One man’s experience in combating crime


Jim Child

Photo by Clarke Davis
Jim Child tries to keep his farm operating smoothly but there have been some stumbling blocks along the way—mischievous ones.


by Clarke Davis
Perry area farmer Jim Child was busy and missed the meeting organized by Rod Bigham in Grantville recently dealing with crime, but he could have added to the frustration expressed there many of his own experiences.
Child hasn’t experienced a lot of theft, but has been the target of repeated vandalism.
Incidents have occurred at his farmstead over a period of four years that have cost him time and money and put him on a first-name basis with several at the sheriff’s office.
A clue that he had a visitor came one day when he got a few miles from home with a loaded truck and the motor began to misfire and slow to a 20 mph crawl. It was caused by water in his gas tank.
Back home he found water had been put in a tractor’s gas tank along with another vehicle. And this culprit doesn’t stop with that.
There’s been air let out of truck tires, dome and parking lights turned on in vehicles to run the batteries down, and a bolt (disc pin) dropped inside a combine’s auger so it wouldn’t work.
There’s a fishing pole hanging upside down high up on the wall of the machine shed.
“That’s just a calling card. He’s letting me know he’s been here,” Child said.
Child’s case might differ from his neighbors who complain of random burglaries and theft. The Child farmstead is secluded in an area northwest of Perry at the end of a long lane and this farmer seems convinced he knows who is causing him problems—he just has to catch him or provide the proof and then hope the legal department will do its job.
There have been suspicious people come upon the area.
“I had a couple of guys tell me once they were headed for the lake to go fishing but I didn’t see any fishing poles,” he said.
Child, 61, is a native of the area whose family was relocated with the coming of Perry Lake. They left for the Whiting area in 1963. He served six years in the Navy, some of that time in a submarine during the Vietnam war, and had a 32-year career with the U.S. Postal Service as an electronics technician.
In 1980 and ’81 he fulfilled a dream by buying farmland near the homeplace from a great-aunt and a grandfather and returned in 1989. He and his wife, Elizabeth, raised two daughters.
The farmstead consists of a couple of horses in a corral, three friendly dogs of various sizes, and a scattering of vehicles and machinery typical of any farm during the busy season. It’s set in a scenic area that belies any kind of problems.
The owner is a mild mannered sort of fellow, who, even after years of costly problems and distractions that might cause one to boil over, never threatens violence or blames law enforcement.
“I give them the benefit of doubt,” he said, “but I am giving them information and encouraging them to follow through on some other matters that involve this individual.”
He believes in time this person — if he’s got the right one — will trip up and then he hopes the law will do its job.
In the meantime, he has become somewhat of an expert at getting water out of gasoline and he is a well-equipped farmer with a mobile generator and an air pump.
He needs them.

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Posted by on May 13 2015. Filed under Featured, The Vindicator. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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