On Oct. 4, the day before Shawn Telford and his son were scheduled to depart on a weekend camping trip to Sol Duc Hot Springs in Olympic National Park, Washington, someone broke the window of the camper — parked behind Telford’s house — and stole his son’s toys, along with other personal items, reported KIRO Radio.
Feeling violated by the theft, Telford decided to catch the crooks if they returned. That night, he camped out in the back of the camper, covering the windows so that he would be hidden from sight.
At about 6:00 a.m. Telford heard a vehicle coming up the drive. Sure enough, the next minute, the driver’s side door of the camper opened.
Telford threw off his sleeping bag and shined a bright light in the prowler’s face. The thief made a run to a nearby RV encampment “where he knew that his friends would protect him and help him to escape,” Telford said.
One of the RV-dwellers gave the thief a bicycle, which he hopped on. Telford ran after the criminal, knocked him off the bike, and tackled him. However, the other inhabitants of the RV camp soon turned up to help their comrade.
“Now I’m surrounded by about 10 to 12 people that know this guy, and they’re friends with him,” Telford said.
One of the men chased Telford with a steel pry bar, allowing the prowler to escape again on the bike. But Telford followed and tackled him again. That’s when the thief pulled out a knife.
Although the thief managed to escape, he left behind a motorcycle, which police discovered was stolen, as well as an ASP baton, which Telford suspects was used to break his camper’s window.
The encampment was removed by the city this week, but before its removal, it included RVs, tents, and old school buses that housed an estimated 30 to 40 people, Telford said.
Read more, including the significance of Telford’s father’s ashes to this story.