Safety in Question

My parents live near the Texas/Mexico border.  Whereas it used to feel like a safe place to live and visit, that is no longer the case.  The crime and violence that is now so prevalent on the Mexican side is coming across the border.

One of the last times we went to visit, Jason  and my dad went in Dad’s pick up truck to Sam’s Club to do some shopping.  It was the middle of the afternoon and they parked near the front of the store.  They weren’t in the store long, and when they went back to the truck, Dad said, “Jason, didn’t I ask you to lock the truck?”  Jason had locked it, but the door was unlocked.  When Dad tried to put the key in the ignition, he found it wouldn’t go in.  Someone had broken in and tried to steal the truck.

Dad called the police, and the store security arrived immediately. Before they finished talking, there were about six police cars there. The police said the surveillance cameras had pictures of the thieves, but that nobody would testify against them, so there was no use even reporting the incident.  Sophisticated gangs have somebody breaking in while others are on the lookout.  Evidently, Jason and Dad got back to the truck just in time not to lose the truck, but my Dad had to have it towed and pay hundreds of dollars to get it fixed.

The next day I went shopping with my mom.  With thoughts of the attempted theft, I was a bit nervous to have to walk out to the van by myself to change a diaper, and as I walked, I kept going through scenarios in my head of all the what if’s.

When I got in the van I noticed a man in a golf cart.  I crawled in the side door quickly, turned to lock the door and nervously glanced back up looking for the golf cart man, but was relieved that he was gone.  Then I heard a knock at the window right behind me.  It was he.  “What’s the problem?” I yelled at him.  Nothing.  Then knock, knock, knock.  With little Jason on the floor in front of me and the diaper in hand, I yelled again, “What’s the problem?”  The man wouldn’t say anything or look at me.  He just knocked again.

Somehow through my growing panic I finally noticed that his nice white golf shirt said, “Security.”  I was determined not to open the door.  I mean, any weirdo could buy a golf cart and a white t-shirt with a security logo.  Finally, I held up my baby in one hand and the diaper in the other and yelled, “I’m changing my baby!” opera style.  Those must have been the magic words because he finally spoke and asked if everything was okay.  Whew, it was all okay as I watched him drive away!

13 comments to Safety in Question

  • Even here weird things happen. We’re in the middle of nowhere. But this morning when I was running on the far side of our property (about 1/2 mile from the house) there was a guy up in the woods. I did a double take – thinking maybe I’d mistaken a tree for a person. But nope – he was wearing a black tank top and cargo pants and standing way up on one of our hills looking down at me. Totally creepy. I wish our dog wasn’t such a wimp – he runs with me but I suspect he wouldn’t be much good if anything happened.

  • ok — that would have scared me! One time I was parked in a K-Mart parking lot with the car running, while I was reading somethng. From behind me a guy came up to the window, knocked on it, and started screaming at me!……my doors are always locked now. Weird that the security guy had to scare you so much without identifying himself!

  • Kim

    How do your parents feel about it? Do they have any stories about increased crime in their area? I know it is everywhere, you just have to be smart and aware of your surroundings, plus trust your gut, if something doesn’t seem right, it probably isn’t.

  • When I was stationed in El Paso, we got brief after brief about safety whenever we went off post. Scary!

  • Sounds like a regular day in South Africa – cool!

  • Hattie

    I think I will just stay here in Peculiar where “everybody knows your name.” At least it’s that way for the moment!

  • Wow, that’s scary!! My brother and sister-in-law lived “on the border” for a while too – they were never so happy as when he was transferred to Utah!!

  • Jill

    “I mean, any weirdo could buy a golf cart and a white t-shirt with a security logo.”
    Scary story…but I’m chuckling at this line (and “opera style”) because only a month ago I called the police to inform them that there is a guy trying to sell me home security in a shirt with a logo, and ask if he had a permit…after all, I said to them “Any weirdo can buy a shirt, stick a security company logo on it, and ask me all kinds of questions about the security of my home!” (He didn’t have a permit) Great minds think alike I guess…especially in times of panic. Thank you Esther! :)

  • The world seems to be becoming a more scary place by the minute! I run into trouble on a weekly basis here in my city, I don’t even blog about it anymore it happens so often I forget about it almost immediately. I love the “Opera style” comment!

  • Frieda

    Yes, we have other stories, but so do many of the rest of you. We love the Valley anyway. But people who cross the border regularly to come to church sometimes more or less take their lives in their hands. It’s the other side that is really dangerous. It is a shame because many of us love to go shop or visit over there. They must be losing almost all the tourist trade.

  • This is sad that places are not safe, like Sams Club. It was nice that your father and Jason were Ok after all that and you changing the baby.

  • Jill

    “we have other stories, but so do many of the rest of you. We love the Valley anyway. But people who cross the border regularly to come to church sometimes more or less take their lives in their hands”

    Frieda…how encouraging that you still have compassion in a place like that. Yes, we endure pillaging and plundering often here in our own neighborhoods and schools…but none of here in the usa risk our lives to go to church…and ironically still have somewhat of a contemptous and fearful spirit at times for the world and people around us.

  • peter petterson

    Must have been pretty scary for you? Guess, as you have to live there, keep your eyes open all the time.

    peter

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