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Old September 19, 2006, 08:11 PM   #1
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Doorbell rings at 2:45 AM...what do you do?

I had seen a few of these stories posted before. I have had a previous experience with this as well. This happened early one morning. At 2:45 AM the doorbell rings. It woke us up. I waited, and it rang again and again. I obtained some protection, and went to check out the situation. The girlfriend was ready to call 911. I live in a duplex, and share a locked entry door with the neighbor. I can crack my front door open, and see who's outside the entry door.

It wasn't anyone I knew. He didn't dress like anyone I knew either. Full urban "Gangsta" complete with offset baseball hat and NBA jersey.

"Is T there?" he asked.

"No!" I yelled back. "You got the wrong address! Get out of here!"

"I just want to talk to T!" he said again.

The girl who lives next door is not known as "T" to the best of my knowledge.

I yelled back, "Get the **** outta here! You got the wrong house! Get outta here! I'm calling the cops!"

He then left, saying "You don't have to be an ***hole!" and preceded to tell me to ****off.

I watched him walk down the sidewalk until he disappeared. Our neighborhood has had occasional break-ins occur before. Years ago, they finally got some serial burglars that would use the knock and bash technique. If no one answered, the would kick the door in figuring the owners were gone. If someone answered, they would ask for somebody, then they would split. That's why I answered the door with protection. I didn't call the police; I know it's not against the law to ring someone's doorbell at 2:45 AM. However, I think next time I will dial 911, and they can deal with a suspicious person walking around the neighborhood in the middle of the night.

Do you think calling the police when someone who you consider suspicious knocks on the door is overreacting? Or is is a good idea? I'm starting to think it's a good idea.
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Old September 19, 2006, 08:21 PM   #2
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Roll over, think who the hell is ringing the doorbell, think if it is important and someboy I know they will call. Listen for breaking and entry. If no other noises are heard go back to bed. If break in noises are heard call 911, wait in bedroom with two 12 gauges pointed at door. If door is forced open many many .32 caliber pellets get fired. Rinse and repeat as necessary.

I don't answer doors at 2:45 AM without a call first.

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Old September 19, 2006, 08:34 PM   #3
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I'd look out the peephole of my front door. D'uh.

I will not be a victim

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Old September 19, 2006, 08:56 PM   #4
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First, I would hope that I already heard from them before they got up on either of the porches where they could ring the bell.

Whether or not I did hear them, . . . they shouldn't see me, before I kick on the lights that illuminate them 100%, and will only do that after I am up, armed, and shoes on.

That is some of the advantages of a gravel driveway and living 600 ft off the road.

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Old September 19, 2006, 11:35 PM   #5
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Grab fanny pack that lives next to my bed (in an unlocked lockbox -- bedroom door locked). Inside fanny pack is loaded gun, flashlight, cell phone, spare mag.

Grab robe.

Grab cordless phone and carry it to door with me. (Expect husband, IF he is home, and IF he woke up, to be holding the other cordless phone, and watching the hallway where the kids are.)

Look through peephole. Odds are it's (yet another) person who ran off the road into the ditch on our rural highway.

Shove cordless phone out the door at the person, unless they are visibly in need of *immediate* first aid, and let them call 911. Expect husband to listen in to give address details as necessary (and to make sure they're not calling China on our dime).

Go back to bed.

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Old September 19, 2006, 11:37 PM   #6
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I like the idea of getting in position armed and safty off, and keep quiet, if he kicks in the door, well, that's one less criminal on the street.
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Old September 19, 2006, 11:46 PM   #7
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My brother has recently had some trouble with some drunks a few streets down, so I'd also have a phone handy, as well as a loaded shotgun and pistol.

Otherwise, I'd look out the front window there, unarmed.
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Old September 19, 2006, 11:52 PM   #8
chris in va
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Sad that it's come to this. God help anybody that breaks down on the highway and goes to the nearest house...
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Old September 20, 2006, 12:09 AM   #9
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Your right, it is a sad world where everyone is suspicious of each other.
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Old September 20, 2006, 01:57 AM   #10
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I live on a quiet side street in a fairly good neighborhood, BUT we have some pre-pubescent males here who like to ring doorbells and then run away. Their parents seem to be clueless about where they are.

I'm somewhat nocturnal, so I'm usually up late hours. If I'm still dressed, it means I've got a cellphone in my pocket.

I have had one 12-year-old down the street twist the knobs trying to get into the house. I hate that kid.

My first thing in the wee hours is to turn on every outside light and look to see who's there. If it isn't someone I recognize, that's when I drop the bedside gun into my pocket and call 911. If I don't know who's there, I don't open the door. Haven't had to fire that .38 for HD and hope I never have to.
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Old September 20, 2006, 02:51 AM   #11
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Read the first post. Does this REALLY sound like a breakdown to you?

I don't answer the door unarmed even in daylight, let alone after dark. After dark, they get told to go away thru a closed door. At 0245 I wouldn't even bother being polite about it.

If somebody knocks on my door at 0245 claiming a breakdown, I'll offer to call for help thru the closed door, but that's it. I'd probably just call the local PD (non-911) and let them deal with it.

EDIT: Unless you have no choice, don't use a peephole. The person outside can see it darken and could shoot thru the door, or kick it in at that moment hitting you in the face. Better to look thru a side window if you can.

Sad that it's come to this. God help anybody that breaks down on the highway and goes to the nearest house...
I am a Soldier. I fight where I'm told, and I win where I fight."

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Old September 20, 2006, 03:16 AM   #12
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Just a few nights ago. door bell then firm knocks, 145 am.

I go down stairs to the door and flip on the front lights, I have streamlight and 45 in my hand. peak out the little window and it's a Cop, one I know.

Heart crashes to the floor, daughter is out for the evening supposedly at