West Seattle door-to-door alert: Anybody home?

March 25, 2011 at 2:39 pm | In Door-to-door alert, West Seattle news | 15 Comments

Just out of the WSB inbox, a door-to-door alert (or maybe something more) regarding someone who turned up in the 4100 block of 41st SW – details after the jump:

A man about 25 yrs old, white w/brown hair, wearing a blue baseball cap & gray hooded sweatshirt just knocked on my door relatively lightly, which I heard from my downstairs office. As I came up the stairs, I saw him standing on my porch with his back to my door, looking out across the church parking lot across the street. He then turned around, opened my glass storm door, looked through the windows on my door, and appeared to be checking my door handle to see if it was locked. I then approached the door, and he saw me coming, As I opened my door, he asked if I wanted my lawn mowed. I said “no thanks” and he very quickly turned and went down my stairs and out to the street. I watched to see if he had a truck or any lawn tools, but he didn’t. Instead, he got onto a white mountain bike and pedald down 41st pretty quickly.

I walked out to the sidewalk to see if he was going house to house, but he was long gone by the time I got there.

I didn’t think much of it at first, but the aggressive move of opening my storm door and peering through the windows on my door, after not getting a response to his knocking, was a strong indicator that he wasn’t there to mow my lawn. If I’d been a step slower or hadn’t heard the knock, I might have been fighting with this guy in my living room.

He had about a day’s growth on his beard, and was little unkempt, with his pant leg tucked into his sock and his clothing a little messy, but not what I’d call dirty. Beware.

15 Comments

  1. Next time, call the bluff..tell him “Sure! But let’s see your I.D. first.” and see what the response is. Bet he takes off even faster.

    You were definitly being cased or about to be burgled/robbed.

    Remember, you have no obligation to open the door or even to be nice to someone just because they knocked if you do not know them and they are unexpected.

    There are far more cirminals than legit door to door salespeople.

    Comment by Jim P — 2:54 pm March 25, 2011 #

  2. This may sound like a stupid question, but did he have very thick eyebrows?

    Comment by CandrewB — 3:48 pm March 25, 2011 #

  3. About a month ago while walking my dog there was someone else with about the same description slowly riding a bike down various sidewalks in the neighborhood. This was about the time that packages were being stolen from front porches after mail or UPS delivery. I reported him to the police.

    Comment by Dan — 3:55 pm March 25, 2011 #

  4. What neighborhood was having packages stolen? We think one got nicked from our porch a couple of weeks ago.

    Comment by Keith — 4:13 pm March 25, 2011 #

  5. This has been reported to the police, right? As I read it, this person was one step away from committing a criminal trespass.

    Comment by JB — 4:34 pm March 25, 2011 #

  6. A very similar thing happened to us about about a month ago. At around 9:00 at night on a Friday we received a loud knock on the door. My husband went to the door and looked out the peep hole- it was a man in blue hooded sweatshirt and baseball hat. When we asked who it was he said ‘ADT’ checking to see how our service was. We asked for ID which he could not produce, nor was he wearing any sort of uniform. We didn’t open the door so he left quickly. We later called ADT to see if they had anyone in the neighborhood, to which they replied no. I don’t know what would have happened if we’d have opened the door, but it sounds like a similar sort of tactic.

    Comment by LTC — 6:48 pm March 25, 2011 #

  7. Right pant leg tucked into sock (for bicyclists) is to avoid ruining the pant leg from the bicycle chain grease. Other than that– thanks for the heads up; I’m trying to track down some missing mail (check) myself.

    Comment by bolo — 7:05 pm March 25, 2011 #

  8. Time to pass a law to stop door-to-door sales. It’s obvious that the balance now favors the bad over the good. What would you be giving up? I can’t think of a time I welcome a stranger beating on my door trying to sell me something.

    Comment by marty — 8:32 pm March 25, 2011 #

  9. About 7:50pm tonight (Friday) a man wearing a ADT uniform and carrying ADT yard signs came to my door with a promotion on a wireless alarm system and asking if he could put an ADT sign on the lawn. I asked for a business card for the landlord and he said he didn’t have one. He blushed a little bit and then he left. I closed the door quickly, it didn’t occur to me to go check where he would go next but my next door neighbor’s dogs were barking, so he probably just went to the next house.

    Does anyone know about burglaries in West Seattle related to alleged door to door alarm system sellers lately? The WSB posted a similar door-to-door alarm alert on March 5th.

    http://westseattleblog.com/2011/03/door-to-door-alert-alarmed-by-alarm-pitch

    Comment by Jenn_Westwood — 8:49 pm March 25, 2011 #

  10. This is exactly why that crime prevention cop who recently retired so adamantly asks us to all place NO SOLICITING signs on our doors. If we all do it then it will effectively outlaw door to door casing and we can all just let the police handle this.

    Comment by WSGuy — 9:14 pm March 25, 2011 #

  11. @Jenn,

    I think the same guy came to our door at 6:30 tonight. We live near high point. He had a slight frame, young twenties, fair complextion. I heard my dog barking and I thought she just wanted back in the house. I opened the door to find him standing there. I said I wasn’t interested before he could finish his pitch and he quickly left. Odd and a little unnerving.

    Comment by Nicole — 9:15 pm March 25, 2011 #

  12. I had a couple of devious looking young men knock on my door last week. I offered to introduce them to my large dogs after a couple of minutes of polite refusal to hear their pitch.

    The were so white the sun reflected from their faces created its own shadows and dressed in white shirts with collars and black slacks with dangerous looking sharp creases. Must have been starch users.

    I did not see their bicycles but they were probably down the block. I suspect they left them unlocked at the library bike rack.

    Should I have called to police?

    Comment by Ken — 5:56 am March 26, 2011 #

  13. a young man maybe early 20s white male, had a flashing light pounded on our windows/doors…we peeked through windows. Being it was almost 830pm so we decided not to open door. He seemed to be scoping out the house, i tried to see if he went to other homes, but couldnt see. I live near library off 35th…anyone encounter this guy? I mean who the heck knocks that late to sell?!

    Comment by ca — 10:33 am March 26, 2011 #

  14. Ca

    That sounds just like what happened to us in my post above.

    Comment by LTC — 1:35 pm March 26, 2011 #

  15. TR, what’s the policy with posting pictures on the WS Blog? I for one would love to see some pictures of these folks who come aknockin’ and just about every cell phone has a camera these days. If I got a good one of the person through the window, could it be posted with my report to you?

    Comment by Scooterista — 7:24 pm March 26, 2011 #

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