Strange SUV: To Call or Not to Call

This is a discussion on Strange SUV: To Call or Not to Call within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Just had an odd experience in my neighborhood. The street you take to enter my neighborhood comes to a T about a tenth of a ...

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Thread: Strange SUV: To Call or Not to Call

  1. #1
    Member Array biasedbulldog's Avatar
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    Strange SUV: To Call or Not to Call

    Just had an odd experience in my neighborhood.

    The street you take to enter my neighborhood comes to a T about a tenth of a mile from the major road. As I approached the T tonight at 11:45ish PM, the car in front of me took a left. I came to the stop sign and, as it is not a three-way stop, I waited for an SUV coming from my right before going. The car first caught my attention because, instead of turning left to exit the neighborhood, he kept going strait. Now, this is a bit unusual because when you enter the neighborhood, you go right for one branch and left for another. Only very rarely do I see cars "crossing over" like that. Of course I didn't think anything more of it.

    What I did notice was that the SUV began riding the bumper of the car in front, which I found odd and, of course, rude. All three cars took the "forced right turn" onto a 2/3's mile long road off which most of the neighborhood branches. The car in front turned into a cul-de-sac on the left and the SUV tailed the car in... of course, nothing really unusual there... but still, alarm bells went off. So I slowed on the road and watched to see what happened.

    A disclaimer: I had absolutely no notions of playing cop here. If something illegal appeared to be happening, I planned to call the police and be a good witness. No more. But I do consider a BG in my neighborhood a threat, and I do think it wise, considerate, and altogether civilized to at least do that: observe and call the police if necessary.

    In any case, the SUV passed the driveway into which the first car had driven and stopped in the middle of the cul-de-sac. I also stopped my car -- about forty yards away in the road. After a couple seconds, the SUV reversed and turned so that its headlights were on the people getting out of their car and beginning to go in their house. And stopped again.

    Here alarm bells were really going off. My adrenaline started to wake up, and I had my cell phone in hand, preparing to call 911 should I deem it necessary. After maybe five seconds the car turned right to exit the cul-de-sac, and took another right to head in the opposite direction I pointed out the neighborhood.

    Naturally, I assumed that he was simply lost, but that logical conclusion did not seem to dampen my "spidey sense." I started to continue home, but at the next crossroads decided to turn right, then do a U-turn so that I was facing the original road -- with the cul-de-sac about sixty yards to my left and the "forced turn" another forty or so beyond.

    Well, after sitting there looking left for a minute, I decided I was being ridiculous and started to turn right to head home. Well, right when I was applying the gas to turn, a car appeared out of nowhere on the main road right around the cul-de-sac! The vehicle had driven around the "forced right" and another forty or so yards with its lights off! For a moment I was shocked. As the vehicle continued on its way towards me I realized it was... of course... the SUV. Though I realized this and resumed the typical 25 mph, Mr. SUV came up quite close to my rear. During all this, I had had the tinted rear window of the 4Runner I was driving rolled down (driving with windows down in the desert at night... very nice... reminds me of how little I want to return to Michigan weather, hah). Deciding that being lit by Mr. SUV's headlights wasn't my thing, I rolled it up... My dad has put a big "Got Beretta?" sticker at the top of this sliding glass window. So Mr. SUV certainly would have seen that pretty clearly. Don't know if that was a factor, but at the next stop sign, I went strait and he (or she) took a left.

    I decided I was probably still just seeing somebody lost and started home again. But, as before, I couldn't shake the feeling. So -- yet again -- I took a right at the next crossroads, pulled a U-turn, and observed. Sure enough... a car appears in the road, this time facing away. As far as I can tell (it's a dark, starless night), Mr. SUV came back to the four-way stop where we'd parted ways, took a right, and turned his lights back on a little after that.

    Here I started to call the police. Even if completely innocent, something odd was going on. My spidey sense was definitely active, and I felt very suspicious. Well, I decided not to, thinking:

    1. It's probably nothing. Strange ≠ criminal.
    2. It's midnight on Saturday in Tucson, Arizona. The police have better things to do than respond to the overactive paranoia. And I wondered if they might (heck, y'all might) think I was playing cop.
    3. I'm tired. I want bed (and yet here I am, typing away...).

    Instead I followed from a distance till he took the "forced left" towards the first T and the neighborhood exit. I didn't follow after that because (a) if he *were* a BG, he could turn around, kill the lights, and ram me or shoot me as I came around the blind corner and (b) if, as likely, he was perfectly benign, I had no need to follow him. I did, however, take another cross-over street to the opposite side of the neighborhood get to the same road from the opposite direction. Mr. SUV was nowhere to be seen. I kept my eyes peeled and drove on to my house and parked the car in the garage. My house is quite a bit deeper in the neighborhood, so I didn't by any means expect him to show again. But I knew that he must have noticed the bumper sticker(s), so I put it in the garage -- even though that meant moving the painting supplies for painting the house -- which I'm doing with dad this week.

    So: am I paranoid loony who needs to relax? Or should I have called the police?

    Any other advice or observations? General or specific (i/e stupid things I did, things I could have done better)?

