We Wuz Robbed — Career Advice for Burglars

December 17th, 2009

burglarOn Tuesday evening, I returned from leading a 2-day workshop in DC to discover that my apartment had been visited by burglars who helped themselves to some holiday gifts and rifled through our belongings.

I was shocked and more than a little freaked out. I have always felt 100% safe in my building and my neighborhood. We have not had a break-in in the building for more than 10 years.

We have a doorman and security cameras and a very vigilant live-in super. The burglar struck in the middle of the afternoon when my husband and most of my neighbors were at work. He was wearing a suit and tie, carrying a briefcase, and hit three apartments in one afternoon.

I have lived in New York City for 20 years now and I was robbed once before. That was in the early ’90s in a sketchy building on the Lower East Side (which was still very sketchy back then and had no boutique hotels or non-dive trendy bars). We had a crappy lock on our door and a passing acquaintance with the crackheads and hookers that frequented our block (shout out to Eldridge Street back in the day).

This latest incident was more shocking. It’s not that stuff was stolen. Hopefully, insurance will cover most of it and the mess will be cleaned up (Google search of the month: How to remove fingerprint dust). It’s that our safe little haven was violated.

Our friendly local NYPD officer gave us some tips for increasing security so this never happens again. She mentioned that there have been more burglaries in New York City since the economy tanked, which makes sense. Christmas is a busy season for burglars looking for presents to steal. This particular burglar has hit a few other buildings nearby as well.

Officer C seemed confident that he would be caught eventually, though she was equally confident that he would serve his time, get out, and start burglarizing again. As she put it, “That’s their career. That’s what they know how to do. They might get put away for a while, but when they get out, they go back to their career path.”

So it seems I can find a career lesson even in the aftermath of a burglary. It’s not a very encouraging one, I know. But maybe this particular burglar leafed through one of the 14,000 books on career change in my library (mine and many others by such brilliant people as Barbara Sher and Barbara Winter and Richard Bolles) while he was ransacking my home office. Maybe he found some tips and inspiration to change his career and change his life. Maybe he’ll spend the money he makes pawning our electronics to go back to school and become an x-ray technician.

Ah well, I’m just happy that nobody was hurt and the stolen stuff can be replaced. We’ve upgraded our security to make sure we won’t be receiving any other unwanted holiday visitors. Sorry Santa, but you can’t be too careful these days.

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Bolaji -

Wow, Pam.

What a violation!
A burglar broke into my home when I was 10 years old. In the middle of the night. It was a very traumatic experience for me – my friends couldn’t understand why I was so stoic/sullen the entire day at school, following the incident.

I eventually broke down in tears (surprising myself), and told them everything.

Best of luck in claiming back your space.

Here’s to these burglars, regardless of the economy, getting justice.


Charity’s exist for a reason, burglars have no excuse for breaking into someones safe haven

"ex" burglar

HAHA well maybe if there was jobs for us younger guys we wouldnt have to steal! if i cant get a job what am i suppost to do beg for it nah ill take it! its not are career no burglar wants to do it we do it to get enough money so we can go straight like me i need money for the stock market which is my real career… and no one likes jail it sucks ive been there

Thank you very much for the Tips with fresh flowers presented on your site! I did as it is written there and the flowers that my beloved presented me are still alive! And besides now I know the meaning of all the flowers! And I am even thinking of becoming a florist myself! Thank you,!

Colin Ferguson

“ex” burglar –> you must have been hoping for a big reaction to your comment. So sad we didn’t oblige.

“no jobs”? It sounds like you’re eating, can read, and can get internet access. That’s better than most of my ancestors – and most of the people on this planet.

So maybe join the Army if you’re really stuck, or perhaps consider reading Pam’s book. I mean you’re on a site dedicated to helping people find non-traditional jobs.


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