Four-Letter-Word Thieves

Yesterday we had two bikes stolen from our garden shed. One bike was expensive, one was not. Regardless, I’m upset. We are good people who live good lives. We work hard, pay our bills, and we don’t take what doesn’t belong to us. Most of the time we lock our doors but yesterday, one time, we didn’t and, of course, that day someone tested the door handle on our shed and took what they wanted. The stupid thing is that initially, we blamed ourselves.

Master lock with root password via Wikimedia Commons

There is a backstory to this. A few days ago, I saw a woman hanging around our back gate and she seemed to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. I got the feeling she had either just come out of our backyard or was about to go into it. I told my family about this and we agreed that we should put a lock on the back gate. So, I installed a lock that had a four-letter word code that we could all remember.

There is a backstory to this, too. When we moved into our house four years ago, we inherited a big bunch of keys. Each exterior door and some interior doors had a different lock and key. It was bewildering.  We eliminated some interior keyed locks, but we still ended up with some mystery keys that live in the kitchen drawer. Because of this, I avoided buying a lock with a key. We already had more than enough.

Love Locks via Pixabay

Anyway, this meant that we now had a back gate with a lock that opened with a four-letter word. What I hadn’t anticipated was that we could not unlock the gate from the outside. So, someone trapped in the alley had to either get back in through the back door to the shed or walk around the block to go in the front door to the house. This only happened once. Just once. One day only, that shed door was not locked and, wouldn’t you know it? That day someone got in and stole our bikes.

So, I blamed myself for installing a word-code lock, and another family member self-blamed for leaving the shed door unlocked.  This all happened only a couple of months after one of us briefly left the car door unlocked in the street and everything in the interior was stolen, including a GPS system, various plug-in cords, and the car’s manual!  Really! Who steals the manual from a 10-year-old car? That family member self-blamed, too.

But it is not our fault. None of us. We are good people who are sometimes less than perfect, but we are not bad people.  No, this is about bad people who do bad things. Actually, they do bad things on a regular basis.  They ride around our neighbourhood on BMX bikes trying to work their way up a criminal hierarchy that gives them credit for trying car door handles in the middle of the night and shed door handles in the middle of the day.

Locks for Bags via Pixabay

So, we will be buying more locks, probably with numerical key pads, so that we can all get in when we need to and still keep the BMX bad people out. The contents of our garden shed will then be protected by a lock that is probably more valuable than what is left of our garden tools and toys.

It’s not as though we are unsympathetic to the needs of others. We know there are people in our neighbourhood who are in need, so we give whatever we can. We donate to local and national charities, we volunteer, we leave free-share items out for people to take, and one of us actually works for a non-profit agency finding housing for homeless people. But, the people who try doors and car handles don’t know any of this. They just want to work their way up their criminal hierarchy.

The only people who benefit from any of this are locksmiths, and I really, really hope we can trust them.  Today, however, I’m not even sure about that.



  1. All y’all need to move to Tennessee….Oh wait…we’ve been burgled a few times too. It is disheartening to know people will come into your space and take the things you’ve worked hard for and even sacrificed to own. If someone is checking doors and latches on a regular basis, maybe there’s a way to catch them in the act. Who’s to say, maybe getting caught would be the best thing for them.

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