Homesteading Forum banner

We were robbed!

2880 Views 35 Replies 23 Participants Last post by  Ken Scharabok
After living all of my life in big cities and suburbia, it takes a move to a rural area for me to have my first experience with theft!

We are in process of moving stuff onto our homestead. We were there last weekend to drop off stuff and returned today to find that our barn, machine shed, and garage had all been broken into with much stuff stolen!

How discouraging!

I'm not feeling so great about the safety of rural America! I thought that this was the last area where one could leave doors unlocked and keys in cars (not that we would ever do that, we can't get rid of our big city habits that easily!).

Now we are trying to budget in more fencing and gates with big locks.

1 - 20 of 36 Posts
Sorry to hear of your experience. What is sad is that it could be your closest neighbors if you are really rural. Did you report the theft to the police, and ask that they take fingerprints and such? Chances are it was someone who does this all the time....

I'd invest in a videocamera with a motion sensor too, because as soon as they can tell you've replaced your stuff (boxes broken down, other delivery trucks, etc.) they might be back again. Also, if you ever have a garage sale, keep the garage door closed, so people don't see what else is interesting.

I don't think rural areas are necessarily safer than the city, just my opinion. Different issues to worry about.
the city slickers come out into the country looking for homesteads that not occupied and they love stealing ATV's.
we live right by a township road, well I left a empty 5 gal gas can in front of the garage, sombody litterally stoped by the drive walked up 100 foot and checked the can for gas!!!!(good thing it was empty!)
Cathy , I'm so sorry to hear of your loss!!
I'm a born and raised counytry girl and I know for a fact that most country robberies happen during the daylight hours. When most people are away from home at "off the farm" jobs.
Moving to the country doesn't automatically mean fewer or less violations.
I'm so sorry to hear of your loss!!
there are evil people everywhere, it only takes a few to mess up everything :waa:
They fell safer in the country to steal things because the people are at work or in the feilds working. We have it going on in our area rite now. They have caught three but it is going on.
Seems to me that there are scum bags everywhere – in the country they just have more land so they are not so close together. Know that, in the long run, people like that always end up being their own punishment! Our condolences for your bad experience, thankfully no one (of you and yours) was hurt. Linda and I will keep you in our thoughts and in our hearts.

What’s that sports expression – “Hate the player, not the game!”???
Invest in some mean looking, by otherwise friendly, dogs.

Buy a shotgun, fill a plastic drum with gravel and then have target practice. The noise lets the neighbors know you have a gun and word gets around.

A lot of rural thefts are related to drug usage. Likely what they stole was fenced off at a small fraction of its value.

It may have just been a target of opportunity and might not happen again once you move there. However, as noted, you can never be sure. A couple of years ago some local people had four horses stolen from their barn while they were at work. Apparently someone just backed up a trailer, loaded them up and left.

Ken S. in WC TN
This subject really makes me angry. In the past, many things (guns, wood burner, generator, batterys,ect.) have been stolen from me and noone has ever been caught. I went to the sheriff directly and declared "war" in a 2 mi. radius of my homestead and posted it in the local newspaper. I demanded the sheriff dept. to patrol my area or someone was going to get hurt really bad. I told them if they can't do their job, I'll do it for them. I held 2 people at gunpoint untill the sheriff dept. arrived on a twp. road. One of the guys tried to press charges aginst me. Being that my notice was posted in the paper and the sheriff was informed of the status I proclaimed, there was nothing the guy could do. I also put a bounty out and made that public notice. This is bonded so payment is assured. This includes trespassers also. The thought of the bounty makes the neighbors keep their eyes open for me. Any time I call the sheriff they send 2 units because they know I mean business. I also gave the sheriff a written notice that if anyone is caught on my property and I'm not around, cuff 'um and stuff 'um and I will press charges. This gives them the freedom to arrest without me being there. They caught two of my friends on 4-wheelers one day while I was at work and they were processed. I don't cut no slack. I can't be partial. :no:
See less See more
Thanks for the condolences.

We did report to the sheriff office, it took them three hours to arrive to take a report! He was not enthused about our suggestion to try and get fingerprints, luckily my DH found a glass that had an obvious fingerprint for him to take with him back to the station. Whether it will just sit on a shelf or actually be used to try and find the crook remains to be seen!

