Thursday, December 07, 2006

Report of Armed Robbery (by my mother)

Report of Armed Robbery

Name: Mrs. ____ ______

Address: University of _____

Date: 6th December 2006; Approximately 7:30 to 7:45 PM

Items taken:
1. One silver Nokia 2650 cell phone (___________) purchased from _____on 13-Aug-05, costing N14,000
2. Approximately $_____ American Dollars

Unfortunately, I do not remember any identifying characteristics of the men. However, there were two that came in the house, one was fairly tall and the other seemed shorter. The tall one was carrying a handgun--a black one about 8-10 inches long. The tall one put a mask on his face shortly after entering the house. He seemed to speak English fine, using the swear word “f---” very often. The shorter one seemed to have something in his hand—perhaps a shotgun. The shorter one did not say much and was guarding S____, the night guard


Shortly after 7:30 pm two armed men pushed our night guard, S____, into my front door. He was fallen on the floor. I had been cooking in the kitchen and I screamed very loud. The men entered and asked if there was anyone else in the house. I told them no, and so he said for me to give them my money. He was waving a handgun, and I did not know how much they had hurt our night guard already I told him I would have to go upstairs, but I had to turn off my stove first. He allowed me to turn off my stove. We walked up the stairs, (as we were going up the stairs the electricity came on—the tall man demanded why the light had come on—I told him because NEPA had just returned). He followed me into my bedroom, and I was giving him the money I had. He kept swearing at me that I better not “fuck” with him. He said I better not lie to him, he did not like lying. He asked me, “Are you a Christian.” I told him I was. I asked him if he was a Christian. He said he was. I told him that God did not like stealing, and that God was very disappointed in him right now. He said something like, “You are more privileged than me.” He threatened to shoot me if I didn’t give him more money, I had more money in my desk drawer--some belonging to the ______(a group that makes wheelchairs for the handicapped). I told him as I gave him that, this is money sent to make wheelchairs for handicapped people. I do not know exactly how much money I had, but I believe it was almost $_____.

After that he told me to shut off my laptop computer and put it in the bag. I begged him not to take my computer--I was downloading something very important. He went ahead and shut the lid of the computer and also picked up my cell phone, but at that moment he heard the whistles coming up the road. He and his partner just left immediately. They did not take my computer, but did take my cell phone. A few seconds later I heard gun shots. I believe 3. Then I began to hear people. I was a little afraid to go downstairs again, but checked my land phone and found it was working. I called my husband who was in Abuja. I was talking to him when the phone broke connection. I could not get a line thru again. (This is not unusual.) By this time, I decided I needed to go downstairs and make sure my night guard was all right. There were several other night guards and other people here by that time.

Everyone gathered downstairs treated me very kindly, and I felt that God had protected me in many ways. The armed men did not touch me or hurt me personally.

I appreciated all the police and others that responded so quickly.

Thank you for your help,

Mrs. ______________


Anonymous said...

For all my bravado, I'm most assuredly not suicidal. When reprobates like these have "the drop" on you, one simply hands over whatever they want and send them on their way as quickly as possible. Sensible course of action on your mom's part, for sure.

The only way I will ever visit the land of my youth again is if I am guaranteed an MP5K sub-machine gun or a Kalashnickov AK74 assault rifle in my hands as I leave the airport.

Sad. I'd like to visit my mom's grave, but I probably never will.

Talatu-Carmen said...

Oh, Fred, you should go back. The armed robberies are frightening, of course, but there's so much else that is so exciting and alive.

My mother said people came by the house on sympathy visits all day long today. The armed robbery was a horrible experience, but it also gives us a chance to experience the love, solidarity, and humanity of our neighborhood and the community we have around us. Out of terrible experiences come new and deeper connections.

The way I see it, if we let thugs determine what we do, then we've given in--they are the one's in control.

I'd rather take the risk and face the tragedies that will inevitably happen, than miss out on the joys that also exist in Nigeria. When was the last time you had someone just randomly drop in for a visit in Boise? I MISS that--even though relentless visitors in Naija also often drive me wild when I have a lot of work to do. But, here, where I barely know my neighbors, I MISS that sponteneity--those connections.

I can't stand the thought of getting stuck in this plastic land--some professor in some boring midwestern town, trudging through snow every winter for the rest of my life. That sounds like Purgatory.

