Thursday, February 21, 2013

Creepers

Three mornings ago, as I was waking from a dream, I heard a voice say, "Someone is watching the house."

When I went out to feed the horses I noticed a little white hatchback with fully tinted windows all the way around parked at the trail head to my backyard.  I wondered what the heck that was all about, but chalked it up to one of the handymen who has been working on my neighbor's deck parking in an out of the way location.  That didn't quite make sense to me since the neighbor had plenty of room to park in his driveway or in front of his house, but who knows why people make the choices they do, right?


Later that morning I noticed a different car cruising up our street slowly while I was taking the dogs out to do their business.  That car pulled into my neighbor's driveway, so I figured he had guests.  When I came out again to bring in the trashcan in, the people were still sitting in the car in my neighbor's driveway.  I caught my horse and started taking him for a walk, but before we could get out of the backyard, two ladies in dresses popped out from behind the wall in the front of my house and spooked both of us.  It turned out they were Jevovah's Witnesses on a mission to keep me from taking my horse for a walk.  I thought maybe that voice I heard was warning me that I would have this unwanted encounter.

The next morning that little white hatchback was parked in the same spot overlooking my backyard and it stayed there for over an hour.  I got out my binoculars and looked around for someone nearby, but no one was working on my neighbor's deck.

I thought perhaps someone was hiking through my backyard at sunrise and returning to their car later.  I decided I was going to watch the vehicle more closely, because I'm getting really fed up with people trying to sneak onto my property.  We have a big shindig in town this weekend, so this is the height of tourist season, and all the tourists who used to be able to hike and ride horses through our property are showing up and ignoring my NO TRESPASSING signs.  My husband erected a wire fence along the arroyo in addition to the signs, but we're finding the only way to keep people out is to confront them about their dishonesty.  Most people we talk to don't come back, but a few try to just sneak through under the cover of darkness, which worries us more because they can't see much and could get hurt by riding or walking into the fence or stepping on tools we left out.

The little white hatchback disappeared and I never saw anyone get in it and drive off.

Then this morning I pulled up my shades at the crack of dawn and that little white hatchback was parked there again.  It stayed there from about 6:45 AM when I first saw it and was still there at 7:45 AM.  Since the windows were tinted, I couldn't tell if someone was sitting in it.  I decided to go outside and take pictures.  I figured if a driver was sitting in the car, he would drive off.  Sure enough, as soon as I started taking pictures, the little white car raced down to the end of the street and disappeared behind some bushes.

At the same time, two neighbors were leaving for work.  I wondered if this person was carpooling with them, but as soon as the neighbors drove off, the driver of the little white hatchback returned to his parking spot at the trail head.  That was just too weird.  I decided to call the police, and as soon as I had that thought, he drove off.

However, just a couple of minutes later he returned to park in the same spot.  I remembered lilyrose telling me that if you live in the county, you have to call for county services, which are a long ways away.  It takes about 40 minutes to get an officer to your place if they leave from headquarters, even though the city police are just a few miles away.  My property is literally the divider between the city and the county, so I tried the city police first.  I've seen them driving around my neighborhood, so I know they come out here.

Of course, the dispatcher said that the car was parked outside of city jurisdiction, and she transferred me to the county sheriff's office after taking my report.  So, I had to give the report a second time, and the county dispatcher was a little more hesitant about sending an officer out to investigate just because someone is parked in a strange location.  I emphasized that the person has been there for the past three mornings in a row, has stayed for at least an hour, has never exited the vehicle, keeps driving off for a couple of minutes and returning to the same spot, and is clearly doing some kind of surveillance on the neighborhood.

When I described the vehicle, she said, "Oh, is it a little white Geo Metro?"

I said, "Yeah, something like that."

She sounded like she was familiar with it and knew what was going on.  Perhaps another neighbor had reported it previously, or maybe it was an undercover stake out.  She then said, "Okay, I'll send someone out to the car."

There was something in her voice that told me she was lying.  Within two minutes of me getting off the phone with the Sheriff's office, the driver took off.  However, two minutes later he returned to his parking spot.  The driver drove off repeatedly for just one or two minutes at a time over the next hour, like he was driving around the block, and a Sheriff's patrol car never showed up.  The driving off behavior seemed to correspond with other vehicles driving up the street and people coming outside of their houses.

I took more pictures and got one shot when the passenger rolled down the window.  I could see a middle aged man and middle aged woman sitting inside, but their faces were partially blocked by the fence.  Their attention was focused on a house behind my house.  They seemed oblivious to me taking pictures of them.  After driving off for the sixth time, they returned, but parked in a slightly different location where I could only see the top of their car from my viewpoint.  It was almost as if someone told them that I reported their suspicious behavior, so they relocated where they could still do their surveillance, but not be so conspicuous.

