A self build house project diary
by Oliver Cannell

Builders working at midnight? No, it’s a teen hoodie causing a scare!

Idiot teen hoodie starts up the JCB and attempts to shift dirt around the site at midnight.

Laying in bed on Saturday night, watching some TV, there were the usual occasional traffic noises coming from the back road. Then we heard what I thought was a loud taxi or motorbike... but then again it sounded very much like the JCB excavator the builders are using on-site.

So that I could put my mind at rest - and make sure I wasn't going completely nuts - I checked the view from my office window. Luckily some fence panels have blown down in the wind and I have a very nice clear view of the building site.  :-)

I was quite shocked to see a small hooded figure in the cab of the JCB! And even more surprised when I saw the bucket swing round and land of top of the a pile of earth!! Little f*&$%^!!! How the hell did he get into the cab, start it up and start operating it?!

Still being in my night 'clothes' (ahem) the only option was to open the window and shout at the little s**t to try and scare him off. It took a few goes, but eventually he heard me and ran off.

So how did this happen?

Despite the plot being very muddy after all the rain we've been having, it was easy just to walk onto site. And kids being kids (and guys in general) we all want to have a go driving a digger! So he took his opportunity.

However, if the keys weren't in the cab - and the builders say they weren't - I have no idea how he managed to actually start the machine up. I'm told that keys for these machines are very generic and you could probably start one with screwdriver or your house keys... but I really don't know.

JCB... you seriously need to sort out your cab locks and ignition security, if little hoodies can get them started. We were terrified he wasn't going to swing the bucket round and take great chunks out of the house we're renting. Or even drive down the street across everyone's front lawns with the bucket dragging a nice fresh trench across them all.

Having chased him off, we got dressed and went to see if there was any damage (or any more kids) and try to retrieve the keys. We thought they might have been dropped when the kid ran off. But we couldn't find anything. At the time we thought he might come back and try again, so didn't quite know what to think or do at that point.

We opted to call the local police helpline and they managed to get some officers round fairly soon afterwards. They said they would patrol the area a few times overnight and see if they could find anyone.

The kid was probably tucked up in bed at that point dreaming about his next outing to Diggerworld!


UPDATE Tuesday 11th February

A new digger arrived on site today. The door has been locked overnight and there is more solid security fencing up at the front of the site.

Next entry: The calm after the storm (Sunday 16th February 2014)

Previous entry: Big boys toys (Tuesday 4th February 2014)

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