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Old 15.07.2014, 14:15
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Scumbag thieves broke in apartment in Bern

So this summer vacation ended with a "bang"... my apartment was broken in and robbed while we were away... we just got added to the statistic of "stolen jewellery and cash" robberies...

what idiots were we to be lulled into a false sense of security as we had recently moved into this 6th floor apartment of an 8 storeyed building... we thought, "why would anyone bother coming up all the way here?"... the monetary loss is saddeningly high considering that most of my wife's jewellery was heirloom handed down as part of our (big fat Indian) wedding... we were idiots to be holding it all in our apartment... the break in was unavoidable, but the loss could have been circumvented...

moving on now... gearing up for the future... it could have been worse... hoping that the insurance covers up for some of the loss...
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Old 15.07.2014, 14:25
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Re: Scumbag thieves broke in apartment in Bern

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So this summer vacation ended with a "bang"... my apartment was broken in and robbed while we were away... we just got added to the statistic of "stolen jewellery and cash" robberies...

what idiots were we to be lulled into a false sense of security as we had recently moved into this 6th floor apartment of an 8 storeyed building... we thought, "why would anyone bother coming up all the way here?"... the monetary loss is saddeningly high considering that most of my wife's jewellery was heirloom handed down as part of our (big fat Indian) wedding... we were idiots to be holding it all in our apartment... the break in was unavoidable, but the loss could have been circumvented...

moving on now... gearing up for the future... it could have been worse... hoping that the insurance covers up for some of the loss...
Very sorry to hear this. Do your best to get over it and don't be afraid to seek counseling if necessary.
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Old 15.07.2014, 19:56
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Re: Scumbag thieves broke in apartment in Bern

how did they get in if you don't mind me asking?

i used to live on the top floor and felt like you did, who would come up here and how would they even get in!
am in the process of getting house insurance because i'm on the ground floor so it would be nice to hear how your insurance handles it.
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Old 15.07.2014, 20:12
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Re: Scumbag thieves broke in apartment in Bern

I am sorry for the loss of your special jewelry as well as the feeling of being violated. I know that insurance proceeds for the loss of irreplaceable heirlooms doesn't even come close to covering the true loss.

Since you indicate that you are Indian, I wanted to add here that while living in Switzerland, I was told by a colleague of my husband's that thieves sometimes specifically target Indians as they are seen as likely to have more gold items in their house. As such, extra precautions might be beneficial and perhaps give more peace of mind.

I was previously unaware that this sort of "profiling" took place, but apparently it is a phenomenon in my home country as well (US), based upon a Google search.
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Old 15.07.2014, 21:16
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Re: Scumbag thieves broke in apartment in Bern

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how did they get in if you don't mind me asking?
They used a crowbar or screwdriver to literally pry my front door open... apparently the lock wasn't even required to be broken... the police got it fixed before I returned so I'm still unclear of how exactly did they go about it... as per the police higher-up floors are equally susceptible as there is much lesser chance of someone walking up and down the stairs in those parts...
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I am sorry for the loss of your special jewelry as well as the feeling of being violated. I know that insurance proceeds for the loss of irreplaceable heirlooms doesn't even come close to covering the true loss.

Since you indicate that you are Indian, I wanted to add here that while living in Switzerland, I was told by a colleague of my husband's that thieves sometimes specifically target Indians as they are seen as likely to have more gold items in their house. As such, extra precautions might be beneficial and perhaps give more peace of mind.

I was previously unaware that this sort of "profiling" took place, but apparently it is a phenomenon in my home country as well (US), based upon a Google search.
As much as I'd like to believe that this was an unfortunate coincidence, I might have to agree with you... 24 apartments in the building and I'm the only one burgled... seems to be a case of profiling... I feel really unsafe like a sitting duck with that thought...
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Old 16.07.2014, 15:29
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Re: Scumbag thieves broke in apartment in Bern

My deepest sympathies.

As you say, it is the loss of the irreplaceable items of great sentimental value that is hardest to bear.

Very sorry for you.
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Old 16.07.2014, 15:37
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Re: Scumbag thieves broke in apartment in Bern

That is so horrible for you and your wife. I hope that the people involved are caught, maybe there is a chance that your jewellery could be recovered, I do hope so.
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Old 16.07.2014, 15:42
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Re: Scumbag thieves broke in apartment in Bern

How horrible. I'm really sorry to hear. How uncomfortable and unsettling to be so extremely targeted as it seems you have been.

We also live high up (3rd) and always assumed that we were safe from break ins, will reconsider that now!
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Old 16.07.2014, 15:52
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Re: Scumbag thieves broke in apartment in Bern

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How horrible. I'm really sorry to hear. How uncomfortable and unsettling to be so extremely targeted as it seems you have been.

We also live high up (3rd) and always assumed that we were safe from break ins, will reconsider that now!

We are on the third floor and assumed the same.
The other day, a charity worker appeared at our door, they had somehow got in through the main door, which is always locked (it locks automatically when the door closes).
We should all be aware that there are bad people out there, and never let anyone into the building without being sure who they are.

I used to regularly visit elderly people in sheltered accommodation as part of my job, and even if one of them was leaving the building as I arrived, they would never just let me in. I had to ring the flat I was visiting and be let in by the tenant who was expecting me. A little irritating, especially if it was raining, but perfectly understandable.

Last edited by hannah'sauntie; 16.07.2014 at 16:07.
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Old 16.07.2014, 16:02
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Re: Scumbag thieves broke in apartment in Bern

Sorry to read of your break-in but glad you are doing your best to move on from it.