Thanks for the suggestions, we have 4 big dogs that will be patrolling the property when we are fully moved onto the site so I think that will help. And I like the idea about the shotgun practice ;)

One of our neighbors (lives about 3 miles from us) told us there is a huge problem with theft in the area, though he thinks it is bored kids rather than drug users. He also told us that Washington still has a law on the books that it is legal to shoot anyone trying to steal your animals, so I don't hink we need to worry about horse wrestling!
See less See more
Just by way of reassurance--we live just a few minutes from the freeway north of Olympia, in an area that has a couple large farms kept for nostalgia sake--borders the Indian reservaton, and Military lands-- and has a mix of mobile parks, tiny homesteads, and a couple townlike neighborhoods. Ten years ago there was a lot of drug activity down here, but that is slowly turning around with diligence from those of us who live here. Our place is right on one of the main roads, but with a gate, sturdy pasture fencing, and two blue heeler dogs, we have had no trouble whatsoever with anyone coming on our place. Once you get there and can be permanent you should be okay---but the thieves down here had a network that took advantage of any situation for their gain--took all of us banding together to make sure we knew who our neighbors are, and watching out for each other that has made the difference. Hope it goes better for you from here on out!
See less See more
In our travels looking at land it seems a common occurence that people moving in are broken into.

Sad but some people have no morals.

Our house has been broken into two times in the five years we have lived here and our cars once.

VERY VERY annoying.
"He also told us that Washington still has a law on the books that it is legal to shoot anyone trying to steal your animals, so I don't hink we need to worry about horse wrestling!"

I certainly wouldn't rely on what someone told you the law is. I suspect you might be looking at a voluntary manslaughter charge, so something of that nature.

Ken S. in WC TN
of all the people I know, the only ones who have been robbed live in the most rural area (and MOST of us live in rural areas). After being robbed numerous times and her very big dogs beaten, she decided to change shifts at work to the opposite of what her husband worked so there would always be someone at home. Of course she never saw her husband, a fairly large price I thought.

They always figured it was a neighbors teen but were never really able to pin it on anyone.

I think it is probably EASIER to steal and get away with it in the country, no closeby neighbors to see and identify you. I think only a video system would help in the long run, how many of us ignore those car alarms? They are always going off. The video system wouldn't stop them unless the noticed it soon enough, but it would catch them.

Good luck,

See less See more

I'm sorry to hear about that! I hope that you're able to catch them and press charges.

I'd have to agree, it's probably local kids - and they most likely have "connections". It's been my personal experience that some of the most rowdy and lawless kids are the children of the local cops or officials. (We had a problem of littering, speeding and disturbing the peace on our road. We'd call the cops, but nothing was ever done. The culprits were finally caught by our neighbors and they found out that the ringleader was the Sheriff's own son!)

Good luck with your efforts and God Bless!
Dave said:
"What’s that sports expression – “Hate the player, not the game!”???"

Actually, it's "don't hate the player, hate the game" and it's not really sports related either. Unless "macking" women(or men) or committing crime is a sport for you.

Oh no! I guess I’ve just heard that expression and never really knew what it meant. I just assumed it was sport related because of the words “player” and “game”. Sorry, cath! That’s definitely not what I was trying to say.
You'd be surprised as to who is actually doing the stealing - we all were. A few years back, a man that I had gone to grade school and high school with was arrested for theft. He would drive a couple hundred miles away from home and "case" the rural areas - find out a few things and come back later with intentions and wherewithal to take valuable stuff and re-sell it. Machinery and anything else that wasn't actually tied down. He lived a good life and we all thought it was because he was an astute business man. He really turned out to be a clumsy thief who preyed on the rural areas because he knew their patterns and took advantage of them. So... just be alert and remember that you can replace everything but a life (I consider something that I've worked for by using up the hours in my life as payment to be my life) but don't lose your love for your neighbors.
See less See more
So was the door locked?
How did they get in?
We had a big fuel tank on legs that had been empty forever. People would push their cars up the drive to it just to find it empty then tear out the driveway mad. I filled it with water so they would push their cars out and not wake us up.

1 - 20 of 36 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.