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I'm in no danger of losing my home to foreclosure (knock wood), but last night my family became another victim of economic hard times when an unemployed neighbor broke into our home at 1 a.m. while my daughter and I were in our bedrooms at the back of the house.

Fortunately, neither of us was hurt nor directly threatened; the man ran off when he heard us respond to the noises.  

But he did get my keys and tried to steal the car.  We haven't found the keys yet, so today we're spending lots of time with locksmiths.

This has become an increasingly common incident in our cozy little neighborhood of older brick ramblers with its close-knit community of families and folks who have lived here since their homes were built in the 1950s.

My daughter caught a glimpse of the man as he fled down the driveway, across the yard, and up the street.  She was able to describe his build, hairstyle, and clothing.  We called the police while watching him run up the hill by our house, and they responded quickly with a K-9 unit.

The K-9 dog, Axel, caught his scent on the trail through our yard and immediately began to track him.  Eventually, Axel and his human partner thought they found the suspect, who matched the description and was taken in for questioning.

But they had to release him when they didn't find my keys on him -- the only thing he was able to grab before he left.

The guy lives in the neighborhood now after losing his job a few weeks ago and moving here to stay with a friend.

We were up all night with the State Bureau of Investigation officer and police officers as they dusted for fingerprints and combed the area.  They found a couple good partial prints that they believe might help seal the case.  So I'm probably rambling.  And more than a little terrified.

This month at my main job, I'm losing a percentage of my salary because of budget cutbacks.  It was decided to ask employees for a salary reduction and a forced furlough rather than cut more jobs than have already been cut.

My second job has already taken a hit; we've cut our hours of operation and cut back on staff hours.

I was breathing a sigh of relief about having dodged a bullet with just a dent in my pay.  But now I realize that's only part of the danger of our current economy.

Sorry for a hit-and-run diary, but my insurance agent is going to be here in a couple minutes, and the police have come around while I've been typing this to ask a few more questions.  I've got all that fingerprint mess to clean up.  And keys to make, and my car ignition thingy has to be replaced because someone has the keys to my average little 2005 Saturn and knows where it is.

Take care of one another, and take care of you.  

Originally posted to MsSpentyouth on Tue May 19, 2009 at 09:21 AM PDT.

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