Wee Hour Burglary in OB…it’s more than just taking things!

by on March 16, 2011 · 13 comments

in Civil Rights, Ocean Beach, Popular

By Kathy Blavatt / March 16, 2011

Sometimes it’s hard to put something in writing when you’re still hoping for a better ending. But after having told this story over a hundred times, I think it’s important just to get it out there to my friends in writing and not have to keep repeating the sad details.

Since childhood, I have been lived in Point Loma and Ocean Beach. After years of hard work, my husband Ray and I bought an older home in Ocean Beach. It is a work in progress and we find it a perfect outlet for our business and creativity.

My husband does animation for education titles, video and web work. This also includes work for non-profits that work on issues such as clean drinking water, people who have been abused and others. His cartoons can be seen throughout OB.

My work includes teaching and working on autism issues, working with local small businesses and years of community advocacy.

In the last five years, Ray and I have served on the board of the Ocean Beach Historical Society, creating and working on their website and videos, and putting on programs and events. We always hope to show people the wonderful history of Ocean Beach and the importance in preserving this unique community.

Why does any of this matter in this story? Because, on so many levels it is the story.

On March 2nd sometime between 1:30 a.m. and 2:45 a.m., our home was broken into while we were sleeping. Slightly awakened, our roomie thought I’d turned on a light and I thought he’d turned on a light. Neither of us got up to investigate. Which in hindsight may have been a good thing if the thieves had been armed.

The following morning we realized my husband’s computer was gone. We were both frantic and my heart just sank as I realized that my purse and new camera (a Christmas gift) were also missing. Then in disbelief, we discovered that our car was gone! Since the car keys were in my purse and available, the thieves found an easy way to cart off Ray’s iMac.

It appeared that the thieves had attempted to also take my computer by unhooking the power cord and trying to yank it away without unhooking the peripherals.

They stole a video camera and microphone system that was going to be used to record the musicians at the Ocean Beach Historical Society Wisteria Party.

Sadness really set in when I realized they had taken my smaller camera in my purse that I had used the day before to take pictures of my longtime friend’s 90th birthday party. This was something that could never be replaced.

So much of our lives, work and pictures were on Ray’s computer. I was thankful they had not stolen mine too. It would have been even more devastating to lose the Ocean Beach Historical Society work and pictures.

Even though we’ve beefed up our security sleep is hard to come by and I wake at every sound in the night. We still jump every time we see a Honda Element similar to ours drive by. My home has lost its safe nest feel.

We have spent countless hours being put on hold and filling out numerous forms while dealing with the bank and credit card and insurance company. Many hours have been spent talking with police, Neighborhood Watch and locals wanting to stop the crime sprees. We have only begun to rebuild or replace our possessions such as new glasses for Ray (his were stolen in the car). It has been difficult to try to work without Ray’s computer. The list goes on.

When that rotten element that comes into OB comes smashing into your life it becomes very frightening and discouraging. It scars our community.

The good part is that we have some great friends and neighbors who are helping us out. That’s the part of OB that is priceless.



{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

annagrace March 16, 2011 at 1:54 pm

Kathy- I am so sorry to hear about your break-in. As you made so painfully clear, there are many things that an insurance policy can’t replace. (Note to self: Make computer back ups…)


Sarah March 16, 2011 at 2:26 pm


I am also very sorry to hear about this. I can’t imagine what we’d do if our computers were taken.

Note to self: back up computer AND get renters insurance


Claudia J March 17, 2011 at 5:53 am

Good Morning Kathy & Ray
Just a note to say I’m so sorry this happened>> This happened to me at work one time, it’s like you go to get your purse & it’s gone>> I feel the true feeling is someone violated your property>> The one thing is I’m glad you & Ray are safe and as your life settles back down you will open new avenues to be safer & try to understand why people do this? It’s amazing when it happened to me I took a good look how I do things & I still sleep with my purse beside my bed!! As you know Karma is tough & the people who violated you will so be caught, people like this get to comfortable & some day will slip up>>> Have a relaxing day>>> claudia j


Gary Gilmore March 17, 2011 at 8:35 am

Hello Kathy & Ray,
I’m real sorry this has happened. Both of you are some of the kindest, most generous & pleasant people I know and you epitomize what OBceans are all about. Couples like you are an inspiration to everyone. I hope this does not taint your spirit. I know I am not alone in saying that if there is anything I can do to help out……


Keith Fink March 17, 2011 at 11:00 am

I am so sorry to hear about your break-in.
I’ve been an OB resident since ’84 and an OB home owner for the last 20yrs.
In this time, I’ve seen OB go through what many OBceans hoped it never would–change.
And, unfortunately, many of these changes have not been for the better.
Perhaps working on creating more cohesion and camaraderie within our many mini-neighborhood could contribute to that “safe nest feel”.
What do you think about this for a start: how about some block parties where we really get an opportunity to meet, chat, and get to know our immediate neighbors, where, at the same time, localized neighborhood watch programs could be established?


Christopher Moore March 17, 2011 at 2:46 pm

That’s a bummer.

We haven’t had any break-ins around my little area that I’m aware of, but we’ve had people have stuff stolen out of their cars.


OB Dude March 17, 2011 at 8:34 pm

Sorry, Sorry, Sorry that there are scum bags in this world that have to steal from people!

Have you found your car?

Seach on Craigslist for sale of your stolen items and the police should have logs from pawn shops that might have received your possessions.

I watch the crime logs in OB and see that there have been alot of stolen cars in South OB…somebody is targeting this area. Maybe we can get a pot of $$$ together and get the word out for a REWARD. Just a thought. I will donate.


OB Dude March 17, 2011 at 8:37 pm

Duh…. I just noticed the reward info above.

I will be in touch with you and add to the reward.


Rick Ward March 17, 2011 at 8:51 pm

This might nbot be the place to offer this up,but,is anyone interested in true O.B. crime drama.Names changed to protected,of course.


Abby March 20, 2011 at 6:39 am

I’m glad you and yours are safe. It can be so scary to be violated like that.


Geoff Page March 20, 2011 at 5:47 pm

I know they are not for everyone, but a dog of any size is one of the best deterrents a homeowner can have. Even a little one. My smallest dog is a tiny dachshund but she is a terrific watchdog because she will bark incessantly if anything is amiss. All you need is that to wake you up and it is a proven fact that burglers will avoid a house with a dog. Just a thought. I would echo Gary Gilmore’s comment, it is a shame to have this happen to folks who spend so much of their time thinking about everyone else.


Kathy Blavatt March 21, 2011 at 5:00 pm

Thanks everyone for their kindness, good ideas and proving OB is a great community filled with good caring people.
I am still in the middle of dealing with things (lots of paperwork), but a couple notes of interests… we were told another couple a few blocks away were broken into and had keys stolen from their purse and the car stolen. Our neighbor’s car on the street was broken into the night after ours was stolen.
Keep on your toes we seem to be having a bit more of a crime spree.
On a positive note we had the OB Historical Society Wisteria Tea (w/Tea) Party Sat. It was wonderful, giving everyone including us a fun day in OB.
Thanks again for the good thoughts. —Kathy


editordude April 4, 2011 at 12:30 pm

We just heard some half way good news from Kathy and Ray:

Just to let you know we got our Honda Element was found in South Park on April Fools! It looks like it was sitting under a tree all month. The computer and cameras are still missing.

Please let post so they know we have the car and don’t report it. Thanks you and everyone that was looking for car.

So, the story has a halfway happy ending so far!

Kathy Blavatt

P.S. A lot of people have told me there cars have been broken into on the OB Streets recently, but gone unreported. Locals, keep your eyes open and lock your cars!


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