So there we were, it was Sunday, Valentines Day, meant to be a happy day! Nothing exciting happening in fact following a tough couple of weeks I was hoping that things were on the up. So to leave your house in the afternoon & within 45 mins of leaving, find your home has been broken into was devastating.
They took4 laptops, cameras, phones, ipods, psp, watches, & just about anything else they could get hold of quickly, filling my laptop bag that was full of hard drives, card readers, memory sticks you name it. They trashed the house & left their trail of destruction, our personal space totally violated. I felt sick, I felt numb, I felt angry, I felt devastated, I felt disbelief & then back to sick again. The emotional rollercoaster was just unbelievable. To go into your home & find everything everywhere awful & to know strangers have been through your things, stolen laptops containing years of work, back up discs, everything you have worked so hard to afford, gone in 45 mins.
So anyway, the police came, they fingerprinted, they brought a sniffer dog. All quite advanced for Uganda you might think, but rest assured this was no CSI, this was an amateur attempt to fight crime, almost laughable at times watching them work, or not work as it seemed, but at least they tried, although I think my 8 year old niece could of probably done better!
We were put under 24 hour police protection as it was believed that as they had left stuff behind that they might come back but more prepared this time. To know we had been being watched & to know that something might happen in the future gave me my first real experience of paranoia & boy it hit me bad. Everyone I saw looking at me became a suspect in my head, I trusted no one & sleep was only a thing I could wish for. By day 2 following the break in it became obvious that we could not stay in that house any longer. Being there was driving us crazy!
So by Weds morning we were meeting with a landlady to view a house, 'when do you want to move in?' she asked 'right this minute' was the reply & by Weds evening 90% of the contents had been moved!
So during the last 10 days we have been removing the last remnants of the old house, working with police, visiting every computer shop we can find to check out for stolen stuff & trying to regain some kind of normality in a strange new house with none of our needed possessions.
Then a break through........Last Monday Ali is walking along Kampala Road, a man offers him a flyer for second hand computers. We didn't know of this shop so haven't yet been there. He goes in & (cutting a long story short!) finds MY LAPTOP for sale! Now this is like finding a pebble in an ocean!! So he buys it, removes it, calls the police, they arrest everyone, gets the money refunded, & so begins the start of working back through the chain of dealers who have been involved in each stage of the last 2 weeks! Each suspect being promised a shorter punishment if they co-operate with the police & tell who supplied them.
It is now Friday 26th, its been an interesting few days since Monday when my laptop was found! Through the 'suspects', all four laptops have been found & 2 watches! We can't have them back yet as they are evidence, & we believe much of the content has been wiped but we will not know until we get them back & properly examine them. They police now know who the thieves are but they are now on the run.
It appears that we will not get anything else back, but what we have is more than we could of dreamt of. However I really wish I could get my camera back. It has a memory card in it with a lot of ACDT stuff that I needed, plus I saved for months to get that camera & I really need one for all the ACDT work we do.
Stealing really does suck & these 2 weeks have been something I would like not to repeat every again. I am a great believer in karma (what goes around, comes around) so I know that at some point the thieves will be punished. I would like to say that I hope they learn a lesson from it, but the reality here is that they will just try to be more careful next time.....and not get caught.