Dillon got word he had the above minimum wage security guard job from his cousin a few hours before he had to report to the subdivision entrance. Typically, Northwoods didn’t have a security guard at the guard shack at the entrance because residents didn’t pay their homeowners dues on time, or in some cases at all, and the association used what funds were collected to pay the collection company and anything left to pay landscapers to keep flowers in beds, which, in turn, kept it attractive, so it would help sell homes.
Dillon was excited about the pay. It certainly beat his former fast food job’s pay, and he knew he could save more toward a good, used Tacoma. At the building’s entrance, he waived through a security car. He had no idea why guards were driving through the subdivision. He figured they were checking up on him since it was his first day, but what Dillon didn’t know was the other guards had a different reason for being there. Neighbours notified the security company to keep an eye on their homes when they were away on vacation, but the corrupt guards robbed them a little at a time, taking just enough that it wouldn’t be worth it for homeowners to report it to their insurance because of high deductibles. Neighbours who might see the security car didn’t suspect guards, but by Christmas, each guard had plenty of gifts: TV’s, iPads or laptops, and some jewellery.
When daylight savings time came in spring, Northwoods residents were out walking until nearly 9:00 p.m., and one couple noticed a security guard loading the Impala and called the police department.
“But we’re all doing it,” the guard whined to the officer.
“Doesn’t make it right. You’ll be the last.”
The homeowner’s association cancelled the guard’s security contract, and Dillon tried to get his fast-food job back.
“Why should I take you back?” The manager stared him down. “Seems like to me you might have been involved with the theft ring I saw on the news.”
“I swear I wasn’t. I just took the job because it paid more. I had no idea what they were
doing. You know I was good at my job when I was here, I always worked when others begged off on holidays, and I even trained new employees for you.”
“That’s true. You were a good one. I hadn’t thought of it like that. Okay, I’ll hire you back and pay you a dollar more per hour. Just do me one favour. Don’t go chasing dreams. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side. I think you know that now.”
Northwoods neighbours had a grassroots movement to post volunteers at the guard house,
and the homeowner’s association financed a gate system. Though the robberies had ceased
and homeowners stepped up their payments, the association raised rates to pay for the gate system.