Ponte Vedra Focus asked us to write an article about our home burglary in Ponte Vedra Beach. I had to consider what was even safe to include. Before the burglary, I probably would not have though twice about sharing information with our community. It is Ponte Vedra Beach after all. After this though, I realized as safe as we are here, anything can happen. And in our case, it did happen.
A few weekends ago, we left our home for approximately one hour. When we returned we saw one of our doors open. The rest of our first floor exterior doors had been unlocked by someone else. We remember locking them when we left. We found our bedroom ransacked. Dresser drawers were open. Drawers thrown on the bed. Jewelry boxes were dumped out. Clothes were scattered and bathroom drawers open. We can tell that the burgalers went room to room because all of our second floor bedroom and attic doors were open. They are always closed. We immediately called 911 and got out of the house – not knowing if anyone was hiding in the house.
Fortunately no one was found in the home when the St Johns County Sheriff’s Office went room to room. However, the majority of our jewelry and watches were stolen.
The loss of the jewelry isn’t the most worrisome thing though. What bothers us most is that we were being watched. There is no other way that someone could just happen to get lucky in broad daylight with a random break-in.
Any updates from the SJSO have been slow to come about our case. Though fingerprints and DNA were collected from our home, as of the date that this article, we have no idea if the fingerprints or DNA have been processed. Of course we find this very frustrating, as would anyone.
I can tell you we haven’t always been vigilant using our alarm system. We never felt like we needed to be before now. We’ve heard of car break-ins in our area, but never a home. No matter where you live, no matter how “nice” your neighborhood is, there are bad people out there.
We now have upgraded our security system to include surveillance cameras and always have it activated. We’re making sure all of our doors are locked and the garage doors are down unless we are in the garage. We also no longer kennel our large dog. She now roams free in the house.
Bottom line: We no longer take our safety for granted, and you shouldn’t either.
We need to be more vigilant and look out for one another. We need to keep our lights on outside at night. With so much activity and building in our neighborhood, we need to look more closely at what may not be normal activity around the neighborhood. Let your neighbors know if you are traveling and whom they can expect to see at your home in your absence. That truck parked in the street may not be a person with permission to be there. Don’t live in fear. But be smart and aware.
Editor’s note: For obvious reasons, the writer did not wish to share names.