In the 1980s, my husband worked as a deputy for former Sullivan County Sheriff John Waterman.
Waterman received an anonymous tip. A couple of men were planning to steal copper at the Peabody Mine near Dugger. John decided to stake out the area. Andy was to be his back-up along with Carla, John's wife. They asked me if I wanted to go.
I was a bit afraid, but what the heck, who gets to do something that exciting in their lifetime.
A few nights later, we loaded up an unmarked and headed out to the sight. We parked and set out. We tramped along for a good while and ended up in an area camouflaged with weeds and deep brush. We had a clear shot to a huge roll of wire. It was dark, cold and damp, and really quiet.
Time dragged on for hours. John and Andy sat with heads down. I fell asleep. (Back then I could fall asleep anywhere, anytime) All at once, Carla spotted two shadowy figures moving across an open field. She grabbed John by the shoulder. He jumped up, shotgun waving back and forth, ran toward the perpetrators bellowing, "Get your hands up! Get your hands up!" It was shades of Law & Order! Andy and Carla raced right on his heels.
Shocked out of a fitful nap, I couldn't believe my eyes. The two men dropped to the ground. I watched while the thieves were searched, cuffed, and taken into custody. Back-up arrived and carted them to jail. Then I learned that one of them was carrying a gun. Shock at what could have been streaked through my mind.
Later, we drove around the dirt roads looking for their car. We found it. When the trunk was opened, it contained a heavy rope and cable cutters. A great night of police work. An experience that lasts a lifetime.