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Old 06-23-2018, 10:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
Jimmy3Putt
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Neighbor Issues

I'm a terrible writer so bear with me.

Ok, quick back story here. I live on a pretty secluded 2 acre lot. It's a dead end street so I don't have anyone directly to the north.
When I moved in ten years ago I immediately planted a ton of bushes and trees all along my property line fence adding to the seclusion and privacy. There's only one person that can see in my backyard during summer months. My north east neighbor's house is on a hill and he can see into my backyard from his deck and upstairs windows.
I'm not much of a people person and lack the ability to small talk. That being said, I always go out of my way to wave hi to people. I've met everyone that lives around me except this person. He was already here when I moved in and he never introduced himself to me. We basically just nodded to each other while passing on lawn mowers thru the years.
This, I admit, is just as much my fault as his. Again, as soon as I moved in I started planting privacy screening so that might've been off putting to him.

He comes off as a bit strange. He has a very big picture window looking down on my yard and he keeps a very thick blanket or drop cloth covering it 98% of the time. At night when i'm hanging out I can see very bright light from the edges of the blanket if he didn't close it completely. This might sound like i'm spying or whatever, but i'm not. Imo, it's just weird to have a big blanket covering a picture window. My brother thinks the guy is growing a private stash in there with the bright lights.

I spend quite a bit of time in the yard. If I had to guess, i'd say when I look up at his house he's watching us 1/3 of the time. Sometimes he's smoking on his deck, but mostly he's looking through the window. I don't like it, but I understand that it might be coincidence or he's looking to see why my kids are screaming at each other. You know how kids play loud, it attracts looks.

I've had a few minor occurrences thru the years.

Every winter I build a hockey rink in the backyard for my kids.
I know sound travels in the winter so we're never out there past 9pm, but it can get loud with the pucks slapping off plywood.
The last time I did it, someone vandalized it and kicked a few support braces out trying to knock the boards over.
The night it happened my wife just happened to fall asleep on the couch and woke up to the dog growling. She heard someone kicking/smashing wood and then saw a figure thru the window. She immediately ran upstairs to get me and I ran outside after getting some boots on, but they were gone.
I found footsteps in the snow from his yard to my fence line leading directly to the damage. They didn't lead back though. Instead they went south. I couldn't figure out why anyone would do this.
Ultimately, I decided that a kid was walking home, maybe drunk from party somewhere. It was cold so he decided to cut through my backyard to save time and tripped over the support braces of the rink. This pissed him off so he decided to try to rip it apart. I don't know, but it was my theory.

I also have a travel trailer/camper that I keep along the north side of my garage. Again no neighbors there so it's pretty hidden from the street. Well, every once in awhile something gets broken off. The exterior light get broke, things get bent. I had chalked it up to wind storms...seemed plausible.

Leading us to the latest/biggest problem.

I bought my daughter a trampoline a week and a half ago for her birthday. I got home from work the day it arrived and spent half the night out there putting it together in the dark. My wife had commented that the guy was watching us assemble it. Then in the past week, every time I went out there with my kids, he's watching them bounce. It's starting to piss me off a bit.

Today my daughter comes running in saying there are holes in the trampoline.
I'm like "WTF" man? It's not even two weeks old.
I go out there to inspect the damage and there are three holes in the bounce pad. They're about 3-4 inches in diameter. After inspecting closer I see that the holes aren't rips, but look like they melted.
The edges are burnt. So I get underneath and it looks like someone held a lighter under it. There's melt lines all under it like someone laid on their back and just waved a lighter.
Again it might be paranoia, but it seemed like they were trying to weaken it so maybe someone falls through. I go inside to get my wife and as i'm showing her, I look up and he's fucking looking at us.

At this point it still hasn't sunk in just what is going on here. I tell my brother what happened and he said, "Who can see if something goes wrong on the trampoline?" "Who can see if the kids fall through and get hurt?" I got goose bumps. The dude was watching us.


Am I crazy?
No one can see the trampoline from the street. No one even knows it's there except the looney on the hill. I have a fenced in yard with bushes and trees lining the entire property. I have motion flood lights in the back.
So basically someone jumped the fence squeezing between branches (or walked around through my gate), didn't run from the motion flood light, and smoked a joint lying on their back under the trampoline waving a lighter. Or they were there intentionally to damage it.

The first two incidences mean nothing to me, but this last one hits home.
If this isn't just some punk messing around, if an adult went out of their way to do this....
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Old 06-23-2018, 10:24 PM   #2 (permalink)
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It’s probably worth the cash to get some cameras installed around your house now that the last incident makes it clear that this stuff is deliberate.

If possible, I’d try to set them up when the creepy dude isn’t around. You don’t want to tip him off that you’ve secured yourself, that way you can get him on film if he tries to mess with your stuff again. You also don’t want him to mess with the cameras themselves, either.

We’re tight with our neighbors. Great people, and our houses are pretty close together. They had cameras installed all over the exterior of their house by a professional two years ago. To this day, I still can’t spot a single camera. They’re hidden and tucked against the house very well. So, it’s possible to get a system installed that isn’t readily apparent. Not sure how much cash you’re dropping for an install expert, though.

Last edited by IrishLion; 06-23-2018 at 10:27 PM..
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Old 06-23-2018, 10:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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That's a good idea. Sounds very rational.
I must admit, i'm having irrational thoughts.
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Old 06-23-2018, 10:36 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for sharing, Jimmy.

How many years have you been installing the hockey rink?

As you can imagine, the drunk kid in backyard explanation doesn't strike me as plausible, particularly since you live on a dead end street.
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Old 06-23-2018, 10:38 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Cameras would be a 1st step for most...cheap and easy. Have some buddies pull up to his house with cell phones and cameras for a distraction. Endless possibilities...maybe he's in the witness proception program and nervous...maybe growing some high grade or cooking meth and nervous....maybe a pervert and nervous and sick....maybe a bored, get off my lawn type.

Due diligence is key.
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Old 06-23-2018, 10:42 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The rink has been going up for four or five years now.

My street is a dead end with a drainage pond directly north of me. The street behind me has a gradual curve that takes it north of the pond. I have seen kids cut through the "creeper's" yard north of my fence line to reach my street.
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Old 06-23-2018, 10:42 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Dude, that is really creepy. I donít know what state you live in, but the first thing I would do is buy a gun, get ADT, and protect whatís important to me on the inside of the house. I would buy another trampoline and try to set him up. You said you have a lot of trees around your property; maybe hide a camera in one of the trees and see if he comes back and damages the other trampoline. But Iím sorry man. I hope you and your family stay safe and get this resolved.
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