Pavao Bedekovic had had enough. Week after week, people would flock to the flea market that takes place right near his farm – and they’d leave their cars on his property without permission. Eventually, then, he took matters into his own hands.
On the northwest side of Croatia sits Zagreb – the nation’s capital and most populous city. There are plenty of stories behind Zagreb’s name, by the way: one legend has it that a hand-dug well brought water in the midst of a medieval drought. And the verb za-grab- means “to dig.”
The city itself also has a rich history and a celebrated culture, and this draws in tourists and locals alike. For instance, one of Zagreb’s many attractions is Jakuševac – a Sunday-only flea market that takes place at the edge of the city.
Yes, people flock to Jakuševac because of the sheer number and variety of items on offer. In the flea market, one can buy, for example, a motorcycle, clothes and collectibles while sampling the local fare, to boot. Attendees also often bargain for lower prices on the items that catch their eyes.
But while this might sound fun to the casual Sunday shopper, one Zagreb resident found himself frustrated by the visitors to the market every weekend. His name is Pavao Bedekovic, and he owns land near the site of the weekly bazaar.
More specifically, Bedekovic has his own farm, and flea market-goers saw his sprawling property as the perfect spot on which to park their cars. The only problem was that Bedekovic hadn’t opened his land to the many vehicles that had found their way onto it.
Time and time again, Bedekovic had apparently implored the strangers on his property not to leave their cars there. So, when they once more failed to heed his warnings, the farmer decided to teach the trespassers a lesson – and cameras were rolling when he did so.
In a video posted on November 16, 2015, a line of parked cars stretches down far into Bedekovic’s property. And at first, it seems that nothing is amiss – aside from the fact that there are unauthorized vehicles on the farmer’s land, of course.
Then the camera angle shifts to reveal what Bedekovic is actually up to. The farmer appears to the left of the frame on the back of his red tractor. And with that, it becomes clear how he’d started to get revenge on those who’d parked on his land without permission.
What happened? Well, in the middle of two lines of vehicles, Bedekovic had tilled his land and prepared it for the corn that he apparently wanted to plant there. What’s more, he’d plowed the earth with little regard for the surrounding cars. And this action, unsurprisingly, ended up upsetting the people who’d parked there.
In fact, the police were even called to the scene in the wake of Bedekovic’s sudden decision to plow his property. Authorities said they couldn’t do anything about it, however, as the land belongs to the farmer. This, you see, apparently gives him every right to till it at a moment’s notice.
Most people who subsequently watched the video on YouTube stuck up for the farmer, too. One commented, “People are just so selfish sometimes… Good that you [taught] them a lesson.” Another touched upon the damage that a field full of cars might do to Bedekovic’s land.
“For those advocating the parking: just think rationally for one second. These cars are ruining the aggregate of the soil, and the toxins from the car can leach into the ground,” wrote the YouTube user.
The video also inspired a viewer to share a story about something similar that they’d seen. “Had a neighbor that got tired of this when I was younger. He built a fence around about 20 cars over the course of a day with ALL of his farm hands,” they wrote. “People came outside to barbed wire around their cars.”
It seems that others have also faced struggles like Bedekovic’s – and some have resolved them with a similar tractor-related strategy too. In England’s West Country, for example, a Mazda parked in a private driveway without permission in 2016.
And when no one came to claim – and move – the red car from the English homeowner’s driveway, he took matters into his own hands. More specifically, he brought in two men with a tractor and requested that they move the Mazda.
Two women then happened to film the tractor moving the illegally parked vehicle out of the way. The car was in fact lifted up as the tractor moved slowly towards the main road. “[It’s the] police’s problem there,” said one of the men who was helping to shift the vehicle.
When the video was shared online, though, it received mixed reactions from those who watched. Some felt that the rough manner in which the car had been moved could have caused damage to it. Others, however, said the homeowner had the right to use such a method – much as Bedekovic did in Zagreb.
And one person who chimed in had gone through a similar experience in the midst of harvest season. “We usually just put a chain under them and drag them if we can,” they wrote on Reddit. “But if there’s nowhere to pull them or the wheels are turned and locked, we get the loader out.”