Offline friends of this blog would know that Hot Mummee and I were robbed last Friday evening.
4 guys, 2 mopet bikes, 2 machetes.
We were just leaving my brother’s house after dinner. My car was parked outside. I was busy carrying the 2 bags and putting them into the backseat, HM was carrying some washed corning wares / pyrex thingies, and we then were busy making sure Caitlin sat properly in the front seat. HM was gonna walk to my parents house, maid was already nearing the gate there. We were after all only less than 100m from my parents’ house where we were (yes my brother and parents are 2-doors-away neighbours).
We were somehow complacent to our surroundings. We didn’t look around for potential threats.
From my point of view, I saw a bike veering suddenly toward alongside my car- the direction of HM. Snatch thieves was my first reaction. I jumped out the car to run toward the back of it to meet them there. I was greeted by a machete. I think I saw the second bike, that’s why I was so quickly greeted by him so soon after jumping out the car.
They say you can’t really remember things when you are in a panic. Right now I can only say that I recall the word anak being uttered to me. Bastard was threatening me with Caitlin’s safety. I saw the others bear-hugging HM and being pushed toward the fence outside the house. I knew what was up. Put up my hands to show compliance. I gotta play along.
My next thought is the one that’s still haunting me today: Anything is possible from this point onwards. There were 4 of them, 2 machetes, we’re at their mercy, we’re on our own, neighbours only looked on, the street is deserted. Anything, in any possible combo of consequences and endings to this ordeal. My sister inlaw did walk us out, but did rightly so close the gate quickly and started shouting for help.
i offered my wallet. Just take and go. He told me to sit down on the ground. I didn’t want to but I didn’t say anything, only stalled by kinda shifting around, hands still up. Sitting down would mean slower reaction, if I needed to react. I was watching him without looking at his face not to intimidate him. Caitlin is still in the car. I was watching him. He had the machete in his right hand, left hand reached over checking for contents of all my pockets. Took out my iPhone. Took out whatever I had in all pockets (only bits of paper by then).
Somewhere in there I heard zipper sounds. They had taken out the 2 bags from the backseat, presumably checking its contents. I also heard my car being started.
Caitlin is inside.
Then the engine stopped. I will never know the intention of the whole start-stop. I can only hope that it was because they are small-time and that carjacking cum kidnapping wasn’t their MO.
Told me to sit down again. I stalled, but then only squated. Told me to give him my watch. I hear some new shouting over all the shouting by SIL, and by now my brother from the window upstairs, and then later outside at the fence looking over. He had a solid wood staff nose-height length. The new shouting was from HM. I thought she was resisting and was starting to fight. I called out “Dear- DON’T”.
As my brother’s head popped up over the fence with a visually obvious wooden staff, the guys pushed HM to sitdown too, and waved his machete at him “whaddya want”. My 16 yr old nephew also popped up with a staff too.
I can only guess that all the noise of the shouting, the house alarm ringing, the neighbours now (only) watching, that they thought their job was done. Took the 2 bags and took off on their bikes.
in it were HM’s work laptop with very long-laboured proposals and spreadsheets, LV b’day present purse, 2 mobile phones. In the other bag was all of Caleb’s milk gear- powder, bottles, cleaning stuff, etc.
As soon as they left I checked on Caitlin, still in the front seat, watching the whole thing. Only then did her lips start to curve down. She looked fine, I assured her trying hard to sound calm. Then I asked where Caleb was. HM panics more, runs towards parents house to find that they had let the maid in and closed back the gate.
Only after that did she ask what was taken. At that time I couldn’t remember where everything was. I also didn’t know what to do next, only relieved that it was over, and no one got hurt. We quickly head to parents’ house, and recounted what happened and what is missing.
A few things I learned from this:
- My car’s remote had been broken a week before the incident. I’ve had to carry the bunch of keys and the remote as 2 items. Thus, for some reason I was still holding it in my right hand when I had my hands up. I think I would have been thinking-straight enough to immobilise the engine if they were indeed going off with Caitlin in the car. I shall continue carrying them as 2 separate items now;
- To think straight enough to realise if things and people were okay; to check on them after ensuring I get a glimpse of the plates of the getaway vehicles;
- To continue locking my phones, because I carry a lot of sensitive info on them. I am anticipating these low lifes to be dumb enough to enter the wrong code more than 10 times into my iPhone which will then wipe out everything on it. What is bugging me now is that it is likely to still function as a “basic” iPhone now;
- Never forget to check one’s surroundings. I don’t know what happened to my Jason Bourne aspirations at that time.
I have also learned another thing about myself. On Saturday and Sunday while we were still very shaken, we were thankful for the following:
- That they didn’t first strike and then only grab, as have happened with other cases. I attribute this to the fact that it was a woman outside and not me, a man.
- That they didn’t attack, and there was no reason to react, creating more trouble.
- My brother didn’t react either, only watched and only react if there was a need to
But come Monday and following days, I was furious. Vengeful, violent intentions type of fury. Replaying everything in my head about how there were opportunities to inflict real damage on him…. it eats me up inside and blocks out every other rational thoughts about what I am currently doing.