Just how many miles does Neighborhood Watch go?
Mar 29, 2012
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Tonight I was on the phone with my mother in law. We were going over the details of the evening after my husband and I had left their house and I had gone to the doctor and so on.
While I was on the phone with her, a knock came at their door. She answered the door with me on the phone and a very deep sounding voice coming from a young male, said, "Yeah, I need to use your phone." She was uneasy and I could tell, and she said, well as you can see I am on the phone, so just a minute. She told me to hang up and call her later. So I waited about 5 minutes and I called her back. The young man answered the phone and I told him that I must have the wrong number because I was trying to get in touch with my mother in law. The guy must have been really confused or something because he kept saying over and over to her I guess, "its Thomas, Deb. Its Thomas, Deb." Finally after several anxious seconds I told him to hand the phone to my mother in law please. Well she got on the phone, and my husband heard my side of the conversation so he was now getting a little anxious and he started asking to talk to his mom. He informed her to tell the guy to leave and get out of the house, etc. In the meantime, I called the police station in their town and no answer so I called 911. My county connected me to the county they live in and some very nice and professional ladies spoke with me and dispatched my not really a 911 call to the proper authorities. They assured me that they would do a welfare check on my inlaws and see what the guy was up to. Ok, so I get my husband to get off the phone with his mom and calm down. All the while getting dressed in whatever I can find, (which wound up being his jeans and an old T shirt, cute!!) and telling him we are on our way to your folks house. He was in the car faster than I have ever seen him move.
I think that my little red Honda takes on a personality of its own. I think it takes on whatever my state of mind is and puts it on the hood and in its lights and says GET OUT OF THIS WOMANS WAY SHE IS ON A MISSION!!! So here we go, down the highway at faster rates of speed than I drive normally or have driven in years.
I made it to their driveway in 17 minutes. Usually its about at least a 30 minute drive because they live about 24 miles away. Anyway, we pull up and my husband goes in the house first. Bless his heart, his 86 year old dad is sitting there watching the Weather Channel and eating milk and cornbread for dinner. My mother in law has gone to choir practice at church and will be back later. All is well. His dad is alarmed to see us come to the house after we had left not too long before and I explained that we were just looking to be sure all was ok after the guy wanted to use the phone. He said yeah, all was fine, and went back to watching the Weather Channel. God love them!!
So my husband, being in the law enforcement frame of mind he has (he isnt a policeman but we watch a lot of TV) he goes to the neighbors house and sees if that widow is ok. She is and her grandson is there with her. After several minutes of visiting the neighbor, my husband comes in and joins us. We get ready to leave and my mother in law drives up. She is relieved to know that all is well, and proud of her son for checking on the neighbor. Again, we get ready to leave.
As we are saying the goodbyes, etc and making sure they are in the house safely, my husband is shining his flashlight in the bushes and on the porches of the houses. Sure enough, I smell cigarette smoke from closeby, and there is clearly no reason for any smoke smell to be around either of these folks houses. I tell this to my husband and as I am saying the words, his flashlight shines on the young man leaving across the neighbors yard. We drive down to the closest turn around spot and make a definite identification of the suspected person that has been going from house to house using the phone and "hanging out". The neighbor lady said he had been hanging around the drugstore all day, and the Pharmacists asked if she knew who he was. My husband and I noticed him earlier on our first trip to their town this afternoon, so whatever phone usage he needed, he clearly didnt get it resolved in the hours we were gone.
So as wee were leaving the small town, I noticed the Sheriffs office cars sitting closeby and I wheeled over to where they were and let my husband tell the details of the young man and the phone usages at the local houses that day and hanging out at the drug store.
Needless to say, the local police department, the Sheriffs Department and I am sure several local citizens that passed by made note of this young man, and talked to him about his actions.
There was no harm done, but to make 3 elderly folks uneasy. They dont realize how times have changed and you dont know everybody that comes to the door, so dont answer it and CERTAINLY dont let them in.
It may have been something and it may not have. But I am so thankful to know that the police and the Sheriff's department and the 911 operators took the time to listen to me, and to take me seriously. They took the time to check out my complaints. My husband took the time to listen to me when I told him about the cigarette smoke and he flashed his flashlight all around to see the guy.
So with that said, just how far does Neighborhood Watch go?
You just never know when a little red Honda may find a person hiding in the shrubs after he was asked to leave, and we will let the authorities handle the situation. I dont know the young man, nor what he wanted, but if it was no good, well, its not going to happen on my watch,
even if I am 24 miles away.