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The Police Blotter This forum is for the purpose of alerting our readers of thefts and robberies. The idea is that WE can all keep our eyes peeled for the stuff and maybe catch those creeps.

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Unread 07-27-2011, 05:37 PM   #1
Rich Z
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Default Trespasser...

Had an interesting situation the past several days.

Connie and I took a trip out of town last week, and when we got back, the next day we just took a walk around the property. Well, we discovered that someone had trespassed onto our property through a barbed wire "fence" we had put up and chopped down and stolen several of the bamboo that we have been growing. Coincidentally, I had set out a game camera close by to the house as a security measure and when I checked out the images it had captured, this is one that REALLY caught my eye....



Kind of gave me the willies thinking that someone had walked up to the house brandishing a machete. Probably a good thing for him that we WEREN'T home at the time. There were other pics showing a frontal view as well, of course, clearly showing the guy's face. He actually came up to the house two days in a row, which is kind of unnerving. Now since the bamboo had obviously been cut with a machete, I felt pretty strongly that this was the guy who had trespassed and stolen our property. So I printed out the images from the camera, and Connie and I went to the Wakulla County Sheriff's Office to file a report. Spoke to a Capt. Savory there on Monday and he took all the info and arranged for an officer to come by and take images of the damages done here. We then got a call from another deputy on Tuesday telling us he was assigned to the case and he would let us know what he found.

Seriously, after the fiasco we had with the Calhoun County Sheriff's Office not that long ago, we really weren't expecting much, if anything, to be done about this. But surprisingly enough, today a pickup truck pulled up into our driveway driven by two WCSO deputies and they had a load of bamboo in the back of the truck. They told me that they had recovered it from the perpetrator and were returning it to us. I asked what was going to be done about the guy who stole it, and they told me it was completely up to us, and we could send him to jail if that is what we wanted to happen. We queried the officers about the guy and apparently he had no prior record, was gainfully employed and has a family. The officers were completely neutral in this, but we felt that the guy had just made a very bad judgment call and couldn't see sending him off to jail for this. But the officers did say they could give the guy a "trespass warrant" and if he stepped foot on this property again they would arrest him immediately. They also said they would REALLY impress the point about how close he came to going to jail over this. We felt that would be sufficient, under the circumstances. They had me sign some sort of waiver of prosecution, I guess to keep everything on record.

All in all I have to say we were pretty darned impressed with how the WCSO handled this incident. And I have to admit that I am extremely puzzled how a person trespassing and stealing some measly bamboo could go to jail for such actions, yet the Calhoun County Sheriff's Office can have such a cavalier attitude towards a person with multiple parties filing claims of fraud and theft against him, and do virtually NOTHING about it. Kind of makes you wonder just what the heck is going on over there in Calhoun County, doesn't it? I certainly haven't signed any sort of waiver of prosecution with them.....
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Unread 07-27-2011, 07:26 PM   #2
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He's lucky he did not come to my place...I would have capped him, no questions asked...or pressed charges...What concerns me, he came with a weapon which could have been meant for the homeowner...
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Unread 07-28-2011, 03:26 PM   #3
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You are too nice Rich,

I would've pressed charges for the petty theft of the bamboo just to break his onions! He wouldn't have pulled any jail time, but would've had to pay you some damages, and serve some probation, and maybe some community service, which might have made him think twice before pulling a stunt like that again.

Then again, this guy probably doesn't think anyway.

He's lucky he hasn't been shot by someone.

Is the cut bamboo worth anything or good for anything?

Great job with the cameras!

Hope there is no repeat of this crap for you.

c6 flatfoot
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Unread 07-28-2011, 05:35 PM   #4
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This guy was VERY lucky! It could have turned out much worse for him. I'm curious as to how they made him so quick? Especially if he has no prior record. Makes me wonder if maybe one of the deputies recognized him. Whatever the case, I hope you giving him a break has the desired affect.
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Unread 07-28-2011, 05:38 PM   #5
Rich Z
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Yeah, they posted one of the photos I took on the bulletin board at the sheriff's office and someone there recognized him.
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Unread 07-28-2011, 05:49 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C6Flatfoot View Post
You are too nice Rich,

I would've pressed charges for the petty theft of the bamboo just to break his onions! He wouldn't have pulled any jail time, but would've had to pay you some damages, and serve some probation, and maybe some community service, which might have made him think twice before pulling a stunt like that again.

Then again, this guy probably doesn't think anyway.

He's lucky he hasn't been shot by someone.

Is the cut bamboo worth anything or good for anything?

Great job with the cameras!

Hope there is no repeat of this crap for you.

c6 flatfoot
The large bamboo was worth more to me uncut. I am letting the grove mature (I started it about 15 years ago) so the culms get taller and wider with age. This particular variety (Phyllostachys vivax) can get 60 feet tall and 6 inches in diameter. In the future I'm planning to cut sections of it and sell those sections in the reptile market for cage accessories for snakes and lizards. But I want the grove to get much bigger first so I have a good supply of large culms and won't damage the plant (yes, a bamboo grove is a SINGLE plant) by harvesting those culms. Cutting them prematurely can cause successive shoots to be smaller than they would be otherwise.

As for the small stuff, I really don't care much about that. Good for fishing poles, and we have a LOT of it here. Matter of fact, I have some culms (poles) that I cut down from another grove although not as big as the vivax, still good sized that I would have given to the guy just for the asking. Otherwise it's destined to go into the chipper/shredder next time I crank it up.

No, we were pissed that the guy trespassed and damaged our property, but not enough to try to ruin someone's life by trying to send them to jail over it. Of course, if he ever comes back here, then we'll do our best to fry him.

And yeah, had I walked outside and seen him standing in my yard holding a machete, he would have been offered two choices: (1) drop the machete, or (2) be shot. Since this would have taken place in camera range, I think I would have had all the evidence I needed to be cleared in court if I had had to shoot him.
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