You can bet if they are back tomorrow, I'll be calling the Sheriff's office again.  I'm just going to keep bugging them until they do something about it.  I would have hoped that the patrol officer would have at least stopped at my house to take a report on the driver's activity since I called.  I suspect the dispatcher never had the intention to send anyone out.  Even if they are undercover agents, I really feel uncomfortable having them up there every morning while I feed my horses.  You know how I like my privacy.

10 comments:

Marissa said...

I would definitely be creeped out. You know how you just get 'feelings' when something is off? I remember one time my parents had just left to go out of town for the weekend, and I was sitting in my room with my blinds up. My room looks out over the street, and I noticed a car pull up to the front of my house and stop. I saw a young boy get out (probably around 16) and walked up to my car and started taking pictures of it! It was a middle aged woman driving, looked like his mom or something. I went to go out the front door and as soon as they saw the door open he jumped in the car and left.

Luckily I live in a small town and our police never have anything to do. So I called the police and made a report simply because I didn't know what he intended to do with the pictures! I wasn't sure if a car like mine had been involved in an accident or a problem and for some reason they thought it was me, so I wanted to have it on file that I had noticed suspicious behavior if anything came of it. I saw a police car cruising my neighborhood repeatedly for a few hours after I made the call.

It seems like if it was an undercover cop that they would be much better and less conspicuous about it! Thats so weird, I'm like you though, I would keep calling until they do something about it!

Cindy D. said...

Hmmmm Highly suspicious.
I probably would have just walked up and knocked on the window and asked them what the heck they though they were doing. But then I sometimes lack common sense which has put me into potentially dangerous situations. So yeah, scratch that idea.

I used to have a friend that was part of the drug task force in your area, and he used to tell me how much he (they all) hated stake outs. I can just imagine what it would be like for him doing a state out in a geo metro. He is like 6'2" Oh man! That is a funny picture in my head. Since the dispatcher knew the car before you told her, it has to be either that or a PI.

I wonder if that means they have found a dealer in your neighborhood. That would suck! On the bright side, if they have and are watching him, perhaps this means the end of one annoying neighbor.

I had to laugh at your JH mission. That was funny!

Reddunappy said...

Have you talked to the neighbors? I hate creepers too.

Mikey said...

You're doing all the right things. Document it, get the license if you can, etc. Sounds like surveillance to me too. The US Marshalls in AZ are pretty hard core. I've met them several times when they were searching for people. One time I was working the vet's office super early and this guy showed up to tell me he was doing a stakeout and not to worry about him sitting outside in his car (which was good, cause I would have). He told me they were waiting on a truck expected to come through town and they were going to intercept it.
Keep a close eye out though, that early in the morning I'd be suspicious of burglars. Especially this being the height of tourist season.
Looks like we'll be at the ranch mid March for roundup. LaTonne and Megan too! Are ya coming?!

lilyrose said...

That's really creepy. I'm hoping it's just undercover cops doing their job. We have way too many drug houses out here. The JW's can be a pain. If you're nice to them-like my husband is-they keep coming back. Ugh.

Cut-N-Jump said...

Like Mikey said- document! Plate number, make & model if you can. It does look like a Metro to me too. If you have to call tomorrow- document. What time you called, who you spoke with and how long until something was done.

If nobody is doing anything about it, let them know You are trying AND keeping track. Might be what prompts them to action. BS that it comes to this, but better safe than sorry- or worse.

Let the officers make contact. Too many whackadoodles out there and you just never know. As others have said, plenty of drugs out there and we have them here too. Not us personally, but you know what I mean. Lol

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

The little white hatchback was a no show this morning, so maybe the sheriff did come. Since the driver drove off every time someone drove up the street, he probably took off when the patrol officer drove up, then he would have pulled him over. Either that or if it was the law, the agents were told that their stake out was too obvious and they are working on Plan B. I noticed a cable company van pull up next to a telephone pole by the house they were watching yesterday afternoon. They stayed for just a minute and left. Then this white suburban kept "patrolling" various streets in the neighborhood, driving up and down, going around blocks, stopping and idling for long periods of time when they were at a good vantage point to watch the house. Something is definitely up.

achieve1dream said...

I'm guessing since the lady knew about it that it's the cops. I wouldn't worry about it since their interest isn't on you or your house. Sorry your privacy is being invaded again.... can't be nearly as bad as that nasty old man at your old place though.... or the peeping tom.... or the calling card guy.... yeah I definitely like your new place better lol.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

The thing is that the dispatcher could have also known about it, because another neighbor may have reported it. I noticed the cops patrolling the corner on previous days when the little white hatchback was not there anymore. The other question the dispatcher asked was if the car was still parked there.

Until I know it is the law doing a stake out for sure, I'm going to worry about it, because I watch my neighbors' houses for them when they are away at work, and I'd feel terrible if someone's house got burgled when I knew strangers were casing the neighborhood.

achieve1dream said...

Oh duh!!! I didn't even think about someone else calling in about the car too.... You're right... did you ask your neighbors about it? I hope they go away and you can just forget about it.