Neighbor Dilemma

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by faintember, Apr 21, 2008.

  1. faintember macrumors 65816


    Jun 6, 2005
    the ruins of the Cherokee nation
    I need some outside opinions about what to do (if anything can be done) about a troublesome neighbor.

    Said neighbor (who I will call "X") and I grew up with each other, as he lived (and still lives) across from some family members. I live in the house with my relative now as I am taking care of her (ailing health) while finishing my dissertation and working part time. I grew up knowing the family fairly well and me and X played together as children occasionally during elementary school. We were more playmates by necessity (no other kids around) and we really didn't get along. While young he was diagnosed with ADHD, was often physically violent as well as in trouble at school. Regardless we went separate ways in school and in life and have not talked in well over 15 years though his father is still good friends with my family. X now lives in his childhood house alone (father moved out quite some time ago).

    X is suspected by several neighbors, as well as by me and my family, as a local thief as not-so-random items seem to go missing around the neighborhood. I have had a hubcap roll off my car while it was driven. Note that the hubcap hasn't been off the wheel since I bought the car over 9 years ago and during that time the car has had over 25,000 miles put on it; I hardly suspect the hubcap just fell off randomly especially considering there looks to have been fresh markings on the rim of the wheel, much like someone was trying to remove the hubcap. I have had a transmission stolen (yes, it was out of the car at the time) as well as some other metal items, neighbors have had tools stolen out of buildings and recently two older cars of a neighbor had their catalytic converters removed while sitting in his back yard. One of the cars was even left jacked up! X was seen in said neighbors backyard days earlier by a co-worker of the neighbor.

    Basically we suspect he is stealing metals which he can resell, as metal prices are up a bit since the war is on as well as other items he can resell quickly (tools). Catalytic converters should even resell fairly well, as most contain palladium (I think) which is around $452-$457 per troy ounce. We really don't have any proof so to speak, other than our observations along with a story his father told my family, where basically X stole from one of his family members and then threatened to "kill" his own father if he talked to the police. We also suspect drug use due to some of his friends, who were known drug users when we were still in high school together.

    The father won't do anything (which is pretty obvious in how X turned out) and we don't have any real proof. So my question is, what should we do? I assume going to the police is always a safe bet, but would they even be able to do anything based on what we know? My only concern with this is if X thinks he knows who made the call to the police that he will attempt to take some form of revenge.

    We have thought about setting up some "bait" for him, and then setting up a video camera in a nearby building, but I fear that something so blatant would tip him off. I am tired of living in fear and just don't know what to do and I would like to hear what some others think about the whole ordeal. If you have made it this far, I also want to thank you for reading.
  2. ErikCLDR macrumors 68000

    Jan 14, 2007
    If he's stealing metal, he might steal gas too.

    Leave a plastic gas can outside filled with a combination of oil and bleach.

    See if it disappears...

    Also see if "X" has some difficulty starting his car... or if he has a leaking fuel tank or fuel lines.
  3. ipodtoucher macrumors 68000


    Sep 13, 2007
    Cedar Park, TX
    My Grandfather had his Catalytic converter stolen...they steal them because they contain Platinum, which is the most expensive metal right now haha...I would try and get some kind of video system to try and catch him or whoever it is, in the act...If he suspects that the bait is blatant, then maybe he will figure out that he is being watched, and therefore stop...

    just my 2 cents haha
  4. jb60606 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 27, 2008
    I always wanted an excuse to try one of these out.

    Wireless, motion activated, and a 30 day MBG. Catch him in the act, then send it back.

    You could just set up a webcam, though, I wouldn't feel safe leaving a Mac Pro that close to a metal thief :D. Plus, distance and picture quality might be a problem.

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