Strange things in my neighborhood

This is a discussion on Strange things in my neighborhood within the Home (And Away From Home) Defense Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Normally my neighborhood is very quiet. Think suburban family neighborhood, all single family homes, nice well kept yards, pets, kids...you get the idea. There is ...

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Thread: Strange things in my neighborhood

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    Senior Member Array Snowman23's Avatar
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    Strange things in my neighborhood

    Normally my neighborhood is very quiet. Think suburban family neighborhood, all single family homes, nice well kept yards, pets, kids...you get the idea. There is a 25mph road that runs between two phases of the neighborhood. It does not go through to anywhere except provide additional access to the neighborhood. The pavement ends and a dirt road begins, dirt only provides access to one parcel of unused private property and also provides access to one of the local trail systems. Lot's of folks park at the dirt junction to go cross country skiing in winter or mtn biking in the summer. My house is situated such that my backyard has a view of the paved section of this road. I'm usually not too sensitive to cars parking at the end.

    Strange thing #1
    Last week I'm out cleaning up after my dogs and this older model Subaru wagon with some "fast n furious" paint job comes ripping (50mph +) down our 25mph neighborhood road. The Subaru has a maroon Nissan Titan right on his butt. The car makes a quick U turn and parks right at the dirt junction. Nissan parks right next to him and all occupants of the truck and the driver of the car all jump out and start chatting with one another. At this point...I've only paid attention because of the speed that they came in at. Seemed like they knew each other, but I thought it strange that they kept looking around like they were being watched...they were. I also thought it stange that the driver of the car had a "hip hop" influenced style of dress...the driver of the truck looked like a redneck..no better way to describe him. My neighbor takes notice of them too and we both go about our backyard tasks and continue to watch. After about 2 minutes of standing...the Subaru driver reaches into his car and pull out a very large black duffle bag. Looked empty...but I'm far enough away that it was hard to tell. All of them pile into this Nissan Titan (extended cab) and just sit there. Blacked out windows...no way to see inside. Too far away to get a plate # either. After about 5 minutes inside this truck my neighbor and I decide it's time to call the Sheriff. I call, tell them what I've seen, they say a deputy is on the way. 15 more minutes go by, still in the truck, then the Subaru driver jumps out with big duffle in hand, immediately gets in his car and departs the neighborhood at a high rate of speed...truck leaves too, but not as fast. The deputy showed up just minutes after the departure. I went out and told him what my neighbor an I saw.

    I'm no LEO...not a detective...no training like that at all. But it just seemed obvious to me that they had no business in the neighborhood, were not parking for recreational purposes and had likely just completed some sort of transaction. Maybe I'm wrong...but I can't think of any other logical explaination for this event.

    Strange thing #2
    2 days ago I'm just cleaning up around the kitchen. Again, I notice a tan 4Runner just ripping down the road behind my house. I think to myself "WTH is up with people speeding into the neighborhood lately" This 4Runner gets to the dirt and whips a quick U turn and immediately parks. Without hesitation the driver jumps out and simply abandons the vehicle...must have had his seatbelt off already. If he hadn't gotten out so fast, I might have stopped paying attention. The driver appears to be a well dressed hispanic male, nice sport coat paired with some jeans. He walks clean out of the neighborhood...I watch him walk away for as long as I could see him maybe a 1/4 mile or so. Just left. Again, I might have stopped paying attention normally but after strange thing #1 described above I continue to keep an eye on the 4Runner. 10-12 minutes go buy since the driver took off and I see movement in the vehicle. Hmmm...what's going on. Next thing I know a toddler and woman have gotten out. She shuts the headlight off, closes driver door, picks up her purse/bag and the toddler....walks clean out of the neighborhood too. The vehicle stayed overnight. Watched it until I jumped into the shower the next morning. By the time I left for work...4Runner is gone. I wish I would have seen if it was one of the two original occupants who got it or someone else.

    Maybe this is nothing. Likely. I want to think that they had a fight and he just walked off to cool down. They didn't go to any of the houses in the neighborhood...so they weren't there for a BBQ. But after strange thing #1 I am curious if this was some sort of vehicle drop.

    Now I try to keep up good SA most of the time...when I'm out. Home not so much...I know I should improve upon this. But I'm quite sure that my SA might seem complacent compared to some of you. I do live in a quiet mountain town and I do go onto the local cruise control sometimes. When something catches my attention...it's usually something very odd or out of place. Both of these events in such quick succession has me wondering if this quiet dead end neighborhood road is becoming a junction point for illicit transit. My neighborhood is within 2 miles of major interstate and highway junction. 2 years ago I probably might not have noticed either of these vehicles...but kids change that. We've started carrying regularly and as a result of taking on that responsibility we've become more observant. Paranoid? I hope not...just want to make sure my neighborhood remains safe....or I'm moving. Been keeping the 870 nearby at night.

    Do any of you feel these two events were strange? Would you have called the Sheriff in either situation?

    Sorry for the long post. Thanks for reading if you made it through.
    Last edited by rstickle; May 25th, 2010 at 12:16 PM. Reason: Language work around

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    Member Array Blownsvt's Avatar
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    Both of those situations seem pretty odd if you ask me. I think you are right on with your line of thinking. Dissapointing that it takes over 15 minutes to get someone to your place after calling 911. Just goes to show you how important it is to carry and take responsibility for your own safety.
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    Member Array 2ndAmend's Avatar
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    Sounds like the first one was a drug deal JMO. And the second sounds just like you thought, a couple got into an argument and he parked to cool off, again JMO.

