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Interesting night

Published:

Last Edited: September 16, 2006, 9:06 am

The past week or so the prowler thing's creeped back in to things here.  He evidently came onto the porch several nights ago and left a few signs to show he'd been here.

There's been a break in it for several months, so I suppose we all hoped it was over.  The last incident was just before Easter, when someone left a beheaded rabbit on the porch of the rich guy up the hill behind me.  Prior to that, the bucket of blood spilled across my porch, maybe around Christmas was the next-most early event.  All of which I described on this blog.

But after the porch incident a week ago I'd been on the alert, and several middle-of-the-night sorties, darting around the shadows with a flashlight and a government .45 trying to catch this person had me thinking he might decide to take another long break.

But, around 2:00 am the cats woke me, really nervous and agitated.  The security light was on outdoors,  and the dogs across the road were barking.  So I hoisted my poor old arse out of bed, flashlight in one hand and El Palenque in the other, spent another quarter-hour stalking the shadows without much hope of this sneaky fellow still being there.

But, about 4:30 the cats woke me again and I could see on the security camera that a car was stopped, lights on at the gate.  So I again hoisted myself out of dreamland and went out front to see what was going on.

"Officer Montoya, Sandoval County Sheriff Deputy.  Did you call?"

"I see who you are.  No.  I haven't called."

"What's the address here?"

"24."

"Where's 25?"

I pointed to the long driveway leading up the hill to the house where the rich old guy who'd been blessed Easter by the porch-rabbit.  The deputies got back into their truck, spotlight shining around all over the place, and headed up the hill.  After a while I saw them leave, and a bit later the old guy came walking down to the road to pick up his newspaper.  I was sitting on the porch watching the dawn, so I called down to his grumpy old persona.

"Trouble?"

"Yeah.  Prowler again."

We're all middling concerned what this guy's all about.  What he does makes no sense.  He leaves his little signs to show he's been there, rarely steals anything a normal burgler would take, but takes small things of little value when he comes indoors.  Evidently he's a lockpick, because Lee, next door, found a broken picklock he dropped at her back entryway.

But as a deputy told me during one of their frequent visits up here answering complaints, "This guy's going to have to die.  He's never going to stop until someone shoots him."

He might be right.  The prowler's smart, gutsy, and evidently really good at what he does.  But he's bound to slip up.  One night I was out stalking around with the .45, and Lee's husband caused me to jump out of my skin, "Jack..... psssst!"

"Huh?"  Squatting behind a bush, squinting at the latia fence around Lee's yard, wondering if it was our man, El Palenque full c*cked waiting for whatever's about to happen.

"It's me."  Stage whisper.  "I've got a 30.06.  Let me get him."

Cheeeeeerist!  Yeah, that's sure as hell what we need. 

"Stay calm.  Don't shoot him if he's over my way, or between you and the village.  In fact, don't shoot him at all with that damned thing!  No telling who you'll kill off over there somewhere."

One more bug on the windshield of life in the quiet village.

Jack

 

 

 

Entry #574

Comments

1.
Rick GComment by Rick G - September 16, 2006, 3:03 pm
Interesting story, Jack. I'm a firm believer in booby traps. Trip wires are pretty effective for releasing mayhem of all sorts. But the lady (Lee) has to protect her perimeter pronto...that situation is dangerous. He might start out innocently enough but as he gains confidence, it could lead to anything. He's obviously a sick bastard of some sort with the blood, the rabbit's head etc.

Good luck in catching him. It sounds like you have carte blanche from the local authorities. Go for it...I think permanently maiming is better than killing but that's just my opinion.
2.
Comment by Rip Snorter - September 16, 2006, 3:58 pm
Hi Rick.

Thanks for the read and the comment.

When this first began (with me) shortly after I moved into the place the guy was a lot more active. It was almost a nightly event. I suppose I think of the fact it's slacked off as a possible indication the guy's found other, less risky things to do with himself most of the time.

But he was the cause for me investing in security lights and a security camera, along with some portable alarms. So'd Lee, so things were less easy for him and the risks got riskier.

I'd say the guy just needs to find safer thrills than he's giving himself now. Lee, the old man up the hill, and I, all would certainly prefer he quit before something serious happens to him, or one of us. But my impression is that Lee's terrified. Her daughter is more so, having bad dreams and believing she's being stalked, which she might be, or mightn't.

But I don't want her hubby firing his cannon over this way, prowler, or no prowler.

As for the rest, if two to the chest and one to the head maims him for life, it would be a shame.

J


3.
Comment by Rip Snorter - September 16, 2006, 5:40 pm
After thinking about this a while I want to add a couple of things.

First, we don't have anything resembling a carte blanc dealing with him. If he's arrested there's nothing to charge him with unless he's caught indoors. Otherwise, it would be simple trespass, which isn't much of an offense, and it can't be enforced unless the property is posted every hundred feet with the name of the owner, and all the other statutory requirements are met.

Secondly, the deputies and everyone else agree the chances of him ever being apprehended by law enforcement personnel are remote. They're spread thin in the county, and they never take less than half-hour to respond.

Thirdly, the deputies explained that the policy of the District Attorney is to prosecute property owners if they shoot someone outdoors unless the person who gets shot is armed.

The alternatives are to tolerate the guy, or to do whatever it takes to put a stop to it, risking the perspective of a jury of our peers to understand and convict or not.

I think that's the reason everyone other than myself has been quick to get plenty of complaints formally with the Sheriff. If someone kills this guy it needs to be obvious we did all we could to stop it somewhere short of that.

Early on, I was complaining, too. But it was a major pain to do it, having to make an appointment with deputies to meet sometime a few days in advance, then hang around on the porch for an hour with them shooting the breeze and good-old-boying, after the complaints were lodged.

I finally decided I'd complained enough.

Thanks for the comment,
Jack
4.
Rick GComment by Rick G - September 18, 2006, 2:01 pm
Hey, Jack...

I read a lot of novels...mindless stuff, but one thing they all have in common is that they spur the imagination as to what "could" happen. There only a few solutions that I can think of. One is a good size dog that's well-fed and won't be tempted by the prowler's food or poison. The other (and I revert) is the good old-fashioned booby traps that the Viet Cong taught us so well.

If it was my home, this person would have a stalk of bamboo protruding from his eye or severe sulphuric acid burns when he entered the ER.
5.
Comment by Rip Snorter - September 18, 2006, 2:09 pm
Rick:

No comment. I ain't sayin' nuffin that can eventually be introduced as evidence in a court of law.

Thanks,
Jack

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