Saturday, April 18, 2009

Crime Scene

As I was walking my dogs, I happened to glance down the fence line at the far end of my property... And something didn't look right. See those 3 fence posts? Well, beyond them, there should be about 5 or 6 more.
Somebody had stolen my fence.

I don't know how long it had been missing. I don't go out checking my fences every day, and it never occurred to me that somebody might just take them.

I had a pretty strong suspicion about what happened. So I knocked on my neighbor's door, and when he opened it I said, "Where's my fence?"

"Oh." He smiled. "I tore it down." It bothered him to look at it, so without even telling me that he had a problem with it, he tore it down.

I built that fence with my own hands: dug the holes, set the posts, nailed the green wire. And paid for all the materials. It wasn't handsome, but it wasn't ugly, either. It was just a fence. And, by the way, it was entirely on my side of the property line. It was in place before my neighbor bought his house. Before he ever saw the place.

He says he just grabbed the 4x4 posts and pulled on them. If that's true, he broke this 4x4 with his bare hands:

It takes a lot of anger to break a 4x4. He must have really hated that fence. And yet he'd never said a word about it.

He said he'd build a new fence, a better fence, when he had the time and the money. But he'd like to build it about 5 feet back in one corner so he'd have more room to turn his car around. And also he'd like to cut down one of my trees.

I didn't get angry, not at first. I was simply flabbergasted. In my town, La Honda, we do things our own way. We have a long history of outlaw culture here. But this is ridiculous.

It's probably a good thing that I wasn't angry right away. Things can get out of hand quickly around here.

Monday I'm talking to a lawyer.

What would you do?


  1. My first response would be to tell him that he was trespassing and that damaging a person's property is illegal and how would he like it if I had done that to his property?

    Assuming he's a jerk and would blow me off, the bad kid in me would consider building a super duper ugly fence with all sorts of cheap flea market items hanging on it for decoration.

    Hope that helps! ; )

  2. Yep, you and me, great minds running in the same direction. But the grown-up in me says no.

  3. Ok, so find a local person who needs the work, have them bid on the rebuild, then submit the bill to your neighbor. I am sure your lawyer will tell you to get a licensed contractor (with insurance to cover themsleves) to bid the work, and take your neighbor to small claims cort if he fails to pay for the repairs.

  4. You have GOT to be kidding! Your OTHER neighbor would be glad to help you rebuild that fence if it comes to it.