They say no good deed goes unpunished.  I’ve been living that for several years, now.  The latest wrinkle makes me the victim of theft, losing a laptop computer from my living room coffee table.  Here’s a cautionary tale for you, the moral of which is not to let just anybody move in with you.  I’m at the point of suggesting that you don’t let anyone you’re not sleeping in the same bed with move into your home.

Just about ten years ago, I made that mistake.  I let a cousin move in with me after his mother died, and he had no place else to go.  At the time, he made some promises to me, and over the years has broken every one of them.  A paranoid schizophrenic with a history of alcohol and drug abuse, he had been on medication, was seeing the mental health counselors, and was not drinking.  I told him he could move in if he stayed on his meds, didn’t drink, and only smoked outdoors.  It was less than 18 months before he began breaking those promises.  I held off doing anything, hoping he would be able to be coaxed back into following his agreement.  That hasn’t worked, and his paranoia and psychosis has merely deepened.

The most recent event occurred at the beginning of this month.  On Friday night (actually Saturday morning early) I noticed a laptop computer of mine was missing.  My first thought was that he had hidden it, as he has done odd things in the past.  After a thorough search, I put up a note where he could see it that said he had better return the computer, or I would report it as stolen to the police.  When I got up the next day, he insisted he did not take the computer, and that it must have been someone, a “friend” of his, that had taken it.

I went ahead and reported it stolen to the police, providing the serial number and other pertinent information to the Visalia Police Department.  I also provided the name and other information I had on this “friend”, listing him as the prime suspect.  It appears my cousin let him in, they were drinking together, and at some point he walked out with my computer, probably while my cousin was passed out on his bedroom floor.

This is the laptop (not the exact one, but a picture of the same model) that was taken.  I’m hoping it ends up in a pawn shop, eventually.  If it does, with the serial number being entered into NCIC and CLETS (the nation wide and state wide criminal computer networks) it will pop up as a stolen computer, and I should eventually get it back.  I don’t think I have any important personal information on the computer, as I had recently re-loaded all the software, and hadn’t used it all that much.  What personal passwords and whatnot that are on it are also password protected, so I should be OK.  They might get onto a few websites, but unless they’re gay, I doubt they’ll be very interested in them!  I’ve already changed my online banking paswwords.

If someone in the Visalia area offers you a deal on a Compaq CQ60-417DX Celeron 9 laptop, check it carefully.  If the serial number is 2CE920GPKC, call the Visalia Police at 734-8117, or your local law enforcement.

And don’t let anyone you don’t want to wake up next to every morning move in with you.  Especially if they’re mentally ill.