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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Atlanta's 11 Least Influential People: No. 7

Atlanta’s 11 Least Influential People is Creative Loafing's annual tribute to the Joe and Josephine Averages of the world who try, but don't necessarily succeed.

Winners 11 through six will be revealed, one-per-day, until Wednesday, November 12, when the 11 Least Influential issue hits newsstands.

click to enlarge SHANNON FELSOT: Can't keep her home from being burglarized. (Photo by Joeff Davis)
  • SHANNON FELSOT: Can't keep her home from being burglarized. (Photo by Joeff Davis)

No. 7 — Shannon Felsot

Can't stop her home from being burglarized.

In September, Shannon Felsot returned from a mid-afternoon visit to the gym to find her Southwest Atlanta home had been burglarized.

“I didn’t realize anything was wrong until I sat down at my computer and saw it wasn’t there,” she says. “They took all my computers, cameras, my TV, jewelry, pretty much what they could grab.”

A freelance graphic designer who works from home, Felsot’s stolen computers contained years of her work.

“It’s strange to think that someone bought my life for $20 on the street,” she said.

Though the burglary happened in the middle of the day on a busy street, and the thieves used her giant, green “herby curby” garbage bin to wheel away her possessions, no one came forward to identify suspects to police.

Felsot had a sense of foreboding.

“I just knew I was gonna get broken into again,” she says. “They already know what I have and they knew I was going to replace it.”

She was right.

Last week, her house was burglarized again. Her alarm system scared the assailants away, but not before they managed to haul her TV through a window and into some bushes outside her house.

Because her schedule is irregular, Felsot believes the person(s) breaking into her house live(s) or hang-out nearby, attacking her home when they see her leave the house.

She can only speculate, however, because Atlanta Police did not take fingerprints after the burglaries – as is department procedure.

“Me getting broken into is not that severe,” she says. According to Atlanta Police, residential burglary was up 23 percent citywide during the first half of the year — and 40 percent in the police precinct where Felsot's home is.

Felsot expects to be burglarized again any day.

“I’m constantly waiting for the [alarm company to call].”

She’s not angry, but she and her daughter no longer feel safe in their home. And her possessions no longer feel like they belong to her since they might disappear tomorrow.

“I was comfortable here. Then, pop, the balloon burst. I’m not gonna let it ruin my life, but what do I do now? Do I put bars on the windows? Do I leave and try to rent the house?

“I can understand why it happens — too many have-nots, too many people with no conscience. But it really sucks.”

See all of Atlanta's 11 Least Influential People of 2008.

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