The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Never Say Never

By Mitch Worley, Quill Reporter

August 20, 2008

There are certain things in life that you see happen to others or hear about in newspapers or on TV and you think it would never happen to you.

Especially in this area of Illinois, you would think break-ins and robberies would be something that rarely happens, making it seem like it decreases one's chances to ever happen to a certain individual.

At the beginning of this month, I moved to a lovely neighborhood in Macomb on South Dudley Street.

The location is great, the people that live around me are quiet and are all very nice, and my apartment is the upstairs single bedroom apartment above the multi-bedroom apartment for a family that lives right below me, seemingly serving as an added protector of my abode.

My lovely fiancˇe Melissa and I went on vacation with her parents to their vacation residence in a quiet river town in Northeastern Iowa for a week, making my final escape from the hustle and bustle of my crazy busy life before school starts and I transition into a new occupational endeavor.

It was great catching the five bass I did (no lies in these fishing stories: I legitimately reeled in a 19" bass), but I was still uneasy with meeting deadlines back home and getting everything done that I need to while I was gone.

On top of that, something else didn't feel quite right.

Melissa drove us all the way home over the course of about four and a half hours, while I slept the entire way.

When we arrived back at my apartment, everything seemed normal, the door was locked, and the only valuable thing I had to my name left at the apartment, my Playstation 3, was still there with all of it's equipment and games.

Another successful getaway: or so I thought.

While watching a movie about twenty minutes after we arrived and got everything settled, my doorknob shook because someone was trying to get in!

The door was locked and like an idiot, I rushed to the door to let the person in, thinking it was one of my friends from La Harpe that was in Macomb and dropped by to surprise me.

No one was at the door, and someone was bolting out of the complex's door.

I didn't get a chance to see a person or car driving away, so I just saw it best to forget about the entire situation and continue enjoying the movie.

My downstairs neighbors informed Melissa a half hour later, after that ordeal, on a trip to her car that someone with sleeping bags spent the night while I was gone on the fishing trip.

The people and car they described fit no description I could think of, but I again failed to panic and let it all go in one ear and out the other, until I went into my room.

My previous year's tax information was strewn about the top of my dresser, immediately breaking me down.

I had suspected my identity had been stolen and immediately contacted all three credit bureaus to put a fraud alert on my credit report, as well as contacting all agencies I had loans, lines of credit from, or a checking account with.

No activity has been noticed yet by the credit bureaus, and I hope it never happens.

Now I think since I've had this run in with a burglar or

Whatever they were, I'll never deal with a circumstance like that again.

I also think I need to learn to take to heart the popular adage, "never say never" because if I don't and don't take the proper steps in protecting myself, I could easily become a repeat victim.