From the Forum – Intruder in my backyard w/ Munchies (Mother’s Day Edition)

Intruder in my backyard w/ Munchies (Mother’s Day Edition):

“These guys waited to the very last moment to look for their mother’s day gift!

If you haven’t read my 2 prior posts; this is the third intrusion attempt in the last 30 days. All of these attempts are in my backyard which is accessible from the North 1800 Newton ST NW alley. This recent attempt happened 2:47am this morning. What you can’t see is that I planted a junk bike right in front of my backyard camera. The bike I planted was left by the thief who stole our Jamis bike back in June 2014, you can find that post below as well.

These guys don’t look entirely prepared as their are finishing their late night snack. It’s also hard to tell if they leave because they notice the camera, or because the bike is a not worth stealing. What I can tell is that this is NOT the same guy that came by twice already. You can also tell that their hopping the fence leaves me pretty vulnerable (not that there is anything in my backyard with value).

Aside from a taller fence or white house fence spikes, are we all just sitting ducks? What can we do to prevent this activity?

I’m forwarding this to the police for their database of people to look out for.

See more videos here.

Prior Attempts / Posts:
Monday April 27th 9:28pm

Saturday April 11st, 3:03AM

June 22rd, 2014, 9:02pm”

53 Comment

  • Not sure this is a real long-term solution, but it’s at least a good story. My cantankerous old russian grandmother would get angry that the “kids” who were “hanging around” by the bus stop would lean or sit on her chain-link fence, since over time it would cause the fence to buckle and sag. So she got a jar of saved-up bacon grease/lard and smeared it all along the railing by the bus stop. That way everyone who would sit on it got a pair of pants full of grease and smelled like a fryer all day. I wonder if something similar would at least be a deterrent in hopping your fence? They’re clearly using their hands to do it, so maybe it would be like a “dude, WTF?” moment? Then again, you have to deal with a fence that’s covered in lard, so YMMV…

    • IIRC, the intruders were climbing over a waist-high fence between the OP and his next-door neighbor, and the OP had a full-height fence in the back.
      OP, sounds like you need to build a full-height fence on the side between you and the low-fence neighbor, or this is going to keep on happening.

      • And I’m not clear on what the current lighting situation is, but it seems like having some dusk-to-dawn lights to illuminate the whole backyard (and/or motion-detector lights) would be a good idea.

  • Are these guys looking to steal something, or did they just realize they were in the wrong yard? Honestly, it looks like some drunk dudes who realized this wasn’t their house.

    • I said it before, they’re probably just trying to find a spot to pee.

      • I don’t buy the theory that they would think it was OK to pee in someone’s backyard but not to pee in an alley.

    • Im sure you would be saying the same if they were black.

      • Right? Funny when the package thief videos show a black guy, no one ever mentions this possibility.

        • You mean the package thief videos where a black guy walks up to someone’s porch and actually steals a package?? Yeah, I don’t think he was looking for a place to pee. It would appear he’s looking to steal your property.

          • Those Package Thief videos are actual videos of people walking off with packages of goods they didn’t purchase. You must be a real peach to work with.

        • justinbc

          Unless you mean they were initially looking for a place to pee, then the package jumped up in their arms to welcome them, I can’t see how this is a valid argument.

  • Motion activated water sprinkler?

  • ah

    Looks like your camera has good low light capability . . .

    But, what about motion activated lights, perhaps including one focused on a sign that says “you’re being filmed”

    Unless you’re going to build a huge wall around your house, then, yes, you and everyone else are sitting ducks in a way. These guys look like they’re not a real physical danger – just looking for a quick and easy theft. So your goal should be to encourage them to look elsewhere, with a combination of lights and cameras, and not much action for them in the way of good stuff to steal.

    • Well, you said there was nothing of value, but those creepers probably thought the bike you planted might be easy to steal. If you truly don’t want people going into your yard, you probably should not leave anything out there.
      I vote for motion-activated sprinklers for the entertainment value. Or, maybe a sign stating that the area was being filmed and motion lights might be a deterrence. I don’t know about having a higher fence. On my block, people have jumped high fences and broken into outdoor storage spaces. Once the intruder was over the fence, no one could see them from the outside because of the height of the fence. I wonder if the high fences look more enticing because the bad guy thinks you are trying to hide or protect something valuable?

      • I’m not sure I get the point of the bike baiting. It isn’t a good idea to leave a bike outside, even tucked away deep on private property. Parts will rust AND someone will try to steal it. Hard knocks city fact number 72. When we caught someone on our back porch a few months ago we took additional steps to keep people off our property, rather than making it more enticing.

    • I’m on a tight budget, so I think I’ll just do the sign.

    • All good points, there is actually a very bright street light that illuminates my backyard; and motion lights once you are within 15 feet of my home.

      • Wow, so you have these measures in place, and they still casually saunter into your yard. That’d freak me out.

  • Looks like he might be looking for a bike to sell, in order to raise the necessary funds to pay a barber to fix that bowl cut he’s got going on.

