"I felt devastated and couldn’t stop crying for a long time..."
In August 2014 I had a terrible experience. I still remember what happened vividly.
I was living in shared private accommodation with three other international students in Manchester. My room was located on the first floor of the house. I had left my window half open to let some fresh air in. At 9.30pm my boyfriend Nico (now my husband) and I were chatting in the kitchen.
Suddenly, we heard a noise as if a bottle had smashed on the ground. I tried to look outside the window but I it was too dark to see anything, and too bright inside. Nico switched off the lights and we saw a shadowy figure drop down and run away!
We immediately went upstairs to my room and were shocked at what we saw. The window was wide open, and two laptops were gone! A backpack with all my documents, USB flash pens and some books were all taken. I felt devastated and couldn’t stop crying for a long time. I was writing my dissertation for my Masters program, with only one month left before the deadline, and now I had lost all of it! Thankfully, my housemates and Nico were calm enough to help me call the police. Police officers were sent to gather evidence, but they told us that many students had been victims of similar crime and most of their possessions were not found. So we did not have much hope.
After the incident, I had urged the landlord to install more security devices to safeguard the house, but he did not do it. Only 6 months after I had moved out, I heard that a similar incident had happened in the same house! Unfortunately, two laptops were taken that time as well.
It was a traumatic experience for me. I broke down several times in the subsequent weeks. I felt very angry at the selfishness of the burglars who were causing pain and fear for victims like me. However, I am thankful to God. He sent different people to provide a shelter, a computer to work on my dissertation, shoulders to cry on, and prayers to feel comforted. Most importantly, God gave me the courage to pray for and forgive the burglar(s).
To all international students, I urge you to secure your doors and windows and look after your personal belongings very closely. There are over 30,000 burglaries in England and Wales every month!
Thieves target students, so don’t let this happen to you.