BAINVILLE — Toby and Luke Romo's family settled in the Bainville area a century ago and the brothers still live near each other. Five years ago, they started locking their doors for the first time.
The Romos worry about their kids walking home from school alone or playing unchaperoned in the park.
A Louisiana trucking company already operating in town and a nearby man camp for 200 workers, have been “great neighbors,” but a community sense of safety is gone, the Romos said.
The big shock was last year’s alleged kidnapping and murder of Sidney teacher Sherry Arnold by transients seeking oil field jobs. After that, Luke Romo installed a security system in his home.
The brothers worry about another 350 Procore Logistics workers moving to town to run a fracking sand loading facility and outnumbering the locals in a town that shares a Roosevelt County sheriff's deputy with two other communities.
Since the oil workers came to town, there are more large dogs around, the brothers said, and they don’t always know who is walking by their homes anymore. A body found in a ditch west of Bainville and the shooting north of town of a man by deputies also have the Romos on edge.
“And two years ago, a methed-out 24-year-old kid drove into my folks’ place at 2 in the morning,” Toby Romo said. “It became physical. I would say my dad’s life was in danger.”
The man later stole a pickup in Bainville and used the owner’s gun to kill himself in the cab.
“I’m not saying that’s affiliated with this man camp at all. The ones we’ve met have been great,” Toby Romo said. “But it’s a thought. That’s what we worry about.”
This fall, one week before pheasant season began, Toby’s 4-year-old black Labrador hunting dog disappeared from his porch. The dog is trained not to leave the yard, he said, which has an underground electric dog fence that she respects even if the power is off. He suspects a truck driver going off duty grabbed the dog and sold her for quick cash somewhere in North Dakota.
“I see a lot of missing dog posters in the gas stations around Sidney and Williston,” Toby Romo said. “It was so sad to go hunting without my Katie.”