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2013-10-03

Trespassing serious business in Texas

By Judith Pannebaker BCC Editor

Bandera County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Matt King has issued a warning to county residents to be vigilant about strangers who trespass on their properties.

On Friday, Sept. 6, a landowner reported to BCSO that a Caucasian female with blond hair had knocked on her door requesting a drink of water. The resident was skeptical because her property is protected by a locked gate and tall wildlife fencing. The intruder told the property owner she had seen the house "from the road," which prompted her to trudge up a winding driveway and request water. However, neither the resident's house nor barn is visible from the nearest roadway.
"All the time the girl was talking to me through a locked door, she kept glancing at shrubbery as if someone else were there," the unidentified property owner related in an interview. "She also seemed startled when I opened the door and became very nervous as I continued to speak to her."
The girl gave the property owner a story about having had an altercation with her mother as they were on their way to a physician's appointment. The girl got out of the vehicle and apparently climbed over a locked gate and scurried up the driveway in nearly triple digit temps in search of "a drink of water from a hose."
"I didn't buy her story for a minute," the property owner said. "I know if I had not been home, my house would have been robbed."
After the female left the property, the owner called 9-1-1 to report the incident. Deputy Birdie Tyler responded and took the woman's statement. Interestingly, the trespasser later called the sheriff's office to report the incident because, as she told the dispatcher, "I knew the [homeowner] would report me to the police." The woman's statement to dispatch varied in details with the one she had given the homeowner.
While investigating the incident, deputies learned that the female did not have a doctor's appointment as she told both the property owner and emergency dispatch. Apparently, local law enforcement officers are aware of the names and backgrounds of all women associated with the Sept. 6 episode.
The next week, Friday, Sept. 13, a woman stopped by a house in the area, telling a workman she was an insurance agent and needed to speak to the woman, who owned the house. In turn, the workman advised the ostensible "insurance agent" that the homeowner was at her place of employement and to contact her in Bandera. No other details are available about this incident.
Additionally, it has been anecdotally reported that a property owner recently discovered an unidentified woman wandering on his property. She offered the excuse, "I was taking a shortcut and got lost." Again, the property was behind a locked gate and fence.
So far, all the incidents have taken place in the vicinity of Montague Estates and Exotic Acres.
In response, King has asked residents to be on alert. "If something suspicious occurs, try to remember as much information as you can," he said. "Make mental notes and attempt to get a license plate if possible. But, under no circumstances, should you allow a stranger to come into your home." King indicated the general consensus was that homes and outbuildings were probably being cased for eventual burglaries.
For her part, the woman who reported the initial incident to BCSO said, "People come from out of state and think they can get money by robbing homes. What they don't know that in Texas everyone has guns. These people are going find themselves in serious trouble if they keep this up."
Additionally, this resident will have no trouble taking care of herself and her property. "I'm a good shot. After all, I used to hunt big game in Africa," she said.