Eight of our Kindles stolen

Eight of our Kindles stolen

I came home from work today, and on entering the house, I could see things were awry.

There were things on the floor that should be there…including a “letter sorter” that held some of our Kindles: it was empty.

I went back out (not touching anything, except to re-lock the front door…I had unlocked it, and there was an stuck in it when I got there, so I knew they hadn’t gone in that way), called my Significant Other, who called the police.

The house was tossed, but not vandalized. They didn’t take a lot of stuff (like this desktop computer), or the TVs.

They did, however, take eight of our Kindles (including three Kindle Fires).

We were only using two of those actively: PowPow (Kindle Paperwhite 2) and Vulcan (Kindle Fire HDX 8.9″, HDX Display, Wi-Fi & 4G LTE).

Since the Kindle content is backed up at Amazon, that part is not that big a deal.

The most awkward part is going to be missing the Kindle Fire, since that’s how we were watching TV in one room (using the HDMI out…which isn’t available on my Kindle Fire HDX, which I had with me).

We may have to try buying a Miracast “dongle”, although we were hoping to wait to see what Amazon announces (if anything).

So, my process was to contact Kindle Support at


I chatted with them, because we were using the phones to call credit card companies (that appears to be what they were trying to find).

It was a little disconcerting, because the person was giving me wrong information:

D—:Hello. My name is D—. I’ll be glad to help you today.
I’m sorry to hear that your Kindle was stolen. Let me take care of this for you.
Me:After you take care of it, will the information still be on the account, so I can report the serial numbers to the police?
D—:Nope. After we have deactivated and deregistered your devices, it can no longer be use by another person l as your account cannot be accessed.
Me:Yes, understood, but will the serial numbers still show in Manage Your Kindle?
D—:Serial number does not show in Manage your Kindle.
Me:It does, actually. I can see it right now.
D—:Only the registered name but not the serial number. May I know the name of the
Kindle I need to deactivate please?
Me:Since I can see those serial numbers, and you think they aren’t there, I think I’d better record them before you do anything. I need that information for the police.

The serial numbers do show. I ended up copying and pasting them for the rep.

After they were deregistered, that information was gone from MYK.

If any of them do show up, we can contact Amazon and re-register.

I did have

Webroot SecureAnywhere Mobile

which allowed me to send a remote lock command, and would have located the device if the web connection was on (it hasn’t been…the last shown location was close enough to our house that that’s where it had been seen).

Again, this could have been much worse, and I’m not too stressed about it. I pointed out to the police officer that they weren’t literate thieves, since they didn’t steal my Oz books (probably more than $500 worth of books in an easily handled and sold grouping). Looks like they actually didn’t go into the library at all, which is why my 2007 Kindle was still here.

I think it was probably just random identity thieves. They were relatively polite, not breaking things unreasonably (although there was some damage from where they entered, and one window screen was pulled out.

We’ve always had dogs (which are a good thief deterrent), but haven’t had them for about six months…I suppose that might have made a difference.

Hopefully, this information might be helpful for those of you out there. If it happens to you, one of my most popular things is this:

What to do if your Kindle is lost or stolen

Update: I’m seen (accurately) as a generally positive, optimistic person, so I’m thinking some of you might be curious about how I feel about this.

Sure, I wish it hadn’t happened.

I have to say, though, that I don’t think of the people who did it as bad (or less) human than I am.  I don’t like the action, of course, and we’d like to get our stuff back. In the sympathy I’ve gotten on it (thanks to readers who have offered that), there have been some dehumanizing terms used for them, and that’s honestly not how I feel. I think Jean Valjean from Les Misérables: I really don’t know what their motivations may have been. There are some selfish, “bad” reasons to have done this, absolutely, but it could also have been done for some other sorts of reasons (not necessarily well thought out).

They could have made things much worse, and I do feel like they were making some effort not to be destructive simply for its own sake. Not to take worthless keepsakes, that sort of thing.

I don’t have any great emotional desire to see them punished. I wouldn’t like for them to do this to someone else (although that’s probably pretty likely…this doesn’t look like amateurs to me), but I don’t especially want to see them “hurt” for doing it.

