Just out of the WSB inbox from Andrea, who began, “Just wanted to get the word out about a brazen solicitor who stopped by today:”
This afternoon I had a disturbing experience involving someone soliciting (casing) door-to-door. I live in Gatewood Gardens around 41st an SW Holly and was working from home today with my car visible in the driveway. At about 2:30-3:00 the doorbell rang, I looked through the peephole and didn’t recognize the person so called through the door that I don’t answer to strangers. I have a massive cedar slab front door and a pretty soft voice so I’m relatively sure that the person didn’t hear me. I looked through the peephole again and notice that he was flipping my doormat up with his shoe, I can only guess he was hoping to find a key.
It was an incredibly creepy feeling to actually watch someone deliberately seek out a way to gain access though I’m sure it’s standard operating procedure. The guy left the porch and went down the front walk, I went to my bedroom window and called out to him absolutely did not want to give the impression that there was no one home. He was somewhere between 5’ 10” – 6’, Caucasian, wearing khakis, a polo type shirt that was yellow or light orange and a red and black ball cap, brown hair and had startling blue eyes. He gave me a spiel about collecting for a charity benefitting Police Officers, and showed me a notebook with some flyers encased in plastic, he sounded very vague about what the purpose of the organization was or how the contributions were used. I told him I choose to give in other ways and he gave a deep sigh and went on his way. Due to the angle of the window I couldn’t see if he hit up any other houses but I know my next-door neighbors were also home.
This guy’s boldness was definitely troubling – I’m looking into other security measures though you would think the 900 ADT signs in the front and backyards would be some deterrent!
A reminder that if you think someone is suspicious, police would rather hear from you and – if they’re not on life-safety calls – confirm the person is not; we had a “casing?” report here recently that was verified by police as an actual solicitor, since they had already checked the guy out. Also one note re: Andrea’s account – police do recommend that even if you don’t want to answer the door, do make some noise to let the person know someone is home (such as, shout, SORRY, CAN’T COME TO THE DOOR), otherwise, if they ARE a burglar, you might find yourself face-to-face with them shortly.