Saturday, November 17, 2012

A Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

I'm not one who loves to write about terrible things that happen to us on this blog, but I think that for journaling purposes it is important for me to record this.

I'll never forget the date, 10/11/12. I was sick with a cold & not feeling well, wondering if I would even be able to have the patience to go to Whitley's 3 month photo shoot. We planned to do a few family photos afterwards as well & since I had planned this a month in advance I didn't want to reschedule. 

Whitley was a rockstar during her pictures, and was such a good girl. We then headed up to Farmington Ponds to spend a few minutes doing some pictures of all 3 of us. We parked in the parking lot & stepped just a few steps away from our vehicle to pose for some shots.

As we were seated on the grass, we watched a white van drive slowly past us in the parking lot. We noticed the driver staring at us, and Tyler and I turned towards each other and commented how creepy he was. It was so distracting that we took the time to notice details of the van, and a small dog in the window behind him. We didn't notice them there any longer as we continued taking pictures.

We decided to go to one last spot that was behind some trees, so our car was out of view. I made sure the car was locked as we walked away. We were out of view for probably 5 minutes, when we started to walk back towards our car. We then heard a car alarm go off and as soon as we realized it was our car, Tyler handed Whitley to me and started sprinting towards our car just as we saw a figure run from our car into that same white van we had eerily remembered. The van sped off, going freeway speeds out of the small entrance to the parking lot. When we got to our Murano we saw that the back driver's side window was shattered and the first thing I noticed missing was my Petunia Picklebottom diaper bag. It had a ton of baby care items, but more importantly it had my wallet & my iPhone in it. We also noticed they had taken a giftbag from the back that contained a few of Whitley's outfits that we had used for her pictures, including an expensive designer tutu & headpiece as well as an owl hat that we bought her in San Francisco. 

Tyler had left his iPhone in the back seat face down on the seat and luckily it wasn't spotted, so he used it to call the police. As we were waiting for the officer to arrive, we called to cancel all my cards in my wallet so that they wouldn't be able to use them. When the officer arrived, he asked us questions, and assessed and took pictures of the car. He then told us that the detective would be in touch with us the following week.

I then remembered I had an app on my iPhone that we could track where it was. We tried to track it through Tyler's phone and at first it didn't find anything. But when we got home a notification came up with an exact address in West Valley. After several attempts to get a police officer to go to the address, with no avail, my Dad and Tyler decided to drive to the address to see if they could locate and identify the white van that we now had embedded so well in our minds. They located the van at the exact address that my phone had been tracked to, and Tyler wrote down the license plate number and watched as the man who we had seen driving the van, stood in his front yard completely unaware. 

Tyler then called the West Valley PD and they ran the license plate, confirmed that the van was registered to that same address. The officer then told Tyler that he was "too busy" to make it to the location that night but that if he found the time he would swing by and check it out. Needless to say, he never went.

That night, we laid in bed for hours trying to come to terms with what had just happened to us. We felt so violated and hurt that someone would do this to our little family. The next morning, we were notified by our bank that our card had been used at the RB's gas station in Woods Cross the evening before just before we had cancelled the cards. The bank was able to tell us the exact time, location, and pump number so Tyler decided to call RB's to see if there was anyway there would be video surveillance of this transaction happening. The manager invited Tyler to come down to look through the videos. Tyler found the clip of the white van pulling in and getting gas at the exact time and pump that the bank had reported. Tyler turned all of this info into the detective in Farmington.

We anxiously waited to hear from the detective, and when we finally did we were so relieved with how actively he was pursuing our case. He had both Tyler and I, separately identify the man through photos and we had no doubt in our minds who he was. He told us that he thought we had enough evidence to obtain a search warrant of his van and exactly a week after the incident happened, he went along with a couple officers to search through the van. Unfortunately, none of our items were found. We weren't surprised as we had tracked the phone to be inside of the house the day after the incident, but they couldn't search his house.

The detective called Tyler to give him an update and told Tyler that they spoke with the man and that at first he denied knowing anything about the car burglary in Farmington. After the detective told him that we had identified him and his car at the scene he admitted to being there but that he didn't break into the car, he was just driving the van. With this info, and knowing that he had used our card to get gas in his van, the detective told us that he was going to arresting this man - we were so happy! We knew we weren't going to be getting our stuff back, but we just wanted him to not be able to do this to anyone else.

Yesterday, in the mail, we received notification that this man was being charged with 3 counts and that in his preliminary hearing he pled NOT guilty. The pre-trail is scheduled for December and we have the opportunity to attend. Tyler and I will most likely attend, as we are anxious to find out the outcome. We hope that justice is served and that he won't be able to do this to anyone else! He deserves to be in prison, I know we are not the only ones he has hurt and I don't want him to be able to hurt anyone else. There were so many memories, videos, pictures of Whitley on my phone that I will never get back. Video of Whitley's first smiles, rolling over for the first time, etc. that we will NEVER have back.

If there is one thing we have learned from this experience, it is to NEVER, EVER leave valuables in your car. Even if you feel like you're in a safe place - we were in Farmington for crying out loud! 

Our car had over $2200 worth of damage that had to be fixed, and there is still glass in my seats and in the door that keep coming out. The property we lost totalled almost $1500 & insurance is only giving us part of that. We were without a car for over an entire week. But we are SO grateful to have such amazing family that helped us so much. Giving us items to help replace, lending us vehicles, watching Whitley when we needed to get things taken care of. We could dwell on the fact that we had to suffer through this experience and say poor me, why me but instead we have tried to focus on staying positive and realizing how bad it COULD have been and that it wasn't and being grateful for the way things worked themselves out and being grateful for our generous family and friends for their compassion. We feel so blessed in our lives and we have realized throughout this ordeal that the most important thing in this life is our little family, and that we love each other and that we will always have each other for eternity.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Whitley: 4 Months

Hey everybody, I'm 4 months old! My Mom & Dad can't believe how big I am getting already. I am learning new things everyday & I am one curious girl. 
I love to watch Disney Jr, play on my floor gym, & roll over from my tummy to my back. 

I love to grab toys (or anything for that matter) and put them into my mouth. 

My favorite blankey is my "minky" & I love to take naps with it in my swing. 

I have started to giggle but only when my Mommy & Daddy are extra funny (rare). 
I love to talk talk talk & my smile is as big as the moon! 

I still don't love to ride in the car, but it's especially bad at night when I'm tired. 
I went on my first plane ride a month ago with my Mommy to San Francisco & met my new cousin, Maisy. It was so much fun & I was such a good girl. 
In the morning, I love to go with Mom when she runs outside. I fall asleep because I love to be outside.

I love to sit like a big girl in my bumbo chair, and now I get to sit in it on the kitchen table while Mommy & Daddy eat dinner. I am starting to wonder what food they are eating & I think I will be open to trying solids soon! 

I am getting pretty good at holding my own "ba ba" & I get so excited when I see one. 

I found out I have two doggies & I love to watch them & grab their fur when they get close enough.

I have been sleeping in my own room for about 2 months now, & I sleep much better in there. But I started to cut my face with my fingernails so Mommy & Daddy started to put hand mittens on while I sleep at night. 

I am a happy baby & usually only cry if I am hungry or tired. 
I love to go watch my Uncle Braden play football & basketball. But sometimes I fall asleep.

My favorite time of the day is when my Daddy gets home from work & plays with me.

Trying on my new swimsuit for HAWAII!

I discovered my tongue, and I think it's pretty cool!

Mommy & I have the same eye color!

 My first Halloween!