Bizarro neighbor issue

Discussion in 'General Self Defense' started by Flea, Sep 24, 2017.

  1. Flea

    Flea Beating you all over those fries!

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    Hello all,

    I used to be a regular here but it's been a few years. This morning I was confronted with a very ambiguous situation which ... might be threatening? I thought this might be a good place to turn for feedback. I currently live in a one-story duplex with a tiny backyard that's fully surrounded by a 7' wooden padlocked fence. I have a small garden back there but nothing terribly interesting. For the past two years I have happily left my bedroom window open all summer because I have total privacy back there, and usually leave my sliding back door open all day for the fresh air (sadly, that ends today.) One day about a month ago as I puttered in my garden I found a human turd. I was flummoxed - there was no sign of entry, and nothing else in my backyard was touched that I could see. Why would somebody throw a turd over my fence? I dismissed it as a prank and got over it.

    This morning I found a second one, and the fence was damaged as someone had clearly climbed over to take a dump, not disturb anything else, and leave. So now I'm wondering ... my city has a huge issue with homelessness, but there's a perfectly good wooded park right across the street that doesn't involve scaling a fence. And if the motive is vandalism, why wouldn't they have left some graffiti or otherwise done damage? And they went in exactly the same place, all of which constitutes a pattern.

    It's not the poop itself that bothers me, but the thought process of someone who would do this bizarre and antisocial thing twice. I'd like to know who it is and why, and whether it's some kind of weird stalking situation that could present a danger. My neighbor on the other side of the fence is sympathetic but not open to doing anything with the fence (it's on her side of the property line so she does have a vote.) I have a porch light that's not terribly effective, and I'll start leaving that on.

    Otherwise, I'd be open to some suggestions. I'm a renter so I can't make any modifications to the property. I could get a camera, but that would only help if I recognize the person. And make a police report that I know will fall on deaf ears. If it's a mental health issue I'd welcome it as an opportunity to get the person some help. If it is a stalking thing ... I honestly don't know what I'd do or how I would prove that without a detective's help. It's a sleepy middle class suburb that usually has minimal drama, and my next-door neighbor was shocked when I told her about it.

    Thoughts, anyone?
     
  2. Flea

    Flea Beating you all over those fries!

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    Sorry about the multiple posts - I was having trouble with the website. Mods, please feel free to remove the duplicates.
     
  3. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple Senior Master

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    Regarding the double posts; it's been happening the last few days unfortunately.

    For the rest, i would definitely try to film it if you could. Even if you don't recognize the person, it would make a police report hold more weight, and you could figure out what time the person's doing it if you wanted to confront them about it. It would be a lot of recording though, if he's only doing it about once a month...
     
  4. Flea

    Flea Beating you all over those fries!

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    Much as I hate to sink money into a camera I think it's a good idea. Is there a website with state laws on filming?
     
  5. RTKDCMB

    RTKDCMB Senior Master

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    if it is your back yard then you have every right to film there anytime you want. If someone climbs over your fence and wants to squat and gets caught on camera then that's just too bad isn't it?

    Here's what you can do, get a camera, film the incident and then put the video up on Facebook, YouTube and whatever other video sharing site you can find. You will generate many hits and you may get a member of the public who knows the person who will name and shame the culprit, who should get very embarrassed. That's one of the great things about social media.
     
  6. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    Proximity lights should do the trick. You may have to adjust them or their sensitivity, but I would think your mysterious pooper would be deturd.

    You're not the only one this has happened to, by the way.

    Colorado Springs police seek runner who won’t stop pooping in front of a family’s house

    And when I was in law enforcement, I discovered (to my everlasting disgust) that it is uncommon but not rare for a person doing a burglary or other property crime to also defecate near or where they have committed their crime. Some claim it is due to fear causing bodily reactions, but I don't agree. I believe it is a mental illness combined with aggression. For example, there was a person who was breaking into the vending machines in a barracks, and he (or she, I guess) would defecate on the exact center of the pool table before leaving. That's not fear and nature catching up with them, that's aggression.
     
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  7. PhotonGuy

    PhotonGuy Senior Master

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    I would go with the camera. Make sure its a hidden camera. At least then you can see whose doing it and take it from there.
     
  8. PhotonGuy

    PhotonGuy Senior Master

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    As far as I know there is no laws on filming as long as it doesn't include audio. Stores use surveillance cameras all the time. There are regulations if you're going to do audio recording but if its just visual Im quite sure there aren't any regulations although you might want to double check.
     
  9. jobo

    jobo Senior Master

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    you could have,some fun with this, personally id buy a dog, one that's trained to only bite bare bums, but a,silent alarm and an air gun with a night scope is quite tempting as is,diggings a pit and covering it with twigs and leaves
     
  10. CB Jones

    CB Jones Senior Master

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    Always good to be aware of problem areas for home defense.

    Sadly privacy fences do just that....provide privacy for trespassers or would be burglars.

    If you have a privacy fence it is good to invest in at least some of the following:

    Motion-sensor lighting

    Dog

    Infrared camera....lot of good inexpensive cameras on the market that will connect to your Wifi so you can monitor with your cellphone.

    Security system.
     
  11. oftheherd1

    oftheherd1 Senior Master

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    Some burglars are know to always drink a person's alcoholic beverages, or eat food from their refrigerator in a way there is not doubt they did so. Some go to sleep on a couch or bed. That's how some of them get caught, the sleep too long.

