What does being a good neighbor and a good citizen get you? A huge inconvenience!

On a recent Saturday (of a 3 day weekend) after a snowstorm it was about 5:15 pm and the outside temp was 26 degrees (F). It snowed a whole inch that morning which is a dire emergency for us southerners so we don't go anywhere except to panic buy milk and bread.

The dogs were going nuts in the front room. I went to check outside my front door expecting a single squirrel or cat in the yard and noticed the guy loading up a car with building materials from my soon-to-be new neighbor's house.

I had met my neighbor and he was building the house himself with his sons helping. Nice people.

This guy was definitely not one of the sons. It would also be considered extremely unlikely to find a contractor outside considering it was Saturday, nearly past sunset and temperature? Plus there was something in the way he was flinging the materials instead of merely loading, I smelled a rat.

It took about one second for me to process what was going on.

First, I yelled at my wife that I needed the phone "RIGHT NOW" and she hung up with her friend. Then I called my local police department and told them I was witnessing a theft in progress of construction materials. The operator got the necessary information and indicated someone was on the way.

I went onto my front porch with my crossman 760 air rifle/BB gun, a present from dad for my 7th birthday (which has previously killed two birds, and one window as a young hoodlum, and more recently averted wandering dogs from eating my wife's cats). Keep in mind I could have pulled out the Sears shot gun so the air rifle is tame in comparison.

In hindsight, the air rifle was a stupid choice. I should have backed my truck in front of his car and blocked him in until the police arrived.

Anyway, I shot a couple of bb's at the guy. He looked up and spoke very nicely: "Sir, I got permission to be here. My Pa asked me to move these to another job site."

Let me ask you: if someone is shooting a pellet gun at you, do you stop and say something nice or do you yell at them and duck and cover? Or do most rednecks run toward the guy and try to beat the heck out of him (me)?

I told him I didn't believe him. He again asserted that he was moving these for his boss. Wait, I thought he said Pa just a moment ago?

So I yelled back "I don't' believe you, but you can explain it to the cops. They're already on the way."

He stopped in mid turn and flung the roofing shingles in his hands down on the gravel. He slammed the trunk on the dodge coupe and jumped into the car. They peeled out down the road.

A moment later the police went cruising by. My wife was on the phone telling the operator which way the car went. I got in my truck and went in the same direction (at the speed limit) until I found where they were pulled over.

The cop asked me if I shot at him. I sheepishly responded "Yeah, with my BB gun." He shook his head and said "Let's don't do that anymore."

Now I have a summons to go to court. I'll have to admit to my immature BB gun stunt but I'll have the pleasure of telling the judge what I saw. Apparently this guy has been caught twice before stealing from job sites and will do jail time. If I had to do it all over again, I'd shoot him with our camera instead!