But, then I'm an idealist--passionate, impractical, incapable of structured and logical thought. If they HAD touched my mother, I wouldn't be sitting here waxing so philosophical. I'd probably be wanting to go hunt them down and kill them. But for now, we have the privilige of just being really grateful that she wasn't hurt and that the laptop wasn't even taken.

So, I think you should go back to Nigeria. Perhaps you could pretend to be Ghaddafi.... and at least bring in an Uzi or two...{-;

Talatu-Carmen said...

Selections from a chat with my dad online. (1am CST)

me: hey, ar eyou awake now?
Dad: Always awake this time of the morning. This is DAd
What are you doing up this time of the night
me: Hey dad... pretty cool that you have internet now
i'm just being stupid. i should have gone to bed.
Dad: It is very nice. Mungode Allah.
me: i'm trying to work on an activities form we have to turn into the dept.
Is mom doing ok?
Dad: ... Yes, I think she is doing fine. She is a pretty level headed and strong person.
me: yeah, i was proud of how she responded
Dad: In fact, I think she has been remarkably wise and composed during this whoel thing.
me: i loved that little "christian" exchange
Dad: Wouldn't that classic?
Can you image your little mom preaching to the armed robbers?
me: well, what strikes me as funny is that he started preaching at her first... about not lying etc.
Dad: That was funny.
me: so, what I'm imagining is this masked armed robber preaching at my mother about being a good honest christian
Dad: I also thought it was pretty funny and smart to make them let her go turn her oven off first.
Preachers come in strange shapes and styles.
Dad: Mom sees that hand of God in so many small things that that helps her not to focus just on the bad things.
me: When she called me, I was upset, but I think the overwhelming feeling was just thankfulness and gratitude
Dad: They have .... hit about four houses all withing 300 yards in the last six months
me: that's kind of a funny thing to feel when you hear that your mom has just been held up by armed robbers
oh really, so you think its the same guys?
yeah, i remember that it happened to the L____s in the same way, didn't it?
Dad: Yes I know that is tough. I was sorry I was in Abuja. However, I insisted that she call all of you and tell you personally. I did not want you hearing about this from an email.
me: no, it was the best way. she was just so calm and put together on the phone
i think that's why i came away feeling grateful rather than really upset
Dad: It happend to Dr. L____, Professor A____, and they attempted to get in Y______'s house--......
me: so, what is the community thinking they can do to prevent it?
Dad: I really don't know. I only got back last night.
I have talked to Prof. J___ a bit. He went with mom to the police yesterday.
me: it's upsetting because i guess it's not really even safe to walk around outside in the evenings any more if this is the case
Dad: They have hit a couple of peple on the road too, the night they attempted to get into Y____'s. And they have tried on the road a couple of other times.
Dad: One thing is sure: They will not enjoy money they stole from God's people and from money that was to use to buy wheel chairs for handiciapped children.
me: May it burn their insides and may whatever they buy with it spoil and rot, amen... {-;
Dad: In fact, I feel a bit sorry for these people. They are poor deceived souls who are trapped into thinking that they can get what they need to enjoy life through violence. They are deceived and are to be pitied.
Dad: However, I probably agree with your prayer.
me: as for feeling a bit sorry for them, i know what you mean. I kept (and this is bad) laughing about that preaching thing--which makes it hard to hate them
me: although i do hope that money haunts them and drives them crazy until they rrepent
Dad: I can agree with that.
I am not even opposed to God doing a little bit of vengeance. But we will leave that up to him.
me: i agree, i feel remarkably un-angry
would probably feel angrier if i were ther. but i'm just so grateful mom is ok
me: and that the computer wasn't taken!
Dad: That computer thing was big. If they had taken Mom's computer, that would have added another whole level of emotional trauma. However, the fact that it was spared was a whole level of emotional blessing.
me: yes, i agree.
another thing i was laughing a little bit about
was that .....
Dad: Maybe he is laughing about his experiences also. He probably has not had too mmany victims want to turn off their stove before they can robbed.
me: well, i'm glad mom turned off the stove. it wouldn't have been nice to have been robbed and then have the house burn down
Dad: To! Mugode Allah.
me: well, i know that you are probably trying to get work done
Dad: C____, I have a class in a few minutes and need to do one or two things before so I am going to let you go to bed where you belong.
me: all right dad. nice to chat. give mom a big hug for me.
love you.
Dad: I wil talk to you some where along the line. This chatting is nice, especiallly from your own hojme.
Sai gobe.
me: yeah, the problem is that its going to start getting really distracting once you get used to having internet.
to, sai gobe