    I live in a very nice neighborhood with little or no crime. Until you drive around the corner and boom drug deals right in plain view. I even called the county sheriffs department and they flat out told me it’s been going on long before I was born and there was nothing they could do about it.
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    Yup, that's strange. The first event sounds dirty. The second was likely a domestic dispute (the male possibly walked off with the keys).

    Unfinished sections of neighborhoods that I develop constantly attract bad things. The only way that I know of to combat it is by keeping pressure on the BG's. If they know I'm watching them, they prefer to go where somebody isn't. Your Sheriff will likely understand that and be willing to step up patrols in that area until the problem goes away?
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    Senior Member Array Snowman23's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blownsvt View Post
    Dissapointing that it takes over 15 minutes to get someone to your place after calling 911. Just goes to show you how important it is to carry and take responsibility for your own safety.
    I hope that response time was an isolated incident....but you never know. I've called once before when I had some skis stolen and they were there in 5 min. The Sheriff's office/dispatch is less than 1.5 miles from me. But it is a large county.

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    I think it's normal for us to relax when we're in the familiar setting of our own homes. Not quite Condition White, but certainly a paler shade of Yellow than when we're out and about.

    I think I would have been inclined to call the gendarmes on a non-emergency number to report the 4Runner, since it was a strange vehicle for your neighborhood, and the unusual behavior of the driver. Being alert to things out of the ordinary is a real good sense to hone these days, e.g., Times Square (NYC) last weekend, to cite a notorious example.
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    VIP Member Array SIGguy229's Avatar
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    Pictures....license plates...people....e-mailed to the sheriff's dept.
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    Senior Member Array Snowman23's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SIGguy229 View Post
    Pictures....license plates...people....e-mailed to the sheriff's dept.
    I agree, good idea. I tried to make out plate #'s but too far. BUT..I feel that this might draw more attention to my home than I want. I'd have to approach the vehicle to eyball the plates...or get close enough that the occupants might take notice of me. I have one lens for my camera that might shoot that far, but again...I'd be visible doing this from my back yard. Being noticed by the first 2 cars writing down a plate # or photgraphing would be a potential risk as they would now know which house called on them. Maybe some "sniper photography" techniques are appropriate....but unfortunately I don't own a gilly suit.

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    Member Array DZcarry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2ndAmend View Post
    I live in a very nice neighborhood with little or no crime. Until you drive around the corner and boom drug deals right in plain view. I even called the county sheriffs department and they flat out told me itís been going on long before I was born and there was nothing they could do about it.
    And this is why I always say the "War on Drugs" is a big joke!

    Down the street from where I grew up there was a police station. Directly across the street from that police station is one of the biggest drug areas in the whole city. In fact, drug deals took place at the store across the street.

    You want to know what the PD's solution was? Change the entrance to the police station so that it no longer faces the street. Now you enter the police station from the parking lot (ie away from the drug traffic). I don't think I've ever seen a cop patrol that area. From what I hear, if the residents call the cops it takes them 30 minutes to show up despite the fact that the station is literally across the street and down a block!
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    VIP Member Array Eagleks's Avatar
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    # 1.... sounds like a "deal"....

    # 2.... stolen vehicle, typical... park it away from where they live but can go back to it, or just abandon it all together.

    I had one like that. Called 911, car not reported stolen. Tracked where the person went... thru neighborhood and zig zagged streets to 1 mile away. Call 911 again when got back home, car not reported stolen. 10 minutes later, 911 calls me back telling me the care was "just reported stolen" and officer is on his way. Explain all to officer , who arrived in about 1-2 minutes, then asked him if he wanted the driver.... LOL. Took him to where the guy was, pointed him out, and he went to jail.

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    Senior Member Array ep1953's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eagleks View Post
    # 1.... sounds like a "deal"....

    # 2.... stolen vehicle, typical... park it away from where they live but can go back to it, or just abandon it all together.

    I had one like that. Called 911, car not reported stolen. Tracked where the person went... thru neighborhood and zig zagged streets to 1 mile away. Call 911 again when got back home, car not reported stolen. 10 minutes later, 911 calls me back telling me the care was "just reported stolen" and officer is on his way. Explain all to officer , who arrived in about 1-2 minutes, then asked him if he wanted the driver.... LOL. Took him to where the guy was, pointed him out, and he went to jail.
    Good job!

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    Distinguished Member Array Jason Storm's Avatar
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    My apartment complex in Richmond is pretty quiet too. But lately this weekend, a neighbor's front door was kicked in and broken into. And also last night as I was about to go to bed, there were about 6-7 police vehicles outside the apartment. I looked out my window (lights turned off) for about 5 min. but I didn't see anyone got arrested or in an ambulance. My point is you can never be too safe anywhere these days. Have a plan, have weapons to protect yourself, and be vigilant.

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    DM2
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    You might want to invest in an inexpensive pair of binoculars so you can see the plate numbers so you can give the police something to follow-up on.

    It sounds like the first scene was something sinister. If the police have something to follow-up on and the potential BG knows someone was watching, maybe they will chose a different location next time.
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    Distinguished Member Array ArmyCop's Avatar
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    I'd suggest - if anything like that happens again to not wait but call your SO as soon as you can so they might have a better chance of getting there before anyone of these people leave. Video from a discreet location also a good idea.

    Any of your neighbor's a cop?
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    Senior Member Array Snowman23's Avatar
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    DM2...agreed. I can't believe I don't own any binoculars. I spend most of the summer in the mountains or desert. Never crossed my mind...I'll be moving those to the top of the priority list.

    ArmyCop, nope...not that I know of. But the SO is about a mile or so away. I'll be watching a calling quicker if those scenarios begin to unfold again.

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