A Nova Scotia man is giving a ranch near Kamloops, B.C., rave reviews. This week, he told a B.C. court that as he drove by, he loved it so much he just turned off the highway and walked in.
Christopher Hiscock, 33, then fed the cats and the horses and made himself right at home.
The problem is, the owners of the ranch had no idea who he was and certainly didn't invite him to stay.
They recently arrived back at their property and found the Porters Lake man drinking coffee and watching television. They walked right back out and flagged a passing police cruiser.
In Kamloops provincial court on Monday, Hiscock pleaded guilty to possession of stolen property and being unlawfully in a dwelling house.
'A bit of a daydreamer'
CBC Nova Scotia's Mainstreet spoke with Tim Petruk, a court reporter for a publication called Kamloops This Week.
Petruk happened to be in provincial court when the case came up — it was by total chance that he heard the details of the case.
"I was just sitting there kind of randomly. I was just kind of hoping that a story would come up. And this one just fell into my lap," he said Wednesday.
"He basically made himself at home in this ranch just north of Kamloops after stealing a truck in Ontario and just heading west."
Petruk said Hiscock spoke with a thick Maritime accent and "seemed like a very normal person, who was maybe a bit of a daydreamer."
"Other than the fact that he was wearing a red jail jumpsuit, he looked like a completely normal guy," said Petruk.
Hiscock was sentenced to probation for both charges because had no prior convictions.
'It was weird'
The owners of the ranch found Hiscock on Sept. 20. He had made a fire in the fireplace and there was meat thawing on the counter, suggesting Hiscock was going to make a meal.
"The homeowners ended up going through their stuff and they found that this guy had done laundry, he'd fed the cats. He'd given hay to the horses. He'd shaved and showered and he wrote in their diary too," said Petruk.
The diary entry reads: "Day one. Today was my first full day at the ranch. I fed the cats and horses. So much I can do here I have to remind myself to just relax and take my time. I don't feel alone here. I guess with 2 cats and 3 horses it's kinda hard to be alone. Last night I had a fire in the house. I was so [peaceful]. I slept like a little baby. I saw a picture in the basement on the wall of a man holding and weighing fish on a boat. Looking at him, I realized we look a lot alike but I think I'm more handsome. :)"
Petruk isn't sure if Hiscock is still in the Kamloops area.
"In court, it was said that he wanted to be out here for work," he said. "I've been covering court for a while and I've never heard of a person breaking into a house to just kind of live there for a day. It was weird."
Petruk says Hiscock apologized for what he had done.
"He talked about the ranch more in court and he said how beautiful it was and just gave it a glowing review."
The judge then asked Hiscock what he intends to do now. He told the court he has nowhere to go.
Petruk says Hiscock then said, "Maybe I'll go into the woods. There's lot of fish in there."