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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

St. Louis Robbery Victim Writes to Suspects: "I Will Never Look at the World the Same"

Posted By on Tue, Mar 12, 2013 at 8:00 AM

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My laptop, the tool that got me through college. Where I learned to edit my first photograph, where I edited my first video, the utensil to practice my craft. Working my way through the pawn shops of St. Louis, owner after owner told me they wouldn't even take this item.What will you do with it, what will you do with all my private files and archive of images?

The 'deal of the day' tv I bought for the boys. The item that comforted them when they couldn't sleep watching Pixar movies. You took the time to push their dresser out, unscrew the cable, and take it as if it was your own. You didn't know or care of the purpose. Maybe you use it now yourself or maybe you sold it for ten dollars, either way, I had to find a way to explain why it was no longer there. Not only that, you ripped the handle right out the nightstand, right next to where they sleep.

The xbox, an item so old, the pawn shops said they wouldn't take it if you brought it in. The boys used this to create boats, houses, towns. They used their imagination to create anything they could dream up. On these cold nights, when you can't go out to play, that was their form of exploration. It meant something to them. It meant something to me hearing about the houses they built on it and what they learned from it.

I hear things like, 'at least you weren't hurt, or at least they left this or that' I am also happy no one was hurt. However, I don't want to live in an 'At least' kind of world. Do you want your children or mother or father to have to say 'At least'? I don't want to live somewhere that it is considered a favor that I wasn't hurt or raped or killed.

Who am I today? I don't trust the neighborhood. I cannot wait to leave. I am in debt paying for the highest security system I could obtain to keep you from breaking into my home again. Everyone I see outside is a suspect. I don't know if you are waiting for your kid to get on the bus, or sitting in your car watching me and waiting for me to leave. I will never look at the world the same. I can't sleep. Every noise I hear sends me running to the window. I don't leave my house after dark. If I leave, I am monitoring each door and window through my phone. If you try to come back, I will be there to tell these things in person. I needed to write this letter for closure, for myself, so if by chance you read it, you will know how this affects a person.

Enjoy my things, but you will never know the true value of them or anything until you have to work hard for them.

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Sam Levin on Twitter at @SamTLevin.

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