Neighbor (from hell) Has Been Vandalizing My Property!
Hello out there to all!!! I am in desperate need of advice and information on neighbors that destroy your property. First and foremost I don't need anyone telling me that "Adults don't behave this way...." or "You should take it as a compliment!" There's nothing flattering about knowing that your neighbors have been trying to destroy everything you have put very hard work and time into. (At least not to me...lol)
And now for the story.... my fiance and I have just purchased our first home. We are absolutely in love with everything about it. When we first came across it, it needed ALOT of work; most of which we did ourselves.( With the exceptions of having a floor guy install hardwood) Long story short, I noticed right away that there were flower beds in the front yard and I'm the gardener in our family so you know I was thrilled! :) A couple of elephant ear plants, a lilac and some dandelions had already been beautifully planted but hadn't been cared for in some time but I was still able to nurse them all back to full health and added vegetables and more flowers in other rows. It has turned out very beautifully and I take great pride in my work.
This neighborhood is very peaceful, friendly, and quiet. Almost all of the surrounding neighbors came by to introduce themselves and welcome us to the neighborhood which made us feel very appreciative of the choice we made to move here. Only our left side neighbors have given us a problem. When we first met them, I will be honest. I didn't like them. They are an older couple with no children and a very sweet& beautiful golden retriever. The female was very short with us and it was quite obvious that she wasn't too thrilled about us but still tried to be polite. I noticed her garden was being installed by "professionals" around the same time we were working on ours which is no big deal. That's life in suburbia for you. Everyone has to do what everyone else is doing. Another long story short, hers turned out beautifully too and we let her know that with smiles on our faces.
I'm not a competitive gardener at all and do my best not to try and focus on projects that others are currently doing so that I don't come off like I am. So I don't mind waiting for others to finish up their projects first so that they get the praise and attention they deserve. But at the same time, we were moving in so we didn't really have time to wait around and wanted our home to be beautiful on moving day. I also enjoy cutting grass, and the grass was pretty high so of course we don't want a mean letter from the HOA lol and I cut it. That's when things went totally south.......
They have a beautiful fence surrounding their back yard but didn't actually check to see where their property line starts and ends so it takes up space on other surrounding properties. That made me think there may possibly be an issue in the future. They also have a "gumball" tree that entirely hangs over our side and drops hundreds of spikey balls daily. That can be very irritating especially when they never offer to come out and clean them up. I have picked up literally hundreds of them up and can't let the kids play back there because they are becoming impacted in the lawn and they often fall and hurt themselves on them. It's also damaging our back lawn because they are suffocating our grass. But still we haven't gone and yelled at them about it and never have made any rude comments about it. My fiance was helping and I mentioned to him how many of those things I have found and we laughed about it. With that said, I still don't think it's my responsibility to be the only one picking them up. Now whenever I go out to pick them up, she will rush outside and barrel right past me with her lawn mower and cut the area (which is our side of the yard. we checked with the city.) and further impact them into the ground or send them flying into more areas of the lawn.
The following morning she came outside while I was watering the plants and taking out the trash and lied to my face claiming she had just spent hours picking gumballs up yesterday which is totally untrue. she couldn't have been out there because we were and I never have seen her come out a pick up anything. This is when I realized she had been just sitting there and eavesdropping on us for days. That's when I said to her "Yeah I'm not trying to be rude or complain but I'm having difficulty keeping our lawn with those things always falling into it and getting stuck there. I don't mind picking them up, but I don't remember seeing you outside yesterday." And she ran inside. Later on coming out wearing the exact same thing I was and trying to get me compliment it. By that point, I thought she was mentally ill or just old and didn't know any better but definitely WEIRD.
Next morning, I found her halfway in our front lawn pretending to have been doing something but really wasn't. I came outside and she jumped and lied again claiming she had found some box turtles she rescued from the road that she was putting in our yard to surprise our little ones. She then had her dog charge after me! But it didn't work, because little does she know, I love animals and all i had to do was sweet talk it and pet it before he jumped on me. She seemed very confused by that. This would be very sweet, had that really been her intentions. I told my fiance about it and he gave a good point, "Well, why didn't she just knock on the door? If the turtles were about to hit oncoming traffic, it would be stupid to just leave them once again somewhere they could easily get into the road again." There was a small turtle in the yard but it was because they had all migrated from the park in the back yard, not because she rescued them. It had markings so I knew they were protected by our local officials and still kindly thanked her and set the turtle free back into the park.
Then on, anytime we were outside we knew we were bieng watched constantly by her. When we run errands we stop on our porch before leaving and list off all the things we need because we are very forgetful at times. And every thing we said we had plans to do, she'd try and rush and do it before us. For example, if I came outside calling out to my fiance "Hey babe, would you mind grabbing the hose for me?", she'd send her husband outside with a hose to water plants that had already been watered or have him stand there for hours to glare at me while i'm working on my garden.
Next, we decided to add some pretty solar-powered garden lights and carefully picked out a few sets and installed them. One set was connected with wires just like on Xmas lights and the lights are clear colored dragonflies that we placed in the mulch instead of the bushes (because it'd look to christmas-y lol). When those were finished, she complimented our garden with EXTREME SARCASM and marched off. The next few days I had to borrow the fiance's car and drop him off at work because mine was being fixed and had several appointments I couldn't miss. Only, to see her begin driving her husband's truck, once again not really going anywhere or doing anything and I caught her following me or slowly coasting past my house to make faces at us. The following morning I came outside to find the wires had been obviously cut, and one of my lilacs had been chopped at the stems. I knew right away who'd the culprit would be and called our local police station to ask for more information on how to deal with this. They wanted to send someone out but I declined because I wanted to actually catch her in the act. So my fiance and I decided the best way to act is to kill her with kindness and not let it phase us. Just because her life revolves around things of that nature doesn't mean ours has to. Being the sweetheart that he is, he fixed the wires for me, buried them again, and we went off to bed making sure to try and get up every once in a while and check our yard for intruders. But we were so exhausted from a hard days work that we fell asleep early morning. I got up at about 7AM to find the wires were dug up again but this time no cuts were made. Enough was enough by then, and I called the police. An officer showed up and I reported the crime to him. He looked at the wires and said "I cannot believe people are doing this to you. These wires have definitely been tampered with and not by an animal. How much of this have you endured??" He also said he really couldn't do much of anything only because we didn't actually see her do it but he still took a report and had extra officers roll by the house later to hopefully catch her. He even got in the garden with me and helped me secure the wires better! While I was small talking with him before he left, her husband slowly crept into his driveway, stared at us and then sped off. Hmm, kinda odd to drive all the way home and just leave like that. I definitely believe he was trying to avoid the cops.However I am thankful for what that officer did for us. We didn't want to fix them because we didn't want to let them go, but because that would be one of the best ways to show her that she didn't win without getting into an altercation. We put even more lights next to them to also show that she doesn't scare us and never will. We will do as we please with our yards, within city laws of course.
we posted a sign over our garden stating that the police have been informed and that if the culprit came by and touched our property again that we will press charges. We don't speak to or even acknowledge her because she feeds off of attention of any kind. Even if it's negative, it still lights her up to know she has successfully pissed someone off. But I still think she's probably waiting for another opportunity to vandalize again.
We live in Missouri and aren't familiar with the property damage laws. I hope someone with experience can give us advice. We surely need it. My apologies for this being so long....this story is endless.