    Thanks, as always.
    "War necessarily brings with it some virtues, and great and heroic virtues too. What horrid creatures we men are, that we cannot be virtuous without murdering one another?" -John Adams

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  3. #2
    Member Array runamuk's Avatar
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    Chances are they knew each other then noticed you watching them and got your plates.

    Muk

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    The driver of the SUV demonstrated furtive behavior with the lights off deal... I would have called.
    ALWAYS carry! - NEVER tell!

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  5. #4
    Member Array biasedbulldog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by runamuk View Post
    Chances are they knew each other then noticed you watching them and got your plates.
    Possible. But unlikely. The car in front of it had turned off the main street at the light as I did and only after taking a left at the T was it followed by the SUV, which was traveling from the right and was not stopped and waiting for it. Additionally, the SUV did not follow the car into its driveway or pull into another only. It was only when it stopped dead in the middle of the cul-de-sac that I slowed my car and stopped. And when it swung back, putting its lights on the people getting out of their car, they seemed to glance at it but offered no signs of greeting I saw. There was no communication (unless cellular) b/t them as we both stopped, and no interchange that I saw as the SUV pulled out.


    Yeah, Thumper, I'm not sure whether reasons 1 and 2 or reason 3 were the main reasons for my unwillingness to call :)
    "War necessarily brings with it some virtues, and great and heroic virtues too. What horrid creatures we men are, that we cannot be virtuous without murdering one another?" -John Adams

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    Member Array runamuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thumper View Post
    The driver of the SUV demonstrated furtive behavior with the lights off deal... I would have called.
    I'd have done the same if someone was clearly watching my house.

    Muk

  7. #6
    Member Array biasedbulldog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by runamuk View Post
    I'd have done the same if someone was clearly watching my house.
    Like the SUV?
    "War necessarily brings with it some virtues, and great and heroic virtues too. What horrid creatures we men are, that we cannot be virtuous without murdering one another?" -John Adams

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    Member Array runamuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by biasedbulldog View Post
    Like the SUV?
    If I noticed you watching my house I'd get your plates.

    Furthermore if I notice a strange car in my neighborhood I take down the plate#'s.

    Muk

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    VIP Member Array TN_Mike's Avatar
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    If this had been going on in my neighborhood, I would have called the police.

    Strange is one thing when it is out in public but when it is right there where my house is, it is an entirely different thing and as such the threshold for calling the police is much, much lower.

    I would have called the police and gotten the tag number.
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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TN_Mike View Post
    If this had been going on in my neighborhood, I would have called the police.
    Ditto, here. Midnight, strange van, behaving strangely, driving as if monitoring others, driving with a few similar tactics as a criminal might use ... call the police, absolutely.

    "Spidey sense" works because, deep down, you know the ebb and flow of your own neighborhood, and you can somehow sense when something is not right. When those little alarm bells are ringing, you KNOW that something isn't right. Doesn't mean it's threatening, but it's definitely out of whack.

    Whatever it was, the driver of that vehicle wasn't following normal protocols that are common for your neighborhood. It's Tuscon, plenty close to the border and the murderous, criminal hurricane going on as a result of the drug trade, smuggling and cross-border ops.

    It's your home. It's your life. It's about the lives of your family and neighbors ...
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    Member Array mikeprekopa's Avatar
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    I think i would have called the police simply for the fact that its approaching midnight, and he decided to drive around with his lights off. Explain to them the situation. You saw a SUV driving in an aggressive manner, which then decided to drive around with their headlights off for some time.

    Though if you do call the police, i think you might be better off with "intuition" over "spidey senses"... less of "that crazy guy down the road" sorta vibe
    NREMT-B

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    Distinguished Member Array bandit383's Avatar
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    I would of definitely got his license plate #...and it sounds like he has yours.

    Kudos on not going to your house...but I would suspect the SUV knows generally where you live. I'd call the police even now to report it and the details (SUV etc.), as well as the house the SUV stopped at.

    I'd also alert the significant other to keep an eye out...

    Rick

  13. #12
    Senior Member Array DMan's Avatar
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    would be interesting to check the police reports and find if any crime has happened in your neighborhood recently. If there has been, you might still be a witness to it. Otherwise, you might have gotten lucky.

    I would have called.
    "Gun Free Zones" is where only criminals carry guns.

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    Member Array ChiWeiSz's Avatar
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    +1 on all the above.

    Absolutely, give a call, or stop by and give detailed description.
    Next time, get the license - and please, warn your significant other, your father, etc to keep their eyes peeled; don't answer the door late at night, etc.
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  15. #14
    VIP Member Array grady's Avatar
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    Someone driving at night in my neighborhood with lights off warrants a call to the police. They're either really dumb (and a danger to others), have mental issues, or are criminal.

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    Senior Member Array GreyGhost's Avatar
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    I can only think of 4 reasons for the driving behavior you describe.

    1. Lost, Since I live in a very confusing neighborhood and people get lost here all the time I am used to seiing the same car go by 3 or 4 times before they find their way out.

    2. Drunk, don't need any reasons for doing dumb stuff.

    3. Criminal intent

    4. Just as paranoid as me and trying to figure out what you are doing.

    That being said I believe their actions would make me get their plate number and contact law enforcement.
    Question Everything!

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