Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Stranger

Everything started out normally (well as normal as it gets with 3 year old twins), yesterday morning. We have a solid glass storm door that has a deadbolt lock on it, that is currently broken. We have a new lock kit but hubby has neglected it, until last night. I always open all of the blinds and the front door to let the morning sun in.

I had hung out clothes on the front porch and went back inside to the master bedroom to get the dirty clothes. While walking back by the front door and windows there I noticed a man walking on our side of the road in front of the garden. You have to understand that we live on a major, very busy 2 lane United States highway and it is unusual for someone to be walking. He was coming from my Mom and Dad's way. It was about 9am and I knew that Daddy and Mike (my brother) were on the lower farm thinning peaches.

So, I decided to watch the guy. As soon as he turned to walk up my driveway I called Mike and asked if we had anyone coming to work (as we do, sometimes) on this farm. As I was talking to him, I locked the main door on the front, locked my car with the key less remote and started closing blinds. The guy was walking quickly and was up the driveway in no time, even though our driveway is over 600 feet long. Mike told me no, there was none suppose to be around and not to answer the door. DUH!!!! By the way I do not EVER answer the door for strangers.

This guy was so quiet coming up the steps to the porch, I never heard a footstep. I took the boys to Mason's room and told them to lay down in Mason's bed and pretend they were asleep. The door bell started ringing and I was trying to get my Mom on her home phone and I was trying her cell too. I couldn't get her to answer. I was already scared, then he started banging on the storm door. Then he opened storm door and started banging on the actual door. The boys were getting frightened and I was trying to calm them down. Mike called backed to check on me and the boys. This went on for 5 minutes or so.

I could see the guys feet on the porch the way I had the blinds closed and I saw him walking the other way. Still never heard him..........spooky! I then heard my door handle on my Durango pop, like someone had tried to open a locked car. I saw him going back down the driveway, but still kept the blinds and door closed. I continued to watch him and by then the boys were okay and by my side.

I watched in complete shock as what happened next. He went back to my parents place and walked around and walked around and finally went up on their back porch. As I am the one phone with my brother and calling my Mom on the other phone, I decided to call 911. Mike even told me to, which is strange. He is the calm, laid back type that thinks if you have to go to the ER you are over reacting or some something like that. Anyhow, back to the story.....the guy is jiggling the door handle and then goes to the end of the house where the door is and starts jiggling that handle. I am on the phone with 911 and watch the guy go into one of the buildings and he comes back out. I would too......there is an albino German Shepard in there with all of the tools and things.

Then he walks all the way around the house and gets out of my line of sight for a few minutes. By now I am off the phone with 911 and my brother is calling here and there and there to check on the situation. I also am STILL trying to get my Mom on either phone. No luck. This goes on for15 minutes are so. Still no cops. I call back. We don't have anyone (police)working our town this morning and they had to get a county deputy to come out.......he was in route.I was getting very upset. We all could killed by then!

The guy then gets on the Gator just sits there for a few minutes. Then he goes and starts to sit down at the picnic table beside the roadside market (that is CLOSED until summer!). No sooner does he sit down than he jumps up and starts flailing his arms. By then he is acting really weird. Still no sign of the police. Then he starts walking back down the road, toward my house. I still cannot get my Mom on the phone. I am really scared by then and I am praying . What do I do? The guy is very agitated by the way he has acted and he is walking very fast now. I decide to call our neighbor who has a business (used car lot) close by. After all, he has always told me if I needed anything call him. So I do call. He sees the guy and I tell him a quick version of the story. He tells me he will not let the guy come back up my driveway.

Thankfully the guy goes past my drive as my neighbor sits in his car and stares him down. He wanted to make sure the stranger saw him. My brother is still calling and checking on things, I am still calling my Mom and cannot get her and there still is no sign of the police. The neighbor watches the guy so the police will know where he is if they EVER arrive.

When the neighbor calls me back and says the police are questioning him I decide to get the boys and head over to my parents. Not smart on my part. I realize this now but I wasn't sure of my other choices at the time. I unlocked the door and let myself in. I hear the tv in my Mom's bedroom and open the door. She is laying in bed watching tv withOUT a phone. She had misplaced her cell and the house phone was in the living room. Their house is THAT big and she IS hard of hearing.

That is when I loose it. I was so glad to see that she was okay! I tell her what has happened and she says I thought I heard someone on the back porch........

I call 911 back to find out the status of the situation and they say that the guy lives in the area, he is not wanted and he has been let go. I then am ticked! I tell them I would like to speak to the officer. He is there is a matter of minutes. He tells me the guy is an illegal immigrant and was looking for work. I tell him that was a strange way to look for work! I then find out that the call was dispatched as a shed being broke into. Crap no!!!! Excuse my language. I was worried about my Mom, boys and me! I even told the dispatcher that, most ALL of what I wrote above.

