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  • Writer's pictureKirk

That Time My Room Was Burglarized

I know I've posted before I've never really been robbed or burglarized in any of my trips. Well, that's not exactly true. But this incident was so minor I actually forgot about it until I wrote the post about giving the boys from India pocket knives.


On a trip to the Asaam province of India, I stayed with the headmaster of the boys home. He had a separate attached room to his place that he allowed me to stay. The room had a private entrance that I was able to lock the entrance door. It was simply a small room with a bed with no amenities other than the huge cockroaches.


The room had one window which was locked. The window was elevated from ground level above the reach of anyone standing outside, because the entire building was built on stilts due to the monsoon season which brought flooding. I tell you this to set the stage for the story.


As I mentioned in this story, I had bought small pocket knIves for all the boys 13 and older at the home:


I not only brought the pocket knives, but also an abundance of candy and small gifts I was to hand out to the children during "prize day", a game I invented for the children as I explained here:


I had all of these things in my locked room. On occasions ,I would join the headmaster for trips into the village to pick up supplies. I always made sure my room was locked each time I left.


But oddly I began to notice the candy diminishing. One in particular, the Kinder Joy. I had bought a limited amount of these candies for two of the blind women that lived adjacent to the home. They had invited me to tea at their home in the past and told me how much they loved this particular candy.


At first I thought I was just forgetful and was unsure how much I had actually brought. I knew the door and window were locked at all times, so I was certain no one had entered. I chaulked it up to an aging mind.


Well, one day the last of the Kinder Joy was gone. I had never even visited the blind women to this point, so I knew I never distributed it. At that point I knew somebody had entered into my room and had stolen the candy.


I investigated further, and I looked at the knives. I had counted them before I came so I knew how many I had. There were many knives in the box, so I was not suspicious at first. But then I counted them. That's when I realized I was 12 knives short.


I knew somebody had broken into my room and stolen things at that point. I went to the headmaster and informed him of the situation. He was quite embarrassed to tell me, but the same thing happened to him a few months prior. He said some of the children were quite skilled at finding something to slide into the window to unlock it and enter into the room. They were also adept at locking the window back the way that they found it when they exited. Even though the window is elevated far above their reach, he said he believed that they climbed on each other's shoulders to be able to perform the feat.


At this point, he demanded all of the children to exit their rooms and to lineup in rows. He did not inform them the reason at that point. He then had his helper going to every one of their rooms to search the personal boxes that they have beneath their beds. He and I then went to each child individually as they stood in the lineup, and had them empty their pockets in front of us. A few of the boys asked if they could use the bathroom, but the headmaster was adamant that they could not. He knew what they were going to do.

In our searches, we recovered four of the 12 missing knives. The children who had them in their possession were pulled out of the lineup and forced to stand in front of the group. The headmaster persuaded them to give up the others that also had knives. But only four more were recovered. In total eight boys were involved in the heist. Not all of them burglarized my room, but they accepted the burglarized goods after the fact.


Two of the boys were older boys that were in charge of the younger boys in their barracks. The headmaster was especially upset with these two boys. The two boys that were involved in the actual heist were punished more severely. They were forced to stand in the middle of the common area, holding their ears with their head down. I'm assuming that was a position of shame.


They were there for about 30 minutes or more with no relief in sight. So I went up to the two boys and took it upon myself to tell them that was sufficient. And then I went and spoke to the headmaster and told him what I had done. He did not object.


Later, all the boys had to come to my room to personally apologize. The two older boys that were in charge of their Barracks were the most remorseful. Both of them cried as they gave their apologies. The younger ones seemed much less remorseful but apologize out of duty.


The two boys involved in the heist, were later

expelled from the home, as they should've been, I believe. You cannot afford to have children in the home that you cannot trust because there's just not enough supervision there.


The next day a boy came forward to me and handed me two additional knives. He told me he found them buried in the field. I think it is likely he was involved in it, but was afraid to keep the knives out of fear of expulsion, so he handed them back and said he found them there. I appreciated the act, so I never turned him into the headmaster.


That evening, the headmaster addressed all the boys in a special meeting. He asked if I wanted to say anything so I took the opportunity to tell them that everything in my room was for them anyway. There was no reason to steal it. But I told him I was most upset about taking the kinder joy candy. I told them I had that specifically earmarked for the blind women that loved it so much. I told them that their act of thievery, denied the few pleasures they get in life.


I have no idea if I made it impact or not. I doubt that I needed to even say anything at that point. Most of those boys are good boys, so really I was only addressing the few miscreants.


Anyway, that's my story of the one time I can recall having been burglarized. At least they gave me a story to tell!

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Roger Wells
Roger Wells
(10. 3.)
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It is really to bad that these kids made such bad decisions. It really cost a few of them a lot. Being expelled seems like it would be a big deal. I totally understand the need to discipline these kids. It’s to bad you had to go through all of this on your vacation. 😞

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Kirk
Kirk
(10. 3.)
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Yeah they had it nice there. Big deal to have to go back to their village and the poverty.

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Mike Wells
Mike Wells
(02. 3.)
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I guess when you have little you look for ways to improve your life. These are life lessons that people hopefully learn from their mistakes. The older boys definitely learned a true lesson

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Kirk
Kirk
(03. 3.)
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I think this is just kids being kids. I know that on occasion they have to kick some of them out because there’s not enough supervision, but I don’t think they’re behavior was that abnormal.

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