Cameras catch tire thief, but give wife extra eyes

Published 8:42 am Wednesday, December 1, 2021

By Ricky Swindle

Muffler Shop Musings

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I am happy to report another successful Civitan Radio Day.

A big thank you to our local business ad buyers, auction donors, bidders and radio listeners. It humbles me every year to view it all from start to finish.

The club also appreciates Rick Mize from Q105.5 FM Supertalk Group and Chad Martin of Undefined Radio for helping us to be on the airwaves.

The fundraiser is titled a “day,” but it actually takes around two months from beginning to end to organize the day itself.

Over the years, other Civitan Clubs in bigger towns have attempted their own radio day with no success. It’s just something about this town, this county, folks around here have more of a giver’s heart than anywhere else. 

It’s a proven fact that our folks are better.

We had Sheriff Shane Phelps with us the good part of the day Saturday and we invited him on air to speak.

The Sheriff wanted to remind everyone to be aware of their surroundings during the holiday season. Not all our folks around here have a desire to help others. There are a few that prey on unsuspecting shoppers. He stressed the importance of not opening your window blinds to reveal Christmas presents under your trees for crafty thieves to stalk by and view.

He also placed importance on homeowners to purchase cameras for their homes and property. Camera systems are very efficient and inexpensive these days.

The Sheriff stated he has five cameras at his own home that alerts his phone when anyone or anything comes on to his property.

Once we got TVI Fiber installed on our road, our internet service is now strong enough to support a camera system.

My wife has 10 cameras set up at our home. She takes great pleasure in getting her phone alerts and watching delivery folks putting out packages, my yard man doing his thing and other workers I hire going and coming out there.

We found out we have two feral cats that come sit on our porch every night that we didn’t know we had along with an occasional armadillo, possum and other assorted creatures.

She tracks me like an FBI detective coming from my backyard DewDrop Inn to the house. I’ve considered dropping my pants and mooning her camera, but then I think about all that internet connected stuff and that’s an image no one wants to be scarred with upon accidentally viewing.

I used to slip away from the shop at times and sneak home to take a power nap in the middle of the day, but oh no, ain’t any more of that. Now it’s, “Hey, what are you doing at home in the middle of the day?” 

Back when I had Covid, she insisted that I walk everyday up the road and back to keep my lungs functioning. If by a certain time of the day her phone wasn’t alerted by my extra-large image, my phone would ring, and a question would be asked why I hadn’t stretched my legs yet.

So, that camera is a double-edged sword at my house.

I have cameras installed at my store purchased on Amazon for around $200 for the entire system. The best picture quality you ever saw.

We noticed some things out of place behind the shop one day, so we put a camera back there. Low and behold at 6 a.m. on a sunny Sunday morning a pick-up truck pulled in there and they began to load up some old used tires we keep out of the way.

The camera caught that fellow’s face perfectly and it was a matter of minutes until we knew who the thief was.

 After filling out a report for the police, the suspect was later caught and Judge Westfaul fined him $765 for trespassing and petit larceny only to learn that the Feds had been looking for him, too. 

They retrieved him and placed him back in the Federal pen, all for stealing some old tires that I most likely would have given to him if he truly needed them.

I can’t stand a thief. I spend countless hours and quite a bit of money every year trying to help people in need but there’s another side of me too. If you steal from me, I am relentless when it comes to prosecuting you. I don’t make deals and I don’t drop charges.

Get you some cameras for your home like the Sheriff said. The thief has the edge when it comes to stealing. He knows what he’s going to do while you are not home and aware. Even up the odds a little bit in your favor. Chances are if he spots that camera, he’s breaking camp and hauling up out of there.

Take care of yourself folks and help your neighbors look out for their stuff too during this holiday season. If you see it, say it.