The New Year started with a knock at our door, and a Sherriff Deputy on our front step. During the night, someone had gone along our road breaking into cars. From this event, I learned that none of our neighbors lock their cars at home either, because just about everyone I have spoken with had something taken from a vehicle or two (or three!).
The officer asked me to look in our vehicles and see what, if anything was missing. We keep a little cash in each of them, for 'emergencies' (like stopping at a yard sale). He didn't find the cash in the truck, but the found the car's $15. In our truck, the perpetrator of this crime had emptied the little felt pouch from the glove compartment. It was full of life's little conveniences: band-aids, lotion, aspirin, a chap-stick.
Wait - there's no chap-stick! Before my brain could stop me, I said to the officer, "It looks like he took the chap-stick."
"He took your chap-stick?" he asked. Those were the words he used, but his tone said so much more...like, 'Lady, you're a moron.'
OK, probably, one of us didn't put it back, but hey, I can't be sure, and it is missing, after all...so I dubbed the perpetrator 'The Chapstick Bandit'.
I know. But I like to make my own fun, so that's what I'm calling him!
The Deputy took our information, gave us his business card, and was on his way to check the homes north of ours. We have since decided, just like all our our neighbors, to lock our cars and trucks.
And our barns.
And while I know it's the right thing to do, I will probably whine for a month or two (or three!) because I'm not used to taking keys with me to all those places, and each time, it will mean coming back to the house, taking off my shoes (we don't wear shoes inside), finding the key, putting my shoes on, and going back out to the car/truck/barn/shed. Whhiiiinnnneee!!
* * *
Fast-forward to this morning, when there is another knock at our door. It's the same detective from New Year's Day, with news that they actually caught the perpetrators - two of them - and we will likely hear from the District Attorney in the next several days.
The Chapstick Bandits have been apprehended! Already! WOW!
Turns out that going into a vehicle - even one that is not locked - is a felony. So for $15 and maybe a chapstick (and also maybe a maglite, but honestly, we're not sure about that either) two guys each got two felony charges and criminal trespass...and probably other stuff I don't even know about.
It also turns out that they have lots more charges, from criminally trespassing all up and down our road, and from felon-izing all those cars (felon-izing?), so the could be in a whole lot of trouble. Oh, and their shoe-prints match the shoe-prints at quite a few other similar 'crime scenes' in this part of the county.
They got some cash - from us and some of our neighbors - along with some other small items - a lighter here, a hunting knife there.
But in my mind, I see the two of them in a jail cell, sharing that cherry chapstick, and wishing they'd made better choices.
Still locking up our stuff,
-Laura at TenThingsFarm