Stay Alert-Stay Alive tip #5. Door Bell Bandits
You are at home during daytime hours when your doorbell rings. You see a white male, approximately 30 years old standing at your door. He is relatively clean cut and dressed in a polo shirt and jeans. Your initial impression is that he is a solicitor.
He appears to be carrying some papers in his hand that look like flyers for a local restaurant.
Your compassionate side compels you to open the door and talk with the individual. You assume that he will hand you a flyer and tell you of a special promotion at your favorite restaurant.
The Real Situation:
The person at your door is not a salesman nor is he working to promote local eateries. He is actually a career criminal whose long history of violent crimes including robbery, burglary and theft. He rings doorbells and knocks on doors to determine if people are home. When you answer the door, he uses his cover story about the food bargain and hands you a flyer thereby appearing innocent.
Had you not answered the door, he would have assumed you were not home. He would have called his buddy who was waiting around the corner in a car. They would have burglarized your home and taken your most valuable possessions.
Another possibility is the suspect could have incorrectly assumed you were not home. He would have subsequently entered you home while you were still inside. This type of home invasion is rare but can have extremely dangerous and harmful results.
How should you handle this situation?
1. Do not open the door for anyone you don’t recognize or whom you did not invite to your home. In most communities, soliciting is prohibited so you should not feel obligated to open the door.
2. Call a neighbor, a loved one or the police and inform them of the unsolicited visit and verify if they have observed the same person. It is entirely acceptable to request a police response to interview the person to verify his identity and his purpose for being at your door. Many criminals are captured because of such tips/requests.
3. Verify the visitor’s identity if he or she is wearing a uniform or is displaying identification from a utility company or other business.
4. Make noise inside your home to alert the suspect that someone is home. If you have a dog, let it bark!
Harden Your Home!
Recommendations to “Harden Your Home” so it is not appealing to criminals include the following:
1. Install a burglar alarm system that can be monitored on your cell phone and by a central monitoring station.
2. Install a quality video camera system that is capable of live streaming on your phone/internet so you can watch it from anywhere (inside or away from your home). This also allows other family members to see what is happening at your home in the event of an emergency. This information can be relayed to law enforcement as it is happening for immediate responses.
3. Ensure your video camera system records 24/7 and stores video so you can retrieve this exceptionally valuable evidence if you learn the crooks have been near your home before.
4. Consider adding signs on your property indicating that the premises are video monitored to deter criminals.
Contact the experts at Safelutions to learn other useful ways to protect your loved ones, your home and yourself. We can provide you with dozens of free ways to “Harden Your Home”.