Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Crime Has Been Committed.

No, really.

My credit card, an expired bank card, my Borders Rewards card, my driver's license, and potentially my insurance card were stolen straight out of my wallet sometime yesterday.

I found out this morning when my credit card company called me to inform me my card was on a fraud hold due to suspicious activity. I was asked to verify the last three charges. When I listened to them, I frowned because I didn't remember hitting up a Shell station recently. So I asked to speak with a fraud specialist, who was very kind and soothing.

She informed me that it's not atypical for a particular pump to be acting up and ask for card information more than once, but on the third try, it triggers a fraud alert and the card goes on fraud hold, because it's one way that credit card thieves attempt to discern whether a card is active or not. She then asked if I'd had any trouble getting gas that morning.

To which I replied that I most certainly had not stopped for gas this morning, a sense of panic growing in me.

She asked me to verify that the card was in my possession.

*** Flashback to Tuesday Morning, the ride into work ***

Me: DH, do you still have my credit card? (having handed it to him over the weekend to keep with his cards when I felt lazy and didn't want to haul my purse around)
DH: Yep.
Me: Do you mind putting it back in my wallet? (thinking I would get coffee on my way to my second office, but later deciding not to do so, because DH brought me coffee)
DH: Sure thing.

DH pulls wallet from purse. DH puts card into correct slot in wallet. DH puts wallet back into purse.

*** End Flashback ***

The card is not in my wallet.

What I didn't notice at that moment is that receipts fell out of my wallet that were tucked into a pocket and my driver's license and old expired debit card (belonging to account I only use for depositing small amounts of money into every then in a vain attempt to save money) are missing as well. I clued in about 10 minutes later.

Meanwhile, I call DH to verify that the above flashback didn't take place only inside my head (it didn't) and that the card is gone (it is).

So, nice lady immediately begins the card cancellation procedure and starts the fraud investigation, reassuring me I was not responsible for those charges, and that they will take care of this, etc.

Short version is my new card will arrive on Friday. To work, because someone has to sign for it, and I told our secretary and she's very upset about this and will personally take charge of signing for it and locking it up until I take possession. Bless her heart.

About this time, it starts sinking in that my credit card was stolen directly from my wallet. And with a sinking feeling, I realize that due to my having known with certainty when the last time I personally saw the card was, it could only have been stolen from two places. Work or our home.

My stomach sinks further as I remember that my purse was left in my original office in a locked desk drawer, though the key was in the lock (as it is with ALL of our desks). And when I returned from my second office, that key had been messed with. It was bent in the lock. The locking mechanism still worked, but the key couldn't be removed, because of the angle. I thought little of it yesterday, assuming I'd done that damage in my haste to get out the door, thinking my bag had caught on it or something.

But it's suspicious (now, anyway). The problem here is that I share my office, and my officemate was around all day, as well as an intern in the afternoon. Given our office set-up, it's patently absurd to think that anyone unknown could have made their way back into our office, past reception and multiple other offices and snuck in without my officemate seeing or hearing them, knowing where my purse was (or rummaging without alerting my officemate), finding my purse and rifling through my wallet, taking these items, but leaving behind the iPod Touch, the cell phone, and both cameras in my purse.

It seems likewise absurd to think that it could be someone in our office who actually works there. While it's no secret I'm gone half the day and a smart or observant person could know where I keep my purse or be able to figure it out (there aren't many places if it's out of sight), it's a real stretch.

Unfortunately, so is the other option. I did leave my purse in my car last night. I frequently do. I know it's a bad habit, but the complex is gated, the car is in our carport, which, while accessible, would generally require noise to open. The purse is usually behind the seat or under the dash. The pricey electronic equipment came inside last night, which would explain why it wasn't taken. But. . . the car was locked last night, and it was locked this morning. There are no signs of damage or entry. The purse was pretty much where it was left, according to DH, who checked for it when I asked if it was there. Also, there is no indication the car was rifled for anything else and nothing is missing that we are aware of. The two pairs of earrings I left that might have some value are still there.

It's a real stretch for me to believe that someone quietly entered our car with no damage or evidence of it, rifled through my purse to take only likely looking cards and my drivers license, but left the electronic equipment and replaced my wallet in my purse and my purse in the same location it was in.

It's easier to think that someone in an office setting where they might be discovered tried to see if they could grab some quick cash rifled my wallet, and in a rush grabbed all the likely cards and bam! Threw everything back in and didn't have time to notice the iPod or cell phone. That could be done in about 30 seconds. And while my officemate says she was in all-day, I'm quite certain that there would have been one point where she stepped out or a point at which someone could have slipped in without her knowledge.

But what a terribly disturbing thought that is.

Regardless of how, it happened. I went to DMV to get a new license today (my picture makes me look like a fat man in drag. joy) and the new card is on the way. I had my bank accounts notated, on the off chance that someone attempts to get a new debit card for that account or there was something else stolen I don't realize. And after some debate, I did go ahead and call to file a police report. If there is surveillance footage, then perhaps we can see who did it, though I doubt it gets taken that far. Mostly, I'm concerned with having it on file, should there be any additional problems or someone tries to use my license (they said at DMV that if that happened, I could get a new number. Why I couldn't just have one is beyond me, but whatever).

Still. A bit angry, a bit shaken, a lot amused in a twisted sort of way. A bigger pain in the ass than anything, but still. . . People suck.


Robyn said...

Sorry to hear this! I accidentally left my purse on top of my car this weekend and have had to go through all that you mentioned. Reporting it to the police, going to dmv and to the bank. It has been such a pain!

B said...

that's terrible! i'm glad you reported it to the police. if you haven't already then please report it to TPTB at work as well? whoever took the things should know that it's being taken seriously.

and, until anyone is caught, please keep the keys (or your bag) with you. don't make it easy for them to rob you again :(

how horrible. i'm sorry you're having to deal with this. as if you weren't busy enough!

bkb said...

Not to worry you but when I was there we had this happen to another staff member. It was creepy and we all knew it had to be internal so that seriously increased the creep factor. So sorry it happened!

Meegs said...

Where did you go? Such a long absense... I hope everything is okay.