Breaking and Entering
June 2, 2004 4:53 PM Subscribe
Someone has been letting himself into my apartment when I’m not there. What can I do to prove it? [much more inside]
posted by ambrosia to Home & Garden (53 answers total)
A few months ago, I came home one Sunday evening, after having spent the weekend away. When I walked in to my apartment, there was a really strong scent of men's cologne, cheap cologne, in the hallway of my apartment. The way the scent lingers after the person has left. It unsettled me a bit, and I wound up calling my sister and talking to her on the phone as I walked around my apartment opening the doors to all my closets and so forth, in case anyone was hiding inside. (I know that sounds kind of silly, but I had that gut feeling that someone had been in my apartment, and I didn't know what else to do.) Nobody was there, of course, and I figured that the scent must have probably wafted in from the hallway, and I forgot about it.
Until last night.
Returning Tuesday evening after a long holiday weekend away, I hadn't been in my apartment since the previous Thursday morning. My twice-a-month housekeeper came yesterday, and I came home to a snugly made bed. When I pulled down the comforter, there is was. That scent. All over my sheets.
Yes, I am having the locks changed, and no, I’m not going back until they’ve been changed. But what if it's either a) the landlord, or someone with access to the landlord's keys, or b) someone with access to the housekeeper’s keys? I seriously doubt it's the housekeeper, I’ve known her for years, and she’s thoroughly vouched for by two different friends who have known her for many more years. Besides, the timing of the first incident rules out the housekeeper. Just because I trust her, however, doesn't necessarily mean that everyone around her is to be trusted.
How can I calm that small paranoid person inside me who knows that someone, unknown to me, has been entering my apartment and doing who knows what? Nothing is missing, that I’ve noticed, but if someone rifled through my drawers I wouldn’t necessarily be able to tell.
I don’t want to booby-trap my home, obviously, but is there something simple that I can do to give me some peace of mind- so that if someone does come in again, I would have some tangible proof of that? (I can’t exactly go to the police based on “my sheets smell like Old Spice.”)
I really like my apartment, and I don’t want to move unless I absolutely have to. I’m hoping that changing the locks will take care of it. But if it doesn’t, I need to know.
(cross-posted on MonkeyFilter and AskMe for more results)