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He Grows a Thorny Wall to Keep Out the Local Kids, But Little Did He Know the Berry Shrubs Would Make Things More Difficult.

The original poster (OP) turns to nature, planting a wall of berries to protect their garden from the neighbor’s trespassing children. Just when it seems the berry barricade has worked, the peace shatters as OP catches the neighbor and his sons red-handed in the garden, leading to a dramatic legal confrontation.

The Peaceful Beginning

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In a quiet neighborhood, OP enjoyed cultivating a small, lush garden. The garden was OP’s small sanctuary, teeming with a variety of vegetables and herbs. However, OP’s tranquility was soon to be disrupted.

The Unwelcome Intrusion

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The children of the next-door neighbor began playing in their own yard, but the OP noticed they would regularly hit a ball or toy into their yard and run across to get it. When they crossed into the OP’s yard, they often ran rampant, disturbing the carefully cultivated plants. The disruption became a regular occurrence, straining OP’s patience and threatening the serenity of his garden.

The Strained Relations

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The OP’s scolded the children a few times, but the situation didn’t improve. The neighbor dismissed OP’s complaints, and the children continued to trespass and disrupt the garden. Frustration grew in OP, leading to the decision to establish a stronger boundary.

The Berry Defense

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OP set up a natural barrier of blackberries and raspberries around the garden to protect the strawberries and tomatoes from the neighbor’s kids. With this setup, the only access to the garden was either through the thorny bushes or by passing close to the house. The new arrangement seemed to be working initially, with OP noticing a reduction in unwelcome visitors.

The False Calm

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For about two weeks, the children didn’t intrude upon the OP’s lawn or garden. OP found them on the driveway daily, but the garden remained untouched. It appeared the thorny bushes were an effective deterrent.

Berry Season Begins

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With the onset of berry season, the bushes burst into ripening fruit. Strawberries were plentiful, and the raspberry bushes were laden. The neighbor and her children noticed the abundant produce.

The First Confrontation

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OP caught the children picking and eating the raspberries. In response, OP confronted them, told them off, and returned them to their mother with a stern warning: “I caught them stealing and that I’d call the cops next time.” The mother was dismissive, but the boys were taken inside.

The Trespassing Father

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The garden was violated again, this time by the neighbor’s husband and his sons. OP found them in the middle of the garden, helping themselves to the fruit. Instead of confronting them, OP decided to call the police and film the intrusion.

The Arrival of Law Enforcement

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Two police officers arrived promptly and confronted the trespassers. They warned them about the seriousness of their actions, stating, “You are trespassing, and the berry picking is, in fact, considered stealing.” The neighbor, for the first time, seemed at a loss for words and looked genuinely scared.

The Aftermath

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After the police left with the neighbor’s family, they returned to OP’s home to inquire about pressing charges. OP asked if the officers thought the neighbors had been scared enough to stay away. The response was a yes for the husband but not for the wife, who continued to shout at the cops and her husband. OP’s wife thought they should be pressing charges to deter future incidents.

The Decision

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OP decided not to press charges at that time. However, they did inquire about setting up an extra camera to monitor the garden and driveway. The police approved the idea saying it was within their rights. It was permissible as long as the camera was installed on OP’s side of the wall.

The Security Upgrade

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With the police’s approval, OP moved to install an additional camera. This decision signaled a firm stand against any further intrusions. The security upgrade was in plain sight and sent a clear message to the neighbors: OP was done tolerating their actions.

The Uneven Deterrence

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While the neighbor’s husband appeared to have understood the seriousness of their actions, his wife remained unyielding. She continued to be disrespectful towards OP, showing no signs of backing down. This left OP with a half-won battle and a continuous threat within his own home.

The Impending Consequence

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OP settled the internal dispute with his wife by making it clear that any future trespass would result in immediate police involvement and pressing possible charges. The warning was a clear line drawn in the sand, signaling the end of OP’s patience. The couple agreed to put a letter in the mailbox of their neighbor summarizing their viewpoint.

Was The Man’s Behavior Appropriate?

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The readers in the forum had a lot of mixed views on the matter. Here are some of their responses:

Forum Responded

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One reader said, “Your yard, your rules.”

Another Viewpoint

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Another responder wrote: “Why not just install a regular fence?”

A Different Perspective

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A different person states, “If I was your neighbor, I’d be p***** for calling the cops on my kids.”

What Do You Think?

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What are your thoughts on their actions?

What would you have done in this situation?

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Josh Dudick

Josh is a financial expert with over 15 years of experience on Wall Street as a senior market strategist and trader. His career has spanned from working on the New York Stock Exchange floor to investment management and portfolio trading at Citibank, Chicago Trading Company, and Flow Traders.

Josh graduated from Cornell University with a degree from the Dyson School of Applied Economics & Management at the SC Johnson College of Business. He has held multiple professional licenses during his career, including FINRA Series 3, 7, 24, 55, Nasdaq OMX, Xetra & Eurex (German), and SIX (Swiss) trading licenses. Josh served as a senior trader and strategist, business partner, and head of futures in his former roles on Wall Street.

Josh's work and authoritative advice have appeared in major publications like Nasdaq, Forbes, The Sun, Yahoo! Finance, CBS News, Fortune, The Street, MSN Money, and Go Banking Rates. Josh currently holds areas of expertise in investing, wealth management, capital markets, taxes, real estate, cryptocurrencies, and personal finance.

Josh currently runs a wealth management business and investment firm. Additionally, he is the founder and CEO of Top Dollar, where he teaches others how to build 6-figure passive income with smart money strategies that he uses professionally.