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    Uncle Wayne's Avatar
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    Need some advice

    First a little background info: My wife and I are the caregivers for three elderly people over 80 years old but this situation involves her 88 year old dad, Hoyt, and 81 year old aunt. Aunt Ona is in the nursing home and suffers from dementia. She still knows all of us but is still living with her mom and dad in her mind. She has lost all touch with reality. When her husband died I was made her Attorney-in-Fact (Power of attorney) to handle any business / transaction for Aunt Ona while she lived. She owns 40 acres in the Bankhead forest of North Alabama and her nearest neighbor, Hoyt, is her brother-in-law, my 88 year old father-in-law, 2 miles away.

    My father-in-law was asked by his nearest neighbor, Oneal who lives another 2 miles away, if he could have an abandoned car on Aunt Ona's property. The car belonged to my late uncle and has been sitting in that spot for over 50 years. It was a late 40's chevy with only the frame and body remaining. The motor and drive train long gone. My father-in-law told him "it's not mine to give, call Wayne, he's in charge of Ona's business. I can't tell you that you can have it. Call Wayne." And then he wrote down my phone number and gave it to him. I never got a call.

    This past Thursday I was out there checking on my father-in-law and stopped by Aunt Ona's house to make sure everything was all right. The hunting season for deer just opened and an acquaintance of the family, Rod, someone I know and trust, stopped by and asked me if I had given anyone permission to get the old car. I said I had not. He said he had been scouting for sign and going back home he saw 3 men, Oneal was one of them, in two trucks going into the pasture thru a gap they had cut in the fence. He drove on by, wondering just what was going on / what should he do. There is a locked gate not ten feet away from the gap they cut in the fence. He decided since they cut the fence instead of having a key from me to open the gate that they were up to no good, turned around, parked in the driveway and walked up to them to see what was going on. He recognized Oneal and asked him what business he had on private land and Oneal said, "Mr. Hoyt said we could get this old car."

    Rod said when he left them they had the car about half way on the trailer. The other two guys never would give him their names. He said they didn't threaten him at all. Rod told me he would back me up and tell his story to anyone I needed to tell about what happened. I went up there to investigate the scene for myself and took several pictures of their tire tracks and etc. I called Aunt Ona's attorney and he said he would write Oneal a threatening letter detailing the laws they broke and demanding a copy of the receipt from the junk yard / recycling center and a certified check made out to Aunt Ona for the amount they received for the car.

    He advised me to think about it and posed these thoughts for me to consider:
    1. Is it worth it? Will they retaliate against Hoyt? Against Aunt Ona's house, outbuildings etc by burning them down?
    2. Or would they think, since we got away with this, let's see what else we can get?

    Oneal is a known heavy drinker, but not known to be mean, and I don't know the identity or background of the other two. My father-in-law and Aunt's property is at least a 30 minute drive away from me with no neighbors we could depend on closer than 4 or 5 miles. It's in a remote area without cell phone service.

    So what do I do? I'm not afraid to confront him but would fear the retaliation that might cause against others. My dad and uncle think the lawyer's letter is the way to go and that would keep me out of it directly. I plan on moving my uncle's tractor and equipment to my house starting today, just for safe keeping until I can sell it and use the money for my Aunt's care.

    What do you think? The old car probably brought $200 to $300 in scrap prices. But it's the principle of the thing that keeps gnawing at me. They entered private land without permission with 'No Trespassing" signs posted, drove through a fence, right pass a "No Trespassing" sign, stole a piece of property that belonged to my aunt, and lied in the process. They did half way patch the fence up.

    Thinking the worse, I'm afraid they'll be back to scout out something else easy for the taking. I know what I ought to do but don't know if it's the best thing to do with the situation my Father-in-law / aunt's property could face.
    Wayne
    2013 JD 4520 CUT with 400X FEL
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    Brian's Avatar
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    What about a visit by police first? They cut a fence and then went in. I would think a police report would be the place to start and get the facts of what he said/she said worked out?



    Brian

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    green and red man's Avatar
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    That's a tough one. My advice is to pray about it first if you haven't already.

    The thread where I mentioned about the recent truck theft makes me think there are some similarities. The owner is afraid of retaliation and after I located a for sale ad for what may be the stolen winch, she doesn't want me to dig any further.

    Right now, I'm dealing with some individuals who have been doing different things to get back at an elderly relative for confronting them and calling the police. It's a difficult situation for sure.

