Where we live is so safe, that until yesterday, all of our vehicles (including our golf cart, tractor and four-wheelers) sat unlocked with the keys in the ignition. We don't even lock the doors to our house when we are away from home. Denny doesn't have a house key on his key chain and I didn't until we went on vacation last year and we actually locked up since Denny's parents (who live across the road - and when I say across the road, I mean 1/4 mile away) were on vacation with us.
But yesterday, all of that changed. As I was turning onto our dirt road yesterday afternoon, I saw several police cars a few hundred feet down the highway, parked on the side of the road. Strange, I thought. Really strange. I didn't think much of it until Denny got home and his dad called to let him know what was going on. The police were surrounding the woods all around our house because they were looking for a man who was apparently hiding in there. As soon as Denny got off the phone he was ready to go looking for the guy. We have a lot of big, enclosed deer stands all around our property which would have made excellent hiding spots and Denny just knew that he'd be in one of them. That would have been ok if Denny had taken a gun with him. We didn't know anything about this guy. He probably wasn't armed or dangerous, only really, really dumb, but you just never know.
To say that I was freaked out would be a huge understatement. I was terrified. He could have stolen Denny's truck and gotten away. He could have been hiding in our camper until he thought it was safe to try and get away. He could have been hiding IN OUR HOUSE. We have guns in our house. Lots of them. And the gun safe isn't usually locked. It makes me sick to think of what could have happened. Thank God, nothing did.
As it turned out, the man wasn't dangerous. All he did was steal one of our neighbor's four-wheelers. Then he was stupid enough to ride it around the day after he stole it and since word gets around quickly around here and other people knew it had been stolen, they called the police. Another neighbor saw the guy riding and followed him, scaring him into abandoning the four-wheeler on the side of the road - just past our house. We haven't heard whether or not he was caught, but the police were gone after a few hours so either they caught him or, most likely, they gave up.
We are so totally locking our doors from now on.