  • These guys look like two drunks that went into the wrong yard…

  • That’s just Shaggy finishing up his scooby snack.

  • Wonder if these were two black teens, would there have been as many comments giving them the benefit of the doubt that they might be drunk.

    • I can say with confidence that there would not have been this many comments giving them the benefit of the doubt. No question. Look back at the other conversation when it was a black man who was the intruder. Good on OP for reporting it and bringing attention to this, regardless of the intruder.

      • justinbc

        Compare the demeanor of the individuals in each video and then reassess. I’m inclined to think both parties were out to steal, but I can see how some might view the behavior in the video above as “drunk”.

    • Was thinking the same thing.

      Was also wondering about how he/she is essentially setting a trap to catch “thieves.” What’s the next installment – him sitting behind the bike with a shotgun waiting to catch someone trying to take the bike?

    • Totally agreed. And totally ridiculous. People shouldn’t be on other people’s property, period.

    • There is not a more pertinent comment on this page.

  • Sitting Ducks—maybe not plant bikes back there.

  • Why would you plant stuff in your backyard attempting to lure thieves? What’s the ultimate goal (other than getting video to post on popville)?

    • Maybe the OP thought that if the intruders actually TOOK something (even if it was crappy) then they could report them for theft and the MPD would take it seriously? I don’t know… but you ask a good question.

      • Yeah, I was wondering the same thing.
        I can understand why the OP would be concerned about repeated intruders in his backyard, and IIRC, part of the impetus for the post from a few weeks ago was that MPD didn’t seem to be taking his concerns seriously.
        At this point, however, I’m not sure how much it helps to notify PoPville of subsequent intrusions (unless there are Mount Pleasant residents who missed the earlier posts). The OP’s time might be better spent adding some lighting (and maybe fencing) to the yard, rather than going through video footage and posting it.

    • My thoughts. Probably spend all their time reviewing videos.

  • why not plant big holly bushes or something prickly on in front of the fence so they can’t just walk over to it and hop over?

  • First of all, thank you all for your comments.

    Now to some facts that will clear up some confusion about the bike ‘honey-pot’

    1. My backyard is only visible by my neighbors on either side, you can’t see if from the alley or surrounding roads.

    2. You can’t even see the bike from the neighbor’s yard, the goal of the bike is to bring intruders already in my yard up to the camera for a nice close up.

    I’m not enticing anyone to go into my yard, and as you can see no one has stolen anything because there is nothing to steal. That being said, weekly unlawful entry onto my property is something I should not have to deal with. This is all leading up to something bigger.

    Prior to the first attempt I had my back gate just latched; very much the same way everyone has their front gate latched. After the first attempt the police advised me to lock the back area; and I did with a chain and a lock. After the second attempt I was asked to add a more secure lock, and I did. I’m not about to go back in time when we all had iron bars on our windows.

    I’ve lived here for almost 11 years, and have had cameras for over 8 years. This is very new for our area.

    I think the bigger question is how to keep these kids out of an alley that should be just used for accessing the homes that live on them. The recent home invasion on the 1800 block of Park road NW was apparently done through the alley. Here is an export from the MPD crime database: (

    REPORT_DAT – 4/29/2015 14:30
    BLOCK – 1800 – 1899 BLOCK OF PARK ROAD NW
    DISTRICT – 4
    PSA – 408
    WARD – 1
    ANC – 1D

    Thanks for all your comments,
    – Ben

    • How about posting pictures of these guys on the front and back entries of your house that labels them as trespassers? Sorry that you have to deal with this.

    • If they have to go through your neighbor’s yards, are your neighbors doing anything to help stop it? Are they reporting it? It seems like building a coalition against trespassing/theft on your block and with your neighbors might be more useful than continued video footage. Clearly there’s a problem and your yard is just one stop.

      • FridayGirl,

        I’ve worked with a bunch of my neighbors to educate them about this problem. They are very appreciative of what I’ve been doing, however not everyone has the ability to know if someone has been on their property. If you don’t know anyone was there, why would you be worried? With 14 burglaries within 1000′ of my home in the last 12 months vs 7 a year prior and 9 the year before that; there is no doubt our neighborhood is now a target.

      • Agreed about the coalition thing with your neighbors (and that your place is probably just one of a many stops for these foul hipsters). If other people are experiencing the same scenarios in your microcosm then police might be more apt/able to do something …and you can share information that might with each other that might help in identifying the perps.

    • “I think the bigger question is how to keep these kids out of an alley that should be just used for accessing the homes that live on them.”
      Alleys are public space — you can’t exactly keep people out of them. However, you can try to make it more difficult for people to get from the alley into people’s backyards, and you can try to get neighbors to be more vigilant about keeping an eye out for strangers in the alley and calling the police when they see people they don’t recognize, suspicious behavior, etc
      BTW, if MPD’s rank-and-file officers aren’t receptive to your concerns, you could try contacting the Third District Commander, Jacob Kishter.

  • why don’t you put your bike inside… ? Seems like that’s the issue.

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