He then tells me he has the guys info and he told him not to be wandering around people's property. Yeah! That make me feel all better! NOT! Then the officer tells me he believes him, cause he questioned him for 10 minutes and he knows about these things. He also said he could not blame him for looking for work! I then asked the officer why he was trying to open doors and was acting so weird. He said he had no explanations for his behavior other than their customs are different in Mexico then here. The officer also said the guy told him he stuck his head in the building looking for someone. The stranger also said his friend sent him here, that we were looking for hands to work on the farm.

In case you are wondering it took the police 29 minutes to get to the guy from the first time I called 911. There are only 3 deputies on duty during the day. He was 35 minutes away on another call.

So, everyone is safe, the new deadbolt is part of the way back on and I will keep my doors locked all of the time!

Mike chose not to upset our Daddy and he did not find out until they came in from the orchard yesterday. He and Mike wanted to go and talk to the guy but the officer would not give out his information.

I hope the guy does not come back, needless to say THERE IS NOT A JOB WAITING FOR HIM, but there is a 38 Special loaded and ready!



Amy said...

How scary! I am so glad you guys are safe. ((Hugs)) I am sure that must have been terrifying!

whittybrooke said...

Thank the Lord for watching over all of you!! I would've been scared to death too...and upset at the way it was handled. You just never know what people are gonna do nowadays. Blake just bought a couple of smaller guns that I can use easier, just in case, and I have to admit I was glad to have them! Hope you have a better and more normal day today. :-)

MyKidsMom said...

That is truly frightening. I probably should not say this, but plenty of people such as this guy have committed crimes when they were considered "harmless." With that type of behavior (opening doors, ect) he's lucky he didn't get shot by someone. Maybe when the boys get a little older you can get a big dog to put out by the house. Ours make me feel surprisingly safer (we've only had them about 2 years). I hate answering the door to strangers also. You just never know who you'll get nowadays. It makes you pause and think.

So glad that the police FINALLY made it, but I wouldn't be none too happy about the way it was handled either.

Ellie said...

Oh Marva! How absolutely terrifying! So very glad you are ALL safe and sound! Thank the Lord for watching over you and your family. Sending a big hug your way

Julie @ blessedwithfive said...

That is terrifying! I am so relieved you are o.k. Thank goodness for good neighbors! Keep those doors locked and that gun in a safe and accessible place!

Hugs Marva!

Mimi said...

It's a good thing that you saw the man approaching!
It's sad but times are tough,and people will commit crimes to survive. In LA, police now give warning tickets to cars with an visible items left inside, because even a little loose change is enough to cause a break in. Next time call 911 first since it takes them so long to come. Better safe than sorry!

Steph at Problem Solvin' Mom said...

Yikes, Marva, that's terrible! I'm so glad to hear that everyone is okay.

Big Hugs & Blessings,

Nikki said...

That is why John is giving me shooting lessons for my birthday.

I'm glad that everyone is fine.

smilernpb said...

My goodness, what a terrible experience you have endured. I bet you were terrified.

Hmm, this also brings up a few of my gripes too....even over here, in the UK, the police are slow to respond to anything as well, which I do not find acceptable in any way. The law never seems to favour honest citizens and would favour the other party and their 'interests', which is shocking! Them saying he was looking for work is laughable, surely (if this is true) he must have realised that going about it the way he did would just make people think he was acting a bit odd!

I'm just thankful that you and your family are OK and nobody was hurt.

Mamaoftwins said...

This is just about the scariest thing Ive heard in a long time! Trying to open doors and on the car too!!! Good grief, the man was trying to rob! I dont walk up to a house and try to open their doors or open their cars if they dont answer! Im just so glad everything worked out okay. God is Good!

Mrs. Darling said...

Yeah 911 isnt what its cracked up to be. My girlfriend was home alone one night down a long lonely lane. A man came banging on her door and her windows and it was midnight. She grabbed her cell when he strted to turn the door knob. She ran to her clsoet and called 911. She waited for ten minutes while this guy tried to get in. She called 911 again and they said, "We're sorry mam but all theofficers are busy and unless he actually gets in the house we cant consider this an emergency!!!!" Can you believe it?

She too called a neighbor and he got out of bed and came over. By then the man was sitting in the ditch at the end of her lane. He was drunk and looking for a place to sleep he said.

My girlfriend said that after this she is going to tell 911 that they are in the house whether they are or not. She said she hates to lie but this is her life we're talking about. I totally agree with her.

Im so glad you were safe. Thank God!