A resident asked officers to look into suspicious behavior on Lighthouse road last week.

Ocracoke officers had a chat with several local teens.  No property was missing or damaged.  No charges were brought as it is not a crime to be an adolescent. 

Sergeant Jason Daniels pointed out to the young people that "it looks suspicious if you're hanging around private property at 10 or 11 p.m."  He also noted that when the homeowner called out to ask them what they were doing, the teens ran, heightening the impression that something was awry.  "The respectful way to handle it,"  Daniels said, "is when someone calls out, go speak to them."  And there you have it. 

The department was called to assist in two separate disputes over property.  The Sheriff's department cannot and will not make a decision in matters of personal property, because these are civil, not criminal, disputes.  The item in question may be an appliance, a favorite album, or a disagreement about property boundaries.

If you move your belongings into someone else's house and they challenge your ownership, you will have to get a court order to remove the disputed items.  "Before I'll allow a TV [for example] to leave the house either the person owning the house says okay, or I get a court order," said Daniels.  "The only thing the Sheriff's office does civilly is serve papers.  All we can do is enforce what the judge says.  It stays in place until the court says otherwise."

While things might seem rosy when you decide to move in together, it isn't a bad idea to document what property you have, suggested the Sergeant.

Tenants are an important exception.  "A rented room is private space,"  said Daniels.  He also noted that a person who has been paying rent can't be kicked out without an eviction process.

On Thursday, February 16, William Boyd will join the Ocracoke force.  He spoke with Sergeant Daniels three years ago and said how much he would like to serve on Ocracoke.  Daniels encouraged him to get the proper training and some experience. 

The new Deputy Boyd is not related to the old Deputy Boyd, who continues to serve our community.  William has served in Belhaven for most of the past year.   He will be working shifts with Daniels, who will be introducing him to the community.  Please welcome Deputy Boyd to Ocracoke! 

The first thing new Deputies learn are the road names on Ocracoke.  "You can't help nobody if you can't find them," said Daniels.  There are over 70 named roads on Ocracoke and many houses are not marked with numbers. 

The department plans to complete their required trainings and re-certifications before the summer season starts, so they won't have to rush in the fall to get it done. 

Begining next week, Ocracoke Current will have a new column, "Busted on the Beach,"  with reports from NPS enforcement officials.  Until then, as always, treat yourself and others with respect.  

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