Tuesday, January 12, 2010

CSI Fairbanks - Criminal Snowman Investigations

It's very cold here in Fairbanks right now but a couple of weeks ago it was extremely decent outside and I took Mia to our front yard to make a little snowman. I had a really nice time. We borrowed a pretty scarf from our winter clothes tub, got a carrot for the nose, and big red cranberries for buttons. The eyes were provided by our chokecherry tree. Mia was excited about her "man" and very proud to have helped.

The next morning I discovered he had been kicked in. I thought it was one of our little neighbor boys and determined to speak to him and rebuild. I thought wrong. We realized the perp was more sinister than any six-year-olds in our neighborhood when it happened, oh yes, not only a second time, but a third, a fourth and a fifth time! One night it happened twice, which was particularly disheartening. Each time I rebuilt him with cheer and a dream to not let the snowman vandals win. And each time I made him stronger until his body was pretty much a solid mass of ice. I was hoping when whoever it was tried to kick him, they might hurt themselves just a little. The last few times, it was just his head that got knocked to kingdom-come, sometimes I could find the carrot, sometimes I would have to get a new one.

After the third time, I called the police to ask what crime was being committed. It was trespassing. I found out some other interesting things about trying to detain people that are committing a crime and the difference between assaulting them and detaining them turns out to be a pretty thin line. The lady I spoke to at dispatch really did a good job taking me seriously and created a log number for the "incidents". And then we had a breakthrough in the case.

My neighbor called me to tell me she had seen them, a group of three junior high age boys, come to our house at around 11:30 pm. Two had waited by the gate while one entered our yard with intent to harm the snowman. Well she recognized them and shouted out to the kid, "Billy, what are you doing!? Get out of there!" (Real name of boy not used in case of libel issues.) He told her his friends lived there, to which she replied, "Don't lie! Go home Billy!" My neighbor is awesome. So he and his posse left while muttering, "I hate that lady!" Not only did my neighbor have names of the kids, but she knew where they lived as well so we had information we could have called the police with. But we didn't want to surprise them with a visit from the police; we wanted them to know we knew who they were first. Jason set up a webcam that captured any movement in our front yard and we ran that for a couple nights, but didn't get them on camera. He made sure our front light was working so they wouldn't have the cover of darkness. I started praying because I really didn't feel like rebuilding again. I was starting to find it unfunny. Mia would look out the window and say "uh-oh" every morning and I would tell her, "It's okay, we'll fix him; we'll put his head on again, don't worry..."

Then we had a couple of things happen that were very helpful. Jason was looking out of the living room window around two weeks ago when the group of kids walked by our house. He saw them and they saw him. He happened to have his arms folded across his chest. They of course didn't come near the yard. Then a couple of days later I was standing by our living room window looking out at the street when "Billy" walked by. I made a motion to look closer and called Jason to come look, and the kid saw us and called to his friend who was walking behind and the two of them started booking it down the street. They were running pretty fast. I saw them dodge into a neighbor's yard. Jason decided to get his winter gear on and see if he could find out where they were headed. He discovered they'd been using a path through the yard to access the movie theater and so he walked to the movie theater. (He went around the back way; he wasn't about to trespass on someone's land after what had been going on with us!) He didn't see the kid, but some of his friends saw Jason and were watching him pretty nervously. Jason's a nice guy, but he's tall, shaves his head, and has very broad shoulders. He's not someone you would want to mess with if you met him in a dark alley. Or even in a well-lit, heavily populated movie theater for example. All he had to do was go there and look around for a few minutes and we sent them a non-verbal message: "We know it's you. Maybe you should stop." And they haven't been back. My sweet little snowman is living happily ever after. I love him and will miss him when spring comes. We didn't let the snowman vandals win. Hopefully this is the final episode of - dunh, dunh, dunh - CSI Fairbanks, Criminal Snowman Investigations.

Peaceful snowman.

Mia having so much fun on the slide Daddy built for her!

Snow Angel.


  1. An angel making a snow angel ...
    CLASSIC story of juveniles! I'm glad you've made them stop w/the help of your neighbor.
    I laughed and laughed thru this - needless to say you found a GREAT use for the chokecherry as there aren't many uses that I know of ...
    Hope it warms up so Mia can enjoy outside again ... :) dun dun dunnnnnn LOL

  2. LOVE THIS POST! Love the snowman, love the writing, love the fact that the good guys won!!!