#17) I've been robbed at gunpoint
...so here I am with a story for you today!
One summer, I was walking down a dark alley in the slums of Rio when I was mobbed by a group of gangsters who threatened to take my kidneys and sell them on the black market.
My story is not quite that dramatic, or as my nephew says "lamatic," but it was definitely a night that I'll never forget.
I lived in my condo in Dallas and at the time, didn't have a roommate. I had been there for 4ish years already so I was pretty comfortable with the area. It was a nice complex, though Dallas is weird....good and bad neighborhoods are sprinkled throughout the city. You will drive through 5 blocks of good neighborhood and then BAM, you're in the ghetto.
But I digress...
I think it was 2009. I had gone to the grocery store on a Friday evening and got back home around 9pm. I parked in my covered spot in the back of the building which was kind of dark. The old people would complain when the street lights were too bright in their windows so they kept it dark and quiet.
As I opened the trunk to get my groceries out, I noticed two guys coming out of the shadows to approach me. When I think back to that moment, I had so many thoughts run through my mind in about half a second...
"Are these guys walking up to me?"
"Oh, here come some people that are going to ask me for money."
"Oh, they're pulling out a gun."
"Oh, wait, no...they're going to steal my money."
And then time slowed down in the next 30 seconds. It felt like an entire 30 minutes. Surreal doesn't even begin to describe it.
One of the guys had a gun with a handkerchief over his hand where he was holding it. He held it up and directed it right at my chest.
Robber #1: Give me your purse!
I hand him my purse. (Thankfully it was just a cheap one that probably cost me $30...not that I own crazy expensive ones)
Robber #2: Give me your keys!
I hand him my keys - yes, it had my house key, car key, mail key and my darn grocery store reward cards.
Robber #2: Umm....give me the stuff in your hands!
Ok seriously, I had my book (They Poured Fire on us from the Sky - a book about the Lost Boys from Sudan) in my hand and a water bottle. He took it from me! Jerk. I'm still mad I didn't get to finish that book! I hope they read it, felt bad for living such heathen lives when kids are suffering in Sudan and repented. Ha. I'm going to keep believing that that's how the story ended.
Robber #1: Do you have anything else on you?
Me: (patting my hands on my pants) No. You have everything!
And then they turned around and ran off. I'm pretty sure they had a car waiting on the other side of the fence.
Since they had taken my keys, I didn't know what to do. I went into my neighbors back fenced in area and crouched down into a ball for a while just to make sure that they weren't coming back. When I felt like they were for sure gone, I knocked on her back door. Once she realized it was me, she opened it up and I started bawling. When she heard "gun" she grabbed the phone, dialed 911 and handed it to me.
By the time the police arrived, I remembered that I had put a key out back for a friend that was stopping through town that week - I didn't normally do that. Thankfully I was able to get to get my dog and some belongings and I stayed at my neighbors in case the guys decided to come back and rob my house.
They never found the guys but honestly, I don't think they cared that much. All the robbers got away with was about $20 cash, $80 worth of gas on my work credit card and a bunch of worthless things to them - lip glosses...I mean, come on...they were worth more to me. Ha!
My keys were later found in someone's yard about 10-15 miles away from my house by a postman. I'm glad to know that they just threw them out of the window. I had already had all of my locks changed though.
I was afraid of parking lots at night and I still kind of hate them....by myself at least. I parked up front for a long time, but then became more comfortable in time and didn't have the fear of being robbed again.
I am so so grateful that nothing bad happened. It could have turned out much worse and I praise God always for keeping me safe that night. All they wanted was an easy buck. I'm honestly glad it was me and not one of the elderly ladies in my complex, because I'm sure they keep much more cash on them and who knows how it would have affected them. I realize how lucky I am to have been spared extreme pain if that night had turned out differently. Actually, it wasn't luck at all...it was God's hand protecting me.
But I'm warning you...don't sneak up on me now or you might end up with pepper spray up in your face!