Is your transom window really necessary?
The home burglary that made me reevaluate transom lighting
I wanted to grab a step ladder and window cleaner to get rid of those handprints. But every single time I attempted to do it, my mother looked upward, scowled and said, “Leave it there.” As a grown woman and a new homeowner, I get it. I’d be furious too if there were obvious handprints on my transom window (the decorative window above a doorway), and the police could do nothing with them.
We knew who the burglars were who broke into our home. They were our next-door neighbor’s grandkids. We knew this not only because those two troublemakers ended up dead and in jail within a few years but also because we found it highly suspicious that the nosiest man on Earth somehow didn’t hear someone with a pole beating in our outside back door until the lock finally broke. Who doesn’t hear a noise like that? Especially the same guy who could hear someone stepping on his grass and who came over to report when my brother’s friend snuck out the backyard. (My brother was on punishment for whatever reason and couldn’t have company.)
But someone beating in the lock on a door? Nope. Didn’t hear a thing. Even worse, they broke in a second time because they knew they could get away with it. Cash went missing. Jewelry and electronics were wiped out. My parents were furious. They got a dog, a gate, an alarm system and upgraded doors the same week. But neither of them would wipe that transom window, the window that his grandsons hiked themselves in after (probably) being too exhausted to beat in a second doorway. Initially, the police told us the fingerprints may not be enough proof. With minors, they knew the odds were slim. First, you have to actually arrest someone and get their fingerprints to match them. Second, you have to be able to confirm they did it. The police couldn’t, and no one was arrested.
Recommended Read: “What really pissed me off about getting burglarized … is not what you think it is”
Still, my mother was especially angry and would just glare up at those two visible handprints on the transom window long after our home upgrades. I don’t even remember who ended up cleaning off the handprints. I don’t think it was me. But even as a kid, I always wondered, “What the heck was the point of a transom window other than an entrance for burglars?”