Border Patrol agents carrying AR-15s and 12-gauge pumps searched the property with Osburn, who also had an AR-15, looking for any sign of the trespassers. After scanning his backyard, Osburn discovered three shoes left behind, and Border Patrol agents said they expected the burglars were less than a mile away.
"Welcome to South Texas," Osburn tells me while extending his hand.
"This is not the first time this has happened," he says. "I have Border Patrol in here every day chasing groups, just about."
As daylight faded, a Border Patrol agent gave the order to leave the ranch, saying he did not want to send his guys into the brush after an unknown number of illegal immigrants who could be waiting for him with weapons. The Brooks County Sheriff's Department is now leading the investigation, but it has turned up no more leads days after the break-in occurred.
Osburn says he has had to take extra precautions in case of just such an attack. "When I go to sleep at night, I lay down and I put my pistol there, I measure it where if somebody comes in the house I can pick it up and go," Osburn says. When mowing the lawn, Osburn says, ranchers in South Texas always need a pistol ready.
"Down here there's no question, 'Oh, was it loaded?'" Osburn says. "Well, hell yeah, it's loaded. Why have a gun if it's not loaded? And it's off safety too. That's the way we live."
Previously, most of the illegals were Mexican families trying to get a better life in America. Maybe not paragons of moral virtue, but at least not actual robbers. That seems to be changing now, according to the locals.
That is how the Zombie Apocalypse is going to be. Except WAY worse, because there will be no helpful cops to back you up when the knobs kick your door down at 3am.
Other ranchers tell me that the amount of OTM — other than Mexican — traffic is increasing in South Texas, and that the disposition of the travelers has grown more hostile. Ranchers say the immigrants who reach Brooks County are ready to fight.
Mike Vickers, a doctor who lives on a ranch a few miles north on the opposite side of the Border Patrol checkpoint, says he has had his home broken into too. He says that one week, he had to pull his gun three times. Two of those times, he says, he wasn't sure whether or not he'd have to pull the trigger.
"We're fighting a war here and we've been fighting it a long time," Mike Vickers says. "These people we're encountering here are combative."
Mike Vickers lives with his wife, Linda, who is the chief of staff of the Texas Border Volunteers — a group of people who assist law enforcement with securing the border. Linda says fewer women illegally travel through her property now, because more are surrendering near the border located approximately 70 miles south of the Vickers ranch.
Linda Vickers says she has seen a higher criminal element trespassing through her property and says the OTM traffic coming through her ranch knows how to hug trees and hide in the salt grass. For this reason she has a team of dogs that travel along her property with her, and she can decipher when trespassers set foot on her property by the way her dogs bark.
"The dogs seem to keep them from running, for some reason," she says with a chuckle. "The dogs like it when they run."