A public thank you!

Dad put up a sign today, thanking the battery charger pilferer for the return of it.


An update on the battery charger theft/”Shame on You” campaign!

Previous blog post here: https://muckville.com/2013/11/15/my-dad-and-another-thief-thats-rude/

As we were leaving the house late this morning the family and I turned and looked with amazement and saw … the stolen batter charger was returned!


For the second time my dad’s “Shame on You” campaign worked (for the previous incident see this blog post: https://muckville.com/2013/10/30/my-dad-the-fred-g-sanford-of-the-neighborhood-and-his-onetime-csi-investigation/



I ran into my father a short time later and excitedly told him.

Dad: “Really? I didn’t see it between 8-9 am this morning when I came back from deer hunting. Someone must have brought it back.”

Me: “I’m sort of surprised.”

Dad: “Me too, I didn’t think it would work again.”

Later, when I took the photos I noticed that the people who took and returned it were even thoughtful enough to bracket the tires with small stones to prevent it from falling.


I just called my dad and told him about the stones.

Dad: “I saw that … that was nice … you know what, if they identify themselves I will give the battery charger to them for free now.”

I wouldn’t be surprised if my dad throws in a 50 lb bag of onions on top of it … on second thought, I highly doubt that.

My dad and another thief … “that’s rude.”

Readers of my blog recall a post of mine back on October 30, 2013 that was entitled “My dad, the ‘Fred G. Sanford’ of the neighborhood and his onetime CSI investigation.” It was an excerpt from my unpublished memoir, “Muckville: Farm Policy, Media and the Strange Oddities of Semi-Rural Life” and it dealt in part with an apparent theft of an entertainment center he was selling along side the road near my house.

Link: https://muckville.com/2013/10/30/my-dad-the-fred-g-sanford-of-the-neighborhood-and-his-onetime-csi-investigation/

Folks … it has happened again!

Yesterday my dad put up for sale in the same spot an old battery charger that somewhat works. His target price, $50. Now for a couple of weeks he had a pile of crap there of mostly stuff my brother-in-law unloaded before he moved tot he state of Florida. It wasn’t for sale, there was a big sign that said “free” next to it.

But that wasn’t the case with the battery charger. Dad: “I had the “For Sale” sign with my number.

Sometime between 3-5pm, in broad daylight, someone took the battery charger. My Dad: “That’s rude, that’s just rude.”

So my dad in response once again, just like last time, put up a sign pronouncing shame upon the thieves and offering a reward for info on the theft. Me: “What’s your reward?” Dad: “Half of the money if we get the charger back.” The problem, you really couldn’t read the sign.



Of course the first thing I had to do about this was to Tweet about it:


My Tweets get automatically posted to Facebook and in response my intrepid and faithful FB friend and neighbor Claire posted the following information and clues:

Claire: “damn thieves!… if it happened btwn 3 & 4; there was a white, double cab, maybe duel wheelie, blocking 1/2 your barn drive; figured he was on the phone…. from now on I’m going to listen to my gut; now where the heck is my tire iron…….”

Me: “That had to be who took it! What sort of plate? Did you see how many people in the truck?”

Claire: “NY…dark windows…. think it had one of those silly narrow beds with the outrigger fenders…..”

Me: “Hmm … I don’t recall seeing that around too often … do you?”

Claire: “no…. but I’ll start paying closer attention, gonna start keepin my ol’ 3 iron in the car….”

Two facts must be mentioned at this point:

1. You don’t mess with Claire
2. You are very thankful that she is on your side.

All day my dad has been muttering about the theft … “it’s rude … I don’t believe it … it’s rude ….”

I told him that no one could read his sign so he enlisted me to fix it, which I did.


He then proceeded to walk to the road so as to drill it to the last piece of free furniture that no one wants sitting now for weeks on the side of the road.




I asked him why he was ruining the piece of furniture by drilling the sign into it and he said “no one wants it, I’m gonna burn it.”

