The law enforcement officer got out of his car. He was in a white, long sleeved shirt. No badge. His shoulder holster was clearly in view. He pulled a black beanie onto his head, lifted up an automatic assault rifle, and sauntered toward us.
Has the whole world gone mad? This is frontier rural Oregon, not some city with crypts and bloods and the mafia, for goodness sakes. Thousands of acres of fertile fields and distant forested mountains surround us. Cows with their early spring calves at their sides munched peacefully on rows of hay. This was the wrong part of the world, the wrong setting for a SWAT Team.
Minutes later, not wanting to witness something horrible, my friend and I headed down an alternate route to shop in the nearest city.
I learned the rest of the story from a gun-totting local and the news. A thief broke into a rancher’s home–mistake number one. Nearly all citizens in these parts have guns for self protection against dangerous wildlife, mostly cougars and this sort of thing. And if a bad guy happens on a ranchers property to steal a vehicle, that rancher might also use his weapon of defense to defend his valuables. Gun shots were exchanged.
The thief fled the scene in the Bronco belonging to the rancher–mistake number two. People in these parts have their own personal truck lots (well, almost). My husband and I own three trucks and a car, for instance.
The owner of the Bronco jumped into a truck and pursued the bad guy, ramming him into a ditch a mile or two ahead of where my friend and I had stopped. The thief, now running on foot, ended up in someone’s house but didn’t stay long. I suspect the owner knew exactly how to handle him. The thief fled again, hid in an abandoned trailer, and was eventually apprehended under some tarps.
What a crazy world.