    You might consider purchasing (or borrowing if you can) some battery powered trail cameras and put them up in locations where they won't be easily seen. They are the type that hunters use. If there are some decent sized trees located in areas where the cameras can get good clear pics, that would be perfect. It's a less expensive solution for surveillance purposes. That's something I am planning to do on a property where people have been vandalizing things.

    There's another individual I know who is elderly and had a large amount of her possessions stolen by a couple that she greatly trusted. Won't burden you with all the details, but things got so bad after they were confronted. The situation had been going on for many years. She got her lawyer to send letters and police also got involved. It didn't stop or prevent them from retaliating against her.




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    wired's Avatar
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    Need some advice

    If it was me I would have blocked the fence they cut with my truck and called the police immediately. At this point I would still call the police and let them handle it. No need getting yourself in trouble. It's crazy how many "rights" law breakers have now. Let the police sort it out.


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    sterling40man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wired View Post
    Let the police sort it out.
    Great advice! That's what they're paid to do.
    Bob

    2011 JD 2320, 200CX FEL, 62D MMM, Artillian Pallet Forks, 54" Front Mount Snowblower, Curtis Hard Side Cab, Ballast Box, HF Quick Hitch, 40 Gallon Fimco 3PTH Sprayer,

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    Uncle Wayne's Avatar
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    Update on this situation

    My wife's aunt passed away last month and the will she left leaves everything she owned to my wife and her sister with me being the executor of the estate. I'm working with an attorney now to get the will probated, deeds to the property changed etc. The attorney has advised me, especially with the original problem I reported to start this thread, to put up No Trespassing signs around and on the property. I'm going to order the signs this week and hopefully have them in place soon.

    My 88 year old father-in-law, when interviewed by the sheriff, wouldn't say he didn't tell them they could have the abandoned car, he just didn't remember if he did or not so the sheriff advised me to let the matter drop in order to avoid a false accusation on my father-in-laws nearest neighbor and the possible retaliation against him / us/ ?. So I have done so with that in mind. The No Trespassing signs will serve notice that no one is allowed, according to the lawyer, and hopefully will deter any more of "friendly thievery" as we've already suffered.

    I have the option of having a (my) name and address imprinted on the signs as a contact just in case someone wants legal access to the property. What do you think? Would that be a good idea?
    Wayne
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    Captain Hook Kennyd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Wayne View Post

    I have the option of having a (my) name and address imprinted on the signs as a contact just in case someone wants legal access to the property. What do you think? Would that be a good idea?
    I don't think I would be comfortable with that, maybe just first name and a cell number, but not address unless its a PO box.
    Kenny

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    Uncle Wayne (01-07-2013)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Wayne View Post
    My wife's aunt passed away last month and the will she left leaves everything she owned to my wife and her sister with me being the executor of the estate. I'm working with an attorney now to get the will probated, deeds to the property changed etc. The attorney has advised me, especially with the original problem I reported to start this thread, to put up No Trespassing signs around and on the property. I'm going to order the signs this week and hopefully have them in place soon.

    My 88 year old father-in-law, when interviewed by the sheriff, wouldn't say he didn't tell them they could have the abandoned car, he just didn't remember if he did or not so the sheriff advised me to let the matter drop in order to avoid a false accusation on my father-in-laws nearest neighbor and the possible retaliation against him / us/ ?. So I have done so with that in mind. The No Trespassing signs will serve notice that no one is allowed, according to the lawyer, and hopefully will deter any more of "friendly thievery" as we've already suffered.

    I have the option of having a (my) name and address imprinted on the signs as a contact just in case someone wants legal access to the property. What do you think? Would that be a good idea?
    I guess that would depend on who you are trying to inform. If you thoughts are nearby neighbors who would know that she passed then I would say you should have your information on there. It suggests that you now have the authority. On the other hand, if you are concerned about complete strangers who may be wondering if the property is vacant, then I think having a POC that is offsite makes it clear that it is vacant. Maybe you could add a sign below that "informs" of the use of surveillance cameras. Either way, it sounds like you are already doing the right thing. Moving things along as quickly as possible is probably the key.

    Lee
    2305, 200CX loader w/53" bucket, 62C MMM, and 47 SB.

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    Kenny makes a good point. If nothing else the fact that you live 30 minutes away having your address just gives the reader an idea how little access you have. Name and cell make the most sense.

    Lee
    2305, 200CX loader w/53" bucket, 62C MMM, and 47 SB.

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    etcallhome's Avatar
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    Agree, First name and cell # on posters . No need to give any more info
    Gene

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