Taking law enforcement into our own hands

by Katie on May 26, 2009

So, Brandon was quite the little militia man last week. 
Shortly after I published the story about all of our recent misfortune, he came in from night duty and let me know about his 2am adventure — in a high speed hay chase. 
At one point in the night, he had to wait on some irrigation water for about 20 minutes before he could change it, so he decided to take a short nap. When he awoke, he just flipped on his headlights, jumped out of the truck, and went to work opening and closing ports at the ditch bank. 
All of a sudden, he hears a truck barrelling down the field road, trailer in tow, from the exact spot the ten bales had been stolen less than a week earlier. After two incidents of theft in one week, Brandon was determined to 
He ended up chasing the guy for nearly ten miles — the truck flying down dark roads with no headlights, making crazy u-turns, and even chasing Brandon 50 yards off the road at one point. All the while, Brandon was on the phone with 9-1-1, the dispatcher telling him to keep up with the guy, she had three officers in the vicinity. 
Well, after Brandon was run off the road, he realized how serious this thief was, and decided protecting our livelihood wasn’t really worth putting himself in such a dangerous situation. So he backed off. The attempted thief was soon out of sight, and one of the officers showed up at Brandon’s location 30 seconds later, rather than going to the last known location of the thief.
I tell you what, it’s a pretty sad day when a farmer is a little fearful of going out to work alone. 
As if this adventure wasn’t enough for his week, the very next day I was able to track down who had stolen my phone over the weekend, thanks to the powers of the World Wide Web. I had a phone number, name and address. 
As soon as Brandon came in that morning (from night duty again), I delivered this information, and he immediately called the phone thieves. At first, they promptly hung up on him. He called back on our office phone, and told the lady she could return my phone or he could turn in the police report we just filled out (which might have been a stretch of the truth) and have them knock on her door.
For a while, she tried to tell him that her son hadn’t stolen the phone, he had simply found it. 
Brandon explained to her, “Ma’am, you have the phone. It belongs to me. You took it and used it. That’s theft.”
You see, the phone had service for about six hours while in their possession that day, before I realized it was actually stolen and not near the ditch bank at one of our hay fields as I suspected. In that six hours, they made quite a few phone calls, racked up $16 in data usage (downloading things) and sent a million text messages. Thankfully, it was a Saturday, so the minutes didn’t count, and I have unlimited text messaging. The data usage, however, would have to come out of our pocket. 
After half an hour on the phone, he finally convinced the lady to meet us and return the phone. She gave us an address we knew was at least 20 miles away, out in the desert. So the next day we set off to reclaim my phone. 
Little did we know we would drive 35 miles out into the desert, only to spend another 20 minutes searching for a road to access the address we had been given. We finally figured it out, and I think we really ended up just driving across the desert – no way could what we were driving on have been a road. 
We rolled up to the middle of abandoned-looking little one room shacks, and were almost expecting to be caught in some crossfire. It didn’t look as if anyone was within half a mile. After sitting in the truck for a few minutes wondering what our next move should be, a man came sauntering out of the shack asking if we were looking for the phone. 
Brandon retrieved the phone from him quickly, then we shut the door and drove away — the man still talking. 
The man, who was obviously dirty, reached around in his pockets and dug down deep, pulling my phone from the very bottom. I cringed just watching. Sure enough, I took a little sniff when we were back on the road, and I almost wanted to just take it back to him. 
I went through quite a few coconut lime verbena antibacterial wipes to get the combination of sweat, cigarette smoke and grimy odor to subside. 
So, we put quite a team together. I completed the detective work, Brandon was the gruff interrogation officer, then he handled the confrontation and I was the back-up.   
In three days, Brandon was involved in a high speed hay chase and recovered our stolen property. Just another week on the farm. 
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