Ok, this is getting disturbing, and now there's a mystery to solve (which may have to include setting some kind of "booby traps").
Last week, our carport storage closet was broken into. They cut or picked the lock (and apparently took it with them). This happened sometime between 3:30 - 6:30 during the day. They didn't take anything - but mainly just moved stuff around. So, we bought a new "fortress" lock and got everything secured again.
And, we've always had a couple non-important items just sitting below that - an old litterbox (bagged), a bag of paintbrushes and rollers, and some cheap vinyl car mats. Well, this morning, all three of those items were gone.
Now, here's why this is a huge mystery, and we're really hoping it's not what I'm thinking it is:
Ken found all three items discarded in the dumpster on the opposite end of our parking area (not the one we usually pass on our way to/from our apartment).
This has sent my brain into a little panic, and dreading that it may be our apartment complex doing it.
For a little backstory, some of you may recall that we were forced to take down our tiki patio decorations in January, of which we promptly complied, without raising a fuss. Well, also around that time, the office manager also mentioned the few items underneath our carport, and said that we'd need to remove those while they powerwashed the following week. So, we removed them, they powerwashed, and we put them back. The office manager let me know the following week that "you should lock those items away in your storage, because I saw some kids messing with them, and I'm sure you wouldn't want them to turn up missing". I told her they wouldn't fit, and that they weren't anything valuable anyway, and just things we might need on rare occasion. (Keep in mind that many other residents keep a few things underneath their carports as well, from old car batteries, to a broken chair, and other junk.) So, she suggested we just "throw them away" then. Well, we didn't. Afterall, other residents have more things under their carport than we do, and if we never needed them anymore, we would have thrown them away in the first place.
Then, she told me again the following week that she had to "chase some kids away" from our carport area, and that she would gladly check to see if there is a vacant storage closet that we could have. I said that would be nice, and she never responded back about it.
When the break-in happened last week, I emailed her the next day, and the response I got was that "we'll let the roving security know".
But, the incident this morning just makes me feel like we're being targeted by our complex for some reason. There are a lot of people who still have more decor and stuff on their patios than we ever did, so that adds to my suspicions as well.
This is really disconcerting, because we've been excellent tenents - always quiet, our rent is paid, and we never complain about anything, and our neighbors really like us, and we also keep a very clean and tidy home. I've even gone out of my way to publicly post constant good reviews on www.apartmentratings.com, because we've love the place so much.
So, to test our theory, Ken has retreived the three stolen and tossed items from the dumpster, and we're placing them back underneath our carport storage closet. We figure if it's a thief, they would already know what those items are and not bother with them again. But, if they turn up missing again, we think it may just be the apartment maintenance people.
However, I'm not about to let this go "quietly". Last weekend, I ordered a couple small 120db alarms that go off by either a having pull cord removed or by two flat metal pieces becoming seperated (when something is lifted off of them). So, we're rigging one within our storage closet, with a special release hook (where we can reach in and detach it, before fully opening the door). The other will be mounted in a hidden place under the storage, and then one of the three items placed atop the flat metal pieces, so if it's moved, it will trigger the alarm.
I'm also upset enough that I'm tempted to "booby trap" the stuff somehow with mousetraps, which can offer a nice "bite to the hand" of the culprit.
I really want to get to the bottom of this. We don't live in a bad area, and while we have a couple "questionable" neighbors, the timing of this is too much a coincidence that it may just be a way to "flush us out". We're not going to mention this morning's incident to the office manager, just for that possible reason. If it is the complex, then why can't they just say, "We don't want any items to be stored under the closets anymore. Please remove them." That also leads us to believe that we're being "targeted".
So, any thoughts or ideas???