As he stepped away from his sign he pointed to it and said “look, there is the ‘For Sale’ sign on the back. How can you miss that? You can’t. That’s rude.”


Now the question remains … will he “catch a thief?”

My friends, this is what I experience virtually every day on the farm. 

My dad, the “Fred G. Sanford” of the neighborhood and his onetime CSI investigation

The following below is an excerpt from my unpublished memoir, “Muckville: Farm Policy, Media and the Strange Oddities of Semi-Rural Life.”


My dad in March of 2012 got a new, HD TV and a new entertainment center to house it, so, he decided to sell the old one. My dad is the “Fred G. Sanford” of the neighborhood. He is constantly selling crap along the highway … next to my house! The problem … he is starting to attract human vermin. You have to see some of the “people” (notice the quotation marks) that pull in here to sample his wares. Holy crap … half the time they are refugees from any “Mad Max” movie or “The Hills Have Eyes.” This isn’t next to his house … it’s next to mine! But, he just loves to sell stuff, it’s in his blood.

Well, a few days after he had the stand sitting alongside the road, on a Sunday morning thieves stole it. “I have a clue, 3 small white stones,” he says. Someone cue “Who Are You” from “CSI.” My dad called the police, the Town of Warwick police, who actually came and took a report. The office didn’t offer up much hope for recovery. My dad though was not to be deterred, he launched his own investigation. He called virtually everyone in the neighborhood, asking them if they had seen any suspicious vehicles driving around. One neighbor said they might have seen an unusual white pick-up truck. How did that fit with the white stones he recovered at the crime scene? He wasn’t sure.


He then decided to do a new tact … public shame. He made two signs and put them out by the highway. One said “Who Stole TV Cabinet?” and the other “SHAME ON YOU!” Oh superb, we now had those kooky signs along the road, attracting even more attention. You should have seen the Facebook posts from friends about it. I was mortified, but my dad was not budging.


But you know what? The signs worked!

About three days later, as we were eating dinner I got a knock on my door from a guy that looked my age, maybe a bit older … he said “my son took your TV stand on Sunday … I think there was a misunderstanding.” The guy was a bit apprehensive. I could tell he was trying to gauge how angry I was going to be. So I started laughing a bit, which eased the tension on his end.

I said to him, “oh, it wasn’t mine. It was my dad’s. He’s the ‘Fred. G. Sanford’ of the neighborhood.” The man replied, “Well, my name is Mark, (shakes my hand) and I sent my son to take a look at it on Sunday. I was on my way to church. Well, he just took it. He thought it was for free. He didn’t see any signs.” I replied. “Well, it was for sale, there was a sign next to the plows.” “Oh, yeah, my son saw that, but he thought it was just for the plows. Well, how much is it?” he asked.

I told him in reply I wasn’t sure but asked him to hang on a minute. “Let me call my dad. He’ll come right over. He’s going to love this.” Mark nervously said,  “Okay. I just want to make it right. You see, I drove by on my motorbike on Tuesday and saw the sign that said ‘Shame on you.’” I burst out laughing and told him “that’s my dad. He did call the cops about it. And found some stones as clues. And talked to the neighbors who saw a suspicious white pick-up who told him that drives by every day. I think he was on stakeout today.” “Is your dad going to be as cool about this as you are?” “Oh yeah.”

So my dad pulls in at that moment … laughing. My dad said, “I had some wine with dinner so I drove here thru the black dirt.”

Mark then repeats the story and my dad repeats his crime detecting skills.

Mark asks “So how much did you want for it?” My dad responds with “well … $100 or best offer.” Mark responds with “Okay.” My dad says “make it $75.” Mark counters with “how about $80?” My dad says “deal!”

My dad tells him, “I was staking out for the white pickup truck today because I was told it goes by every day.” Mark said, “well, mine is gold so I guess I was in the clear.” He paid my dad, we all laughed and Mark went on his way.