Having grown up during the 1970s in rural Butler County I never gave much thought to anyone bothering my family or our property. Occasionally, Daddy would chase a neighbor's dog out of our chicken pens or kill an unwanted opossum or snake, but I never recall ever being afraid of pilfering people. In those days, it seems as if most people had general respect for other people's property. There seemed to be an unspoken rule about trespassing among residents. Neighbors watched out for each other and everyone knew each other. I am fortunate that I still live close to the neighbors I've pretty much had my whole life, even though we don't see one another as often as we used to, we do keep an eye out for each other.
This past Sunday, my son saw a man walk by our front window and it startled him. We hardly ever have unannounced guests. It's one reason why I love living where I do, it is quiet and peaceful for the most part. So when my son shouted to me that a man was outside, I was surprised. With the recent rash of rural break-ins in and around Broseley, we are pretty cautious about securing our property and home nowadays. The man knocked at the front door a couple of times and I stepped out of our garage entrance to meet him. (Safety tip: If possible, never greet a strange visitor through the main entrance door of your home. A smart thief can scan the contents of your home in a matter of seconds just by peeking inside your front door.) The man looked to be in his 20s or 30s, average height, 5'10" or so, with close cut wiry dark hair, a black leather jacket, jeans, and a phone case attached to his belt. I saw no vehicle around, which was my first red flag. Come to find out, he had parked his maroon late model truck on the property owned by my family which sits adjacent to my home. The man then inquired about said property and mumbled something about looking for a place to build a house. I would not have thought anything of it had the man looked me in the eye when he spoke, but he did not. Second red flag. I spoke very little to him only telling him I owned the property and it was not for sale. The man then started walking back toward his truck. I went back inside, told my son the events that transpired, then headed back outside just to further check things out. I was met at the end of my driveway by my neighbor who also had encountered the man. I told him my experience and my neighbor shared information about the man's vehicle with me. It's good to know some neighbors still keep an eye out for each other. Never hesitate to report any suspicious activity in and around your property to the Butler County Sheriff's Dept. or the appropriate law enforcement agency in your area.