Paranoid or common sense

Sometimes it’s good to be a little paranoid. Moving into a new neighborhood can be difficult, especially if you are from a different part of the state. Being from the Los Angeles area, moving to a quiet rural area in northern CA can almost be a culture shock.


There is no traffic here to speak of, the nearest neighbor’s house is 3 acres away, and many of the neighbors are livestock. Yes, I mean cows, horses and the occasional family of peacocks. There are grazing pastures between properties. But still, we installed a locking gate; we lock our vehicles and keep bicycles and such in the garage at night. Our house has an external motion sensor flood light system which was already installed before we moved in. The neighbors tease us about the security. I have to ask “what security?” Where I’m from this is just common sense.


I started understanding while watching the locals. While visiting the local library, we noticed quite a few baby strollers outside with diaper bags still in them. We’ve seen people leave their cars running while they go shopping, I assume it was in fear that the car wouldn’t restart. In most neighborhoods including this one, most leave their cars unlocked at night. It’s one thing to be confident but it’s another to tempt fate. Maybe I am a little paranoid.
There are only two other homes nearby with locked fences, the couple who live behind a chain link fence with their five Pit Bulls. And the other is an old man who has an electric fence around his property. His hot wire not goes around the top of his fence but the bottom too. According the locals, the couple is anti-social and the old man is a mean hermit. Well, I would have to agree with the latter, I said hello and waved to the pit bull lady. She looked right at me then just turned, and walked away as her dogs started barking and growling at me. As for the old man, I haven’t seen him. He doesn’t have dogs, cats, nor live stock not sure what the electric fence is for but it is always on.


Then it happened on one cool September night someone broke into almost all the cars on our street. This probably wasn’t that hard since a good number of them were unlocked. It would explain why so many cars were “broken” into. They stole everything from jackets to radios to cd’s. Even a truck was stolen; unfortunately this truck also had a gun in it. Yep, a gun, an old man actually left a gun in his truck. The truck was locked but out in the middle of his no fence, no gate yard in full view of the street.


When dawn broke chaos was afoot, neighbors stood in the street shocked, upset, and chattering. The police did what they could to calm everyone. The next day, police found the truck in the next town over but have yet to recover the gun.


There were three houses that were not burglarized that night, the pit bull people, the hermit and the newbies (that’s us). Now, you’d have to out of your mind to jump into a yard full of pit bulls. As for the hermit, there is just open space between his electric fence and his old truck and mobile home. I just don’t think there is anything to steal. I think he just wants to be left alone. Where I’m from he’d be a weekly target of T.P. and eggs. Although neither eggs nor the toilet paper could possibly fly that far. But you never know.


With us first, they’d have to climb over the fence or the locked gate, easy enough. Second, the truck has an alarm that gets set after each and every time it’s driven even in the daytime. Third, when approaching the trucks the flood lights will come on, this will wake the dogs. Even though we keep the dogs in the fenced back yard, they can jump the gate. Their barking and growling would wake us.


I feel bad for my neighbors; I just hope their sense of security wasn’t stolen as well. Needless to say we are no longer teased.

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