Do you know who reported the break-in to the police? Someone must've done so as you say the door was already fixed on your return from holiday as was arranged by the police.

Perhaps the person who reported it or another neighbour living higher up to you heard or saw something suspicious?

If this was indeed a profiling related robbery, then those responsible may well have been watching your comings and goings over a period of time.

This is one good reason why it's good to get to know at least one neighbour on a friendly basis so that when you go on holiday or are away from home for extended periods, you can ask them to check in on the apartment and clear your mail. I've always done this and done the same in return for others.
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Old 16.07.2014, 16:12
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Re: Scumbag thieves broke in apartment in Bern

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Do you know who reported the break-in to the police? Someone must've done so as you say the door was already fixed on your return from holiday as was arranged by the police.
Oh yes I didn't quite complete my story there... this is what could have happened as per the police:
1) they saw my mailbox overflowing with the junk mail (damn you Berner Zeitung!)... tell tale sign of the family being away for many days
2) at around 13:00 they rang my bell and the bell of both my neighbours on the same floor (one is a group of 3 Swiss boys and another a family of a Saudi Arabian embassy employee)
3) no answer from all three apartments so they waited it out for half an hour
4) they skipped the apartment of the boys, and went into mine wiping it clean... that would be the choice based upon profiling I assume
5) next they broke into the Saudi Arabian family's apartment... but wait, the man of the house was inside!!! turns out he was taking a shower when they rang the bell, which is why he couldn't open the door... he shouted as a reflex and they fled... he is the one who called the police... once the police arrived they realized that my apartment had been already burgled

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This is one good reason why it's good to get to know at least one neighbour on a friendly basis so that when you go on holiday or are away from home for extended periods, you can ask them to check in on the apartment and clear your mail. I've always done this and done the same in return for others.
Exactly... for next time I am going to give my mailbox key and the spare apartment key to the Swiss boys...

Last edited by varun.c.jain; 16.07.2014 at 16:14. Reason: bullet points
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Old 16.07.2014, 16:20
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Re: Scumbag thieves broke in apartment in Bern

I'm sorry this happened to you, what an awful feeling. I hope the police are able to catch the culprits, and that all your neighbors are more on the lookout now.

In addition to having your neighbors check on your place, you can have your mail put on hold with the Post. It costs a small fee, but the nice thing is they only keep mail with your name on it. No pesky free newspapers or ads to bundle for the recycling.
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Old 16.07.2014, 16:23
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Re: Scumbag thieves broke in apartment in Bern

Our place is literally 10 meters to Seestrasse in Kusnacht in a modern building complex; new, energy efficient buildings with camera at each door etc. We also had the false belief that CH was exempt from break-ins but in the past three years, four flats have been broken into, some of which more than once. At one occasion, two flats above ours were broken into at day-light while my kids and my visiting in-laws were present and they heard absolutely nothing -though my kids are quite noisy to be fair. All happened during summer months and when the tenants were on holiday. To my best knowledge, the thieves have not been found yet. According to the police, thieves can easily unlock the main door at the entrance due to some glitch at the design of the lock or something, though even if that were to be corrected, we have multiple families with kids who usually keep the front door open. Apparently the close proximity of the buildings to a main road makes them good targets; thieves can run away easier (did not get the police logic entirely, but..)

We are not keeping much cash at home but the possibility of a break-in just keeps me nervous waking up in the middle of the night to any noise and checking all doors/windows
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Old 16.07.2014, 16:26
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Re: Scumbag thieves broke in apartment in Bern

The insurance will probably ask for picture of the jewlerry so look through wedding album etc. In advance.

Also look Into a safety deposit box in future.

I'm also south Asian and I have pictures of each item sitting on a scale so the gold weight of the item is known.
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Old 16.07.2014, 16:41
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Re: Scumbag thieves broke in apartment in Bern

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To my best knowledge, the thieves have not been found yet. According to the police, thieves can easily unlock the main door at the entrance due to some glitch at the design of the lock or something, though even if that were to be corrected, we have multiple families with kids who usually keep the front door open.
The technique is called bumping and is known by those interested for years.

Do not watch, if you had any trust in locks:


Solutions: Electro mechanical (Kaba elostar) or a disc tumbler lock (Abloy Protec)
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Old 03.03.2016, 13:42
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Re: Scumbag thieves broke in apartment in Bern

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So this summer vacation ended with a "bang"... my apartment was broken in and robbed while we were away... we just got added to the statistic of "stolen jewellery and cash" robberies...

what idiots were we to be lulled into a false sense of security as we had recently moved into this 6th floor apartment of an 8 storeyed building... we thought, "why would anyone bother coming up all the way here?"... the monetary loss is saddeningly high considering that most of my wife's jewellery was heirloom handed down as part of our (big fat Indian) wedding... we were idiots to be holding it all in our apartment... the break in was unavoidable, but the loss could have been circumvented...

moving on now... gearing up for the future... it could have been worse... hoping that the insurance covers up for some of the loss...
thats really sad, Varun I hope you guys have moved on now and feel safe again. This happened with us recently The false sense of security of having strong doors, double entry and "'oh, this is Switzerland and we are safe here" made me loose all my jewellery, mostly from our wedding and my husbands love of gifting me expensive stuff for my birthday. we were told the same thing about the connection between gold and Indians.
The stuff is gone and will never be back and I can say the same about the feeling of insecurity and being violated in our own home.
Alas, all I can say is "it could have been worst!!"
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