    It may be a combination of several things. Showing their power over the victim (a form of aggression as Bill mentioned) is a likely one. Showing themselves to be overly brave.

    Burglars are often very skittish. They may run at the sound of a dog barking, regardless of the apparent size of the dog, or the remoteness of the area. In a residential area, most will run at the sound of a phone ringing, on the presumption that a neighbor is calling to see if their friends are home or the house being broken into. Some know where everybody keeps their valuables, and will go straight to the master bedroom closet shelf. If they find nothing there, they will leave. Others are just as convinced that it they find nothing inn the freezer, they may leave.

    The person Bill mentioned, since she seems to be dropping in many places in the neighborhood, may have some issue of having been very frightened by something there, or somewhere else, and chooses that neighborhood to act out and still feel safe. Who knows the human mind well?

    Flea, in your case I would contact the police. Get a record started. Getting a night vision camera is a good idea too. Keep your windows and doors locked. Sorry, I am sure you have been enjoying the sense of safety. But someone is calling your bluff. Don't call theirs. BTW, in most areas, on property you own or rent, you can video and record sound as well. When you report this incident to the police, ask them.
     
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  12. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    I agree with filing a police report, and updating every single time a 'deposit' is found. This is what we pay taxes for. They will take a report if you insist on it. It doesn't mean they will do anything, but it creates the record in case the time comes that the person is caught or otherwise identified.

    The reason I mentioned proximity lights and not the cameras that others have mentioned is just that the light by itself is relatively easy, definitely legal (although I agree that recording your own property is legal, video and sound, in every jurisdiction I've ever heard of in the USA), and not something that would cost a lot. It even adds to the resale value of the home, no reason NOT to have prox lights to be honest. Why would you not want to know any time a person was in your fenced back yard at night, even if they were not the midnight pooper? You can even get prox lights that have an audio component as well - either a warning to them or a wake up to you.

    You can always add one of those 'trail cameras' later if you really want to, assuming it continues despite the lights.

    I think you may find it easier to ID a person with your own eyes under bright security lights than with a hidden camera. The technology has gotten better, but really good low-light cameras cost a bunch; the cheap ones are great at identifying dark foreboding shapes as dark foreboding shapes. Watch the nightly news and see the security cam footage of gas station robberies for an example.

    As to booby traps - definitely illegal and I'd advise against it.
     
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  13. Flea

    Flea Beating you all over those fries!

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    Thanks everyone. I have to dash off to work now so I can't respond in depth, but here are a few thoughts.

    As to the woman in Colorado Springs, it occurred to me to wonder whether inappropriate defecation is the new Viral Sensation taking the place of last year's creepy clowns, and milking and planking before that. If so, it will soon fall out of fashion and be replaced by something equally or even more asinine. (Not before some culprits get some much-needed mental health evaluations, one would hope.)

    I ordered a camera from Amazon today. My goal is deterrence rather than retaliation. That, and curiosity. Is it someone who knows me?? And why the hell ... ? Until the camera gets here, my neighbor knows to watch out and I'll just keep my back porch light on. I telecommute nowadays so I'm home 90% of the time, which also helps. Anyway, thanks for all the support!
     
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  14. Tony Dismukes

    Tony Dismukes Senior Master

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    Hey Flea! I don't have any advice to add concerning the mystery pooper. Just wanted to say that it's good to see you back on the forum. Hope you're doing well (aside from dastardly devious defecators) and can stick around to jump into some of the discussions.
     
  15. Buka

    Buka Grandmaster

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    Good to see you around again, Flea.

    Phantom Shikkers aren't anything new, they crop up from time to time. The camera is a good idea.

    If you wanted to get really nasty [with no physical violence involved at all] there is an underhanded way to permanently ruin their life through completely legal channels. But you probably don't want that.

    Guess you'll just have to turn the other cheek. :)
     
  16. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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    Motion sensitive lights.
    A visible camera (even a fake housing) for deterrence.

    The fecal matter is a concern and possibly an extremely personal attack. File a police report; especially as it's not a one time weird event now. Rack your brain, and see if there's anyone that you may have offended -- even or especially unintentionally. The timing may be informative; it seems it's irregular?
     
  17. 40th Alabama

    40th Alabama Yellow Belt

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    If there are homeless in the area, this person may see your privacy fence as a place to bed down without fear of being bothered by others-the poop may just be the result of having to go during the night. Did you see an area that appeared to be wallowed out by someone's bedding? Seems to me that a motion sensitive light would be the cheapest way to go and if the person actually means you no harm, it would also act as a deterrent. Have you had an altercation with any of your neighbors?
     
  18. oftheherd1

    oftheherd1 Senior Master

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    Just me, but I am a little lukewarm on fake housings. Something like 20 years ago a university had one in their computer lab. A woman was assaulted and during the process ensured she was able to get herself and her attacker in front of the camera, not knowing it was fake. A big and successful lawsuit ensued. Different circumstances of course, but real cameras aren't that expensive now.
     
  19. Flea

    Flea Beating you all over those fries!

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    No sign of an overnight camp. As for altercations? None that I can think of, or at least not with the kind of person who would turn around and do this. For the last few years I've worked as a mental health provider, but we always take pains not to give out personal information.
     
  20. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    Or marking their territory.

    And your post reminded me of "The Wet Bandits" from one of the Home Alone movies. They turned a water faucet on in each house they robbed as their trademark. When they got caught, the cop said "Thanks for leaving the water running. Now we know every house you robbed."
     
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