For the first time in both of our home ownership histories, we experienced a break in. Via a fenced-in side door to our garage that we rarely used. All six of our bicycles were taken. Nothing was trashed inside. We slept through it.
A poor ball cedar got trampled on the way in and a utility line was cut. The perpetrators were quite careful with moving things out of the way. In order to gain entry, a crow bar was used on our steel door. It was dented along with damage to the surround, deadbolt and strike plate.
There were 4 people involved. A couple of them served as lookout. And the other two rode and guided the bikes 2 at a time, a short distance away before returning for more.
The last month+ has been a blurr of activity as our insurance policy was tested. To be honest, I didn't know the limits of coverage for things like bicycles. When setting up the policy, I was mostly interested in making sure we'd be covered for a complete rebuild should the house burn down etc.
As an aside, a highschool friend of mine is currently going through a claim as his house burnt down due to a faulty power bar. It will take at least 8 months for his family of 6 to be able to move back. They will be living at a hotel until then. We've all learned a whole lot about all the professionals sent to the scene to search for the cause.
I wasn't concerned about our bicycles. I remain concerned that the perpetrators now know that our garage has 2 other doors leading into the house -- Mudroom and basement, along with a ladder to the garage attic. Who knows what they could be thinking.
We already know that with Covid, nothing happens fast. So the quote for a new steel door is 3 months+ depending on the style...
Since our door is usable, meaning it didn't have to be boarded up, it was important to secure it better, to make it harder to another break in. We now have very large strike plates which makes it harder to pry around. New locks have been installed as well as window security film as about half the door is glass.
We do have motion detector lights but they had not been used in over a decade. They've since been replaced and we are now using indoor and outdoor timers for lights again when we are away. Our neighbour owns a security company and will be getting us a quote for a home alarm/monitoring system. It was his camera that caught part of the scene. That's how we know how many people were involved.
And because of the video, all 4 people were arrested. A couple of them were released with a future court date and then proceeded to promptly steal again and were arrested again...
It's been proving difficult to find bicycles to buy. Because of this, our insurance company issued a straight pay out. It was a bit of work, listing all the bikes, upgraded parts and accessories. Believe it or not, there were 68 line items, from mostly D's bikes.
In the good news category, both of my bikes were found by the police (who were fantastic to deal with) within the first week. They were a bit dented and scratched up so I've had to doctor them with touch up paint. The busted frame of one of D's bike was found as the money is in the parts ie. the wheels of D's fat bike alone are about 1K.
Our local bike shops had their contacts keeping eyes out for us and a complete stranger attempted to chase down one of my bikes the day after it was stolen, when he saw "...a large guy riding the smallest olive Salsa bike he had ever seen..." (my bikes are an xs frame). We were alarmed that he would risk confrontation but I've learned that bike owners are a passionate group.
With depreciation, and a 3K deductible; in the end, we received about 9K back for the bikes and 3K for the replacement door. And because you are dealing with an insurance company, we can expect our premium to increase next year.
A real highlight was our claims adjuster who is such a kind and patient soul. Over the years at work, I've dealt with my share of insurance and case adjusters. So I know how fortunate we were to have been assigned a real standout. I made sure she knew how we felt too.
***Pro tip: Replace surge protectors / power bars that are over 5 years old!***