It is affecting us psychologically, somewhat, and that might get worse. I knew it was illogical this morning, but I was emotionally thinking that there might be someone inside the next room when I got up this morning.

I want to especially thank a reader, Oldie Suzanne, for the suggestion to put a freeze on our credit. For $10 for each of the big three credit agencies, you can stop additional credit from being opened in your name (unless you provide a PIN ((Personal Identification Number))). That’s making me more at ease this morning. You can track your existing credit pretty well, but if somebody opens a new credit card at a new address in your name, you won’t know about it until charges hit your account.

This looked like a good resource with links to all three agencies:


This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

25 Responses to “Eight of our Kindles stolen”

  1. Harold Says:

    I am so sorry you have to go through this. Break-ins are a violation of our personal lives and space. Gladly no one was harmed nor major damage done, but it is still a bad experience and I feel badly for you and your wife. Hopefully all your Ks will return someday to brighten your day; that was quite a collection.
    Warmest regards,

  2. cardinalrobbins Says:

    Bufo, I am so very sorry you and your S.O. are going through this. That’s absolutely awful! 😦

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, cardinalrobbins!

      Outside of the Kindles which I have so I can write about them, for the most part, we aren’t people with a lot of material things. We feel lucky in that way, and that this wasn’t worse.

  3. Judy Schechter Says:

    Hi Bufo, I’m so sorry this happened to you, but thank God nobody was hurt. I have Lookout on my Kindle Fires, and I just realized that a smart thief would probably deregister the device, rendering the app useless. 😦

  4. D. Knight Says:

    Sorry to hear this. I know how it feels. My house was broken into in 2001. I wasn’t home, but my two cats were and I think they kicked one of my cats. I hope any animals you have are all right.

    You’ll feel awful about it for a while. That’s normal.

  5. Edward Foster Says:

    Like the others, I can only add my concern for you, and my thanks that it wasn’t any worse, that no one was hurt and they didn’t destroy anything more.

    Still, you and yours are in my thoughts.

  6. Pam Says:

    Wow, Bufo, I know how you feel! Happened to me last year when I was on Day 2 of my vacation, and I felt so violated! They didn’t take my Kindles – just the “big electronics” and jewelry. I did get a laptop back months later. Hope they catch them and you get some of it back, although insurance should help replace it (minus deductible). 😦

  7. jjhitt Says:

    Ouchie. Identity theft can eat huge amounts of time spent on better things. I hope the bad guys didn’t find anything they could use.

    I wonder if it was one of us (a blog subscriber)?
    [I have an alibi.]

    Does a blacklisted, de-activated Kindle have a special message on the screen, I wonder?

  8. Edward Boyhan Says:

    Sorry to hear about the theft — hope things get back to normal relatively quickly.

  9. Zebras Says:


    I am so sorry you and your family had to go through this. I am also glad no one got hurt.

  10. Oldie Suzanne Says:

    Bufo this is just awful that something like this happened to a fine man like you, as well as to your s.o. Hope all the good energy you are getting from us blog followers of yours is helping balance out the awful feeling of violation you must have from these filthy miscreants who did this to you.

    One suggestion – I just took a quite skim through most of your post but if you feel at all that your identity is at risk, consider placing a ‘credit freeze’ on your and your s.o. names via the big three credit agencies. It prevents anyone from establishing any type of credit in your name (and is temporarily liftable via a pin number) should you need to apply for credit yourself. I did this myself when one of my cc numbers was suddenly being used to purchase things online. Takes less than five minutes and gives one a great deal of security.


  11. Oldie Suzanne Says:

    Glad to help!

  12. Brian Hartman Says:

    Hey Bufo!

    Sorry you went through this. Sorry for any emotional loss that can go with losing a Kindle. When my first one broke (a KK, by the way, stil have two original K1s and K2s–I think they were more durable) I was out of sorts for a while. Just missed it, kinda’. I had spent a lot of time loading it up (I know you don’t do this) because we spend a lot of time at our Little House in the Poconos, and reception was very iffy once upon a time. (Aside–the K1s still have a problem connecting there, but the Sprint K2s are fine; better antenna or design, I guess.)

