Friday, August 29, 2014

The Adventure Begins -- A Day Early

Ferit and I leave tomorrow morning to spend the next five months in Europe. As such, our adventure technically begins tomorrow. But with some theft and police report excitement today, we can’t help but consider that our adventure has begun one day early.

Before I left for my Sierra-Cascades bike trip in early May, I left all my belongings at a friend’s house for safe-keeping. My belongings will remain at my friend’s house while we travel in Europe. Ferit’s belongings, on the other hand, needed to be stored while we travel.

Ferit found a unit at a storage facility where he could store his belongings. Ferit signed the contract two days ago, and we had already moved two carloads of stuff over to the storage unit.

Around 4:30pm this afternoon, Ferit received a call from the storage facility informing him that the lock for the unit had been “tampered with” and that he should come to the unit to see if anything had been taken. Really? It has only been two days and already the unit has been burglarized?

We packed the final few things to be stored into the car and quickly drove to the storage unit. Although we could access the unit until 9pm, the front office would be closing at 6pm. As we drove to the unit, we wondered if the break-in might have been an insider job – perhaps a way to entice us to purchase the storage facility's rental insurance.

We arrived at the storage facility and proceeded to speak with the manager at the front desk. He told us that 25 units had been broken into sometime between 5am and 6 am that morning. Although it may sound morose, we were relieved that our unit wasn’t the only one that had been broken into. At least us newbies weren’t the only targets of the burglary.

When we first learned of the break-in, we discussed moving the stuff to another storage unit. When we arrived at the unit, we spoke with another couple whose unit was also broken into. They had been storing their belongings at the storage unit for a year, and this has been the first break-in to their unit. As such, we figured it must be coincidence that we had only been at the storage unit for two days when the break-in happened. It wasn't worth moving to another storage facility.

The only thing missing from Ferit’s unit appeared to be a not-too-terribly expensive mountain bike. Bummer, but at least nothing else appeared to be “tampered with.” We were grateful that Ferit’s fancy road bike was in the good hands of Ferit’s trustworthy cousin, and we were grateful that Shirley (my steed of steel) was in the good hands of my friend, Dug.

At my urging, we called the police to file a report. This would be Ferit’s first-ever police report. How exciting! We were told by the police station that two officers were already on site, and so we waited for our turn to speak with the officers. In the meanwhile, we called the store where the bike had been purchased to get the serial number for the bicycle. Hopefully this information would be helpful to the police.

From a conversation we overheard between the officers, apparently there was decent video footage of the perpetrators, including footage of the U-Haul that was used by the thieves to collect the stolen goods. And from what we also gathered, a similar stunt had happened at the same time at another storage unit across town. Interesting.

Before we left the storage unit for the last time, we spent a few minutes photographing the contents of the unit and doing our best to make the unit less appetizing should another break-in occur. We accomplished this by placing a wall of furniture at the entrance to the storage unit.

There are three take-aways from today’s adventures:
  1. For all the safety naysayers who warn of thefts when traveling to other parts of the world, this is a good reminder that theft happens in our own neighborhoods right here in the good ol' U.S. of A.
  2. The more shit we have, the more we have to deal with packing up, transporting, storing, securing, insuring, and maintaining that shit. We definitely need to do more downsizing.
  3. We are fortunate to have awesome friends and family who are storing certain valuable things for us, managing our forwarded mail, and generally ensuring that all is copacetic for us at home as we travel overseas. Thank you, all!
May our upcoming European adventure involve excitement in a different form.


  1. My first real job out of college was a storage place and thieves are good and fast. One guy even cut locks and put his own on to take his time taking stuff. It wasn't till I noticed 30 of the exact lock that it starred to click.

    Damn sorry y'all had to go through this, but happy nothing but the one bike is gone. And you are correct, the more civilized the place I am in, the more I worry about my crap! Have a great flight and I already miss ya!

    1. Yup, it sounds as though storage places are ripe with theft. Clever to put one's own locks on the units. I'll have to remember that. ;)

    2. Bad influence Valente they call me.....

  2. Here's wishing the two of you a joyful and adventurous journey.

    As is to be expected, George Carlin got it right once again ...

    1. Both George Carlin and Henry David Thoreau. :)

      Thanks for the well wishes, dear friend. Miss you!


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