11 a.m. on a weekday when I'm normally at work, and two strange men knock on my door
I'm home today with a sick daughter, and the wife is out. 99% of the time I'm not home at this time, and either the wife is home alone, my daughter may be home alone, or they are home together. My wife has a bad habit of slinging the door open to find out who is knocking, even though I've warned her of the danger involved.
To counteract that, I've been researching a secure storm/screen door to install that will allow the front door to be opened, yet still provide security. I haven't been successful yet. I did install an intercom system, which will help IF she will use it. Haven't had occasion to test her on that yet as far as I know. Sometimes she'll ignore a knock, sometimes she'll sling the door wide open. It depends on her mood. Not smart, I know, but you can't force other people to make good decisions, even life-saving decisions, if they refuse to acknowledge any danger.
I also installed a city-approved "No Solicitors" sign by our front door that CAN'T be missed. Note: it's a "no solicitors" sign, not just a "no sales" sign. "Solicitors" to me covers anybody except city officials and LEO. IMO it also covers any religious folks knocking for any reason.
So I hear a knock. Not the doorbell, which works fine. Just a light knock. (I have no intention of answering the door--all our friends, coworkers, and friendly neighbors have our phone numbers and know to call first rather than just showing up--and I'm curious to see what might happen on a normal day when I'm not home.) I slip upstairs and go to a front bedroom where I can look outside. I can't see who is at the door because we have a little inset covered area. I do have a front-door peep-hole, but if I walk up to it, the guys outside will probably hear the floor creaking. So I wait. After a minute or two, another light knock. I just wait. Daughter is in bed sick, so she's not moving around. Note: no strange cars are parked out front, nor did I hear any cars or car doors previous to the knock.
I have heard of burglars who will knock to see if anyone is home, and if not, sometimes circle around back to gain entry. That's what I was watching for. I was wearing bottom sweats, a hoody sweatshirt, and socks. But since I'm ALWAYS armed at home, I already had what I needed on me. If I'm not in pants, I wear a dual-holster SmartCarry with a .45 and a .357 snubby in it. So I had my .45 in my hand in case the front door got kicked in.
Something else I've learned from this forum is to always carry my cell phone on me or have it close by at night. I think I learned this initially from Janq, but I've heard others mention it since. So I had my phone in one hand and my .45 in the other, just waiting.
Eventually I see 2 adult males come from my porch area. One is a white male, 30's, with a 3/4 trench coat on, and carrying a soft, thin case of something. The other is an African-American male, 40's, with a 3/4 trench coat on, a broad-brimmed hat on (something we rarely see in this neighborhood), and also carrying a soft, thin case.
In the 13 years we've lived here, we've had a few Mormons or Jehovah's Witnesses knock, usually once every year or two. None have ever been as old as these guys. And I've never seen an African-American Mormon or JW around here. Yeh, they probably exist... just saying I haven't seen any.
So these guys walk in my front yard and disappear out of my sight. (Remind me to cut down that evergreen tree so I can see the corner of our house better.) I'm not sure if they are circling my house, so I wait and watch for awhile. Eventually I'm convinced they went on down the block.
Here's my point. 99% of the time I wouldn't be home at 11 a.m. on a weekday. The wife, or the daughter, or both would be. That's the same with most houses in my neighborhood. We're mostly all working-class, with a few retirees thrown in. If someone is selling something, what woman in her right mind would open the door to two strange men, much less invite them in? (It's about 40 degrees out now, so opening the door very long will cool the house down quickly.)
And the same point for any religious folks: is it proper to send two males out to a neighborhood that is predominantly female at the time?
For either salemen or religious folks, I don't think it's ethical. No matter their purpose, if they want to talk to the most people possible, they should come in the early evening.
So the longer I thought about it, the angrier I got about them ignoring my "No Solicitors" sign. So I called the non-emergency number of our local police. I first ask if the "No Solicitors" sign means anything (is it enforceable). "Yes," she said, "it does mean something."
Me: Well, I've got the sign on my door, and two guys just ignored it.
Her: What do they look like?
Me: One white male, one African-American male, 30's-40's, 3/4 length trench coats, one with a broad-brimmed hat.
Her: What color are their clothes?
Me: I don't know. They had coats on.
Her: Where are they now?
Me: They walked west of my house.
Her: What color clothes do they have on?
Me: I DON"T KNOW, I couldn't see their clothes because of the trench coats. There THE ONLY TWO GUYS walking around the neighborhood right now. You can't miss them.
Her: What are they wearing?
Me: TRENCH COATS.
Her: What color?
Me: I DON'T KNOW...........(long pause because apparently she's GOT TO HAVE a color :rolleyes:)... neutral colors, colors that don't stand out.
Her: What is your address?
Me: They're in the X-hundred block of XXXXX.
Her: Do you want to speak to an officer when he arrives?
Me: No. I'd just like these guys checked out, and reminded of "No Solicitors" sign.
Her: Okay, we'll send someone over.
In about 5 minutes a cruiser rolled by my house headed in the direction of the guys. About 5 minutes later, a different police vehicle rolled by in the same direction.
Good response time for a non-emergency, IMO. No complaints there. I called the police station later and thanked them for responding, and asked what they had found. She said they were unable to locate the subjects. :frown:
I'm really annoyed at these guys for ignoring my sign, and knocking on my door at a time when I'm almost never home. Here's a thought that popped in my head as I was waiting for the police to arrive. I wonder if it would have been better in some ways to answer the door with a gun on my hip (and one in hand behind my back :ticking:) and ask them why they didn't read and follow the sign. I realize that would have marked my house as one with at least one gun, but it also might have marked my house as one to avoid if they were looking to rob an empty house, or if they were trying to avoid the male of the family. (Note: our vehicles are always inside the garage, so no one can tell whether we are home or not by the vehicles outside.) I thought about opening the door, letting the pre-alarm ding, and tell them they have 20 seconds before the police are automatically summoned, now WHAT DO YOU WANT, and WHY DIDN'T YOU READ THE SIGN?
Being always armed saves time. I didn't have to go looking for a weapon. If the guys had kicked in the door instead of knocking, there would have been a delay in me getting a weapon if I didn't have it (them) on me already. My guns are either on me or locked up, so it would have taken a few seconds to get to them and unlock them. Any guns upstairs would not have been accessible without going through any intruders due to the storage location at the other end of the house. Any guns downstairs would have been accessible only after I unlocked the storage item. The guys also would have been much closer to my daughter than I was at the time.
Having a phone on me was a good thing. I didn't have to go searching for it at the other end of the house.
I didn't have the police numbers programmed into my phone. While I could always have dialed 911, I might get a little faster response time by calling the dispatcher myself. I don't know, that's just a guess.
I don't normally carry a spare mag when I'm in exercise pants. Perhaps I had enough ammo for a home invasion: 14 .45's and a snub. I know, I know... shot placement.
My stinkin' shotgun hasn't come in yet. It's been on order for months. Maybe I should forget the 590 and just go buy a 500 or an 870.
Note to police: thanks for responding.
Note to door knockers, whoever you are: READ THE DAMN SIGN, and STAY OFF MY PROPERTY. I don't need your religion, if that's what you were here for. I attend church fairly regularly (in spite of my sometimes bad language :embarassed:), I probably have more Bible versions that most of you solicitors. (I know, I know: it's not what you have or read, it's what you apply.) In closing, STAY AWAY FROM MY FAMILY, especially when I'm not around.
Some of you will think I'm paranoid. I'm good with that. In fact, if no one thinks I'm paranoid, then I'm not being careful enough. :smile:
Oh, and if you're going to visit, call first. :smile: