A Bungling Burglar

Aerial View2

Drone pic of the new light and panel

Hello and welcome to the blog.  It’s been an interesting couple of days.  On Sunday morning around 2:30 AM I heard voices outside and someone rapping on the glass of a door or window.  Rattled, I got dressed, hopped in the car, drove around for a bit… finally going back to bed.  Around 3:30 I heard a strange squeal / shriek.  I thought it was a CO2 powered pellet gun being used on one of the many rabbits in this area.  Then I heard what sounded like a gunshot.  It was LOUD.  I turned on my bedroom light for a bit but didn’t see anything right away and fell back asleep.  At 7:00 AM or so I noticed one of the shed doors was open.

Lock 1

Someone tried to drill out the lock… no luck!

The padlock was still on the latch.  Apparently someone pulled so hard that the two shed doors separated enough to get them open.  No problem – I fixed that today.   🙂

It wasn’t until Monday that I noticed the padlock had a hole on one side.  Someone had tried to drill through the case to break the “U” shaped shackle – likely the shrieking sound I’d heard.  No luck… ha ha!  It helps to buy a quality lock!  An “el cheapo” school type lock would have been easy to break.  At least I slowed them down.  The damaged lock was replaced with an even better “circle” lock used on many storage sheds.

Circle lock


Thankfully nothing was taken from the shed.  Maybe it was because I turned on the light right away.  Maybe because I was holding a loaded pistol when I did…  The shed door is only about 12 feet from the bedroom window.

Across the street

90 degrees to the left (facing east), my nearest neighbors are the storage garages – also the victims of recent break-ins.

Today I bought a 1000 lumen, 100 LED motion light for about $40.  It is recharged by a solar panel mounted nearby.  Hopefully the bright security light is enough to scare away someone with bad intentions.  Iowa is in the process of passing a “stand your ground law”.  Burglary will become a very dangerous occupation in the future.

New light2

Light… A deterrent is the best way to avoid an altercation.

This exercise has been a good reminder to keep the cars locked, the shed secured, and it also reinforced the need to keep security in mind.  Sadly, in this peaceful little county there are many property crimes.  Meth addiction is rampant and those involved are becoming increasingly desperate.   It’s a shame.

On a more peaceful note…

I’m not sure when the next camping will happen but today is the first day of the spring season.  Trout stocking starts in a little over a week.  It’s going to be a great season!

Take care and thanks for visiting!

SAFE and happy travels!

Brad and Jennifer Stefanie
Jones County, Iowa


Jenny’s idea of security is “for the birds”…




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About VanTrekker

I am a former vandweller in Eastern Iowa who, for several years (off and on), lived in a 2007 Chevy cargo van. I still travel around Iowa with my tortoise shell cat, Jennifer Stefanie. Our favorite place to explore is the Country Heritage Community, the four far northeastern counties of Iowa (Clayton, Winneshiek, Allamakee, and Fayette). Ride along as we fish in pristine trout streams, enjoy fine home cooked camping meals, and meet new people. It's all possible on a shoestring budget. Happy travels always! --- Brad, the "Van Trekker"

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