen was up on the 4th floor and noticed the screen door was on the left side, she asked me about it.  I told her that I hadn’t opened those doors in at least a week, and she told me that the screen door was not where it should be.  It was at that point that I went and took a look.

Attempted Robbery

There was an unknown set of footprints on our balcony!  Obviously, someone had come down the stairs from our roof and had tried our sliding glass doors to see if they were unlocked!  I got my Nikon D7000 and immediately started to document everything.

Attempted Robbery

This footprint belongs to the perpetrator.  I decided to go up the stairs and see if I could find more footprints, and perhaps determine where this guy came from.

Attempted Robbery

This footprint is right beside the stairs and eliminates all doubt about where the perpetrator came from.

Attempted Robbery

Following proper investigative protocol, I’ve photographed this footprint with a reference scale.  Feel free to circulate this photo if you like.

Attempted Robbery

Indeed, there were footprints on the roof.  I found that all the other homes in our development had been visited by this perpetrator also.  Footprints don’t lie.

Attempted Robbery

The footprints lead to the construction site at the end of our development complex.  The perpetrator is either one of the workers (which is usually the case here in Taiwan) or some outsider who used the site as an opportunity to gain access to our roof.

Attempted Robbery

For reference, this is my footprint on the left, with the perpetrator’s footprint on the right.  This is not a small person by any means.

It should have been relatively easy to find the person who did this.  I’m confident that if I was able to personally conduct an investigation, starting with the workers at the construction site, I would have been able to identify a suspect within a few minutes.  We know the owner of the new house being built, and when we informed this person of what happened, they refused to take any action whatsoever.  They didn’t want us questioning the construction boss or making any “trouble.”  We also contacted the police, who (incredulously) told us that footprint evidence wasn’t strong enough to warrant an investigation!

We have since discontinued our association with the house owner, whom we previously thought was a friend of ours.  We now know better. 

The neighbor has apologized for what happened.  All seems well now.

Thanks for reading,  Please leave us your comments, and feel free to share this article!



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  1. Knowing somebody tried to break into your home is a really bad feeling. The guy used a similar approach as in our burglary – they climbed in via the balcony, as well.

    Well, at least he had to leave empty-handed, that’s something.

    1. hi Stefan. yes, it is a bad feeling. i wish i could have done something about it. as you know, i carried a 9mm pistol when i lived in the US. wish i had it now…. take care.

  2. That’s terrible news MJ! My parent’s house was robbed when I was a child. Luckily the thief (or thieves) only grabbed some cash and my older brother’s shoes. Cathy and I recently bought a house and it looks like we’ll need to install a few of those big security cages to deter robbers (each of the upper floors have balconies with sliding glass doors).

    Keep safe!
    Todd´s last post ..Zhua Zhou – Picking the Future!

    1. hi Todd! congratulations on the new house! and, yes, by all means put the bars on! when we bought this house, the previous owner told us that she spend “over a million” on the bars, but he left a few places unsecured, which we later took care of ourselves. in the meantime you can put a stick in the track of the sliding glass doors to prevent that side from being opened. our next expenditure is going to be security cameras, because in Taiwan, actually catching or seeing the person is not good enough. there has to be video! take care, Todd and thanks.

  3. Thanks MJ!

    The cameras are a good idea especially in your neighborhood with all the construction and the nearby industrial area. The neighborhood we’re moving into has a security guard at the entrance but no gate and recently a survey has been passed around asking the residents to vote whether or not to keep the security guard there (if he’s booted I’ll be highly disappointed). I’m hoping I can talk Cathy out of the security bars for the time being as most of the renovations we’re thinking of will put us way higher than our budget. Sorry we haven’t been able to make it up there in so long. It seems our children enjoy taking turns being sick.
    Todd´s last post ..Zhua Zhou – Picking the Future!

    1. hi Todd. our neighbor has cameras all over his house (maybe you noticed). we’re seriously considering it now, especially since the police are so irrelevant here. security does cost money though and unfortunately not everyone can afford the necessary measures. i hope your community votes to keep the guard. perhaps a couple of planned “events” might help turn the tide of public opinion? we’ll be heading down south soon and when we do, we will be sure to give you a call beforehand. we want to see your new house! thanks Todd and take care.

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