    I really miss that Kindle. I had no less than 28 “Mobilereference Complete Works of.that you can’t buy anymore. (Delphi is really good, even better, I think.) The Dickens collection alone would blow you away with its sheer size. I had a habit of getting huge collections of science fiction, horror, westerns–you name it. And the individual titles had to be over 500.

    I did this so that anyone visiting the Little House in the Poconos had a huge library on the coffee table in front of the fireplace.

    And this thing never even gave a hiccup. Never a problem. I tried reloading my subsequent replacement Kindle with the same stuff and gave up after a month. Couldn’t handle it without long delays and freezing altogether. And yes, I read your blog, only would download a portion a day, leave it plugged in to index, I’ve been here since the beginning. But no matter what care and feeding I gave my new Kindle, it couldn’t do what the first KK could. And I miss it, and that’s the first thing I thought of when I read you were robbed of 8 Kindles. You may have some attachment to one or two. I feel your loss.

    I also share your feelings about the thieves. A lot of people in my Pocono community go from place to place in electric carts, golf carts, mostly. Went there on Memorial Day and found that the batteries in mine were gone. These are 6 deep-cycle, marine-type batteries, about 200 bucks each. The detective told me they get 10-15 dollars for them at the scrap yards. Me? I was happy thet didn’t trash the place. Still include them in my prayers, from time to time, hoping that they find a legal, and easier income source. Those things are HEAVY to carry out and transport for 10-15 bucks. Someone was desperate. I forgive them. They were caught, are now “in the system” and I actually feel sorry for them. Like I said, they easily could have wrecked my p[lace and didn’t.

    Good luck with the insurance company. I know this is a long one, edit freely, and thanks for the opportunity to commiserate.


    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Brian!

      Sounds like we have some attitudes in common. 🙂

      I think your use of your Kindle makes perfect sense, given the situation. I do think those MobileReference collections are good.

      I have a somewhat similar battery story, but the police had a different suggested motivation. This one didn’t affect me, but I was living in an apartment complex with an underground, one story garage. One morning, when people went out to start their cars, they would turn the key and hear nothing. Someone had stolen all the car batteries (this was some time ago, and hoods were easier to open). The police suggested that it was done for low riders: they apparently need several batteries to operate the lifts, or something like that.

      A week later, it happened again! Makes sense…they knew there were fresh batteries in there.

  13. Harold Says:

    A thought and a warning: Many years ago my house was broken into and totally wiped out most of my possessions … even the furniture). They even stole the wrapped Christmas gifts from under the tree, my stereo and turntable (with an LP upon it … a John Fahey album … I still have the cover) … and all the art on the walls. The detectives who investigated the case gave me some valuable advice which I shall pass on to you: these guys know how to enter your house, when you replace your stolen items they may return and hit you again; your guard will be down, you will have brand-new items so be on alert. I notified all of my neighbors to keep an open eye … sure enough about two months later they were caught breaking into my house; an elderly lady across the street called the police who caught them in the house. I never got my album back, but the perps were prosecuted and my insurance company was awarded restitution. So, Bufo and all you “fans of Bufo,” be alert to the “second coming.” It’s a rather common occurrence.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Harold!

      Yes, that’s an excellent point. My Significant Other is in insurance claims, so we have some familiarity.

      Nowadays, another big concern is when those Amazon boxes arrive with replacements. I would recommend having them sent somewhere secure (an office, perhaps), and signing up for the text alerts, so you know when they get there. If you can’t be home, consider having a neighbor bring in your packages…

      I will say, though, my guard is definitely not down. 😉 I’m not happy about this in myself, but I’m a lot more alert than I was before.

  14. Phink Says:

    I hate to hear this Bufo. I have to say that you are taking it a lot better than I would. I would be furious and wanting revenge if possible. I guess you are a better man than I. I am furious for you.

    I did see though that we both had the same idea at some point. I also use a letter sorter to store my kindles and tablets. It does a great job.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Phink!

      Not a better person…just different. 🙂 If “better” would be defined as “who wins in a competition”, I think one could compare societies that seek revenge and societies that don’t, and see which are more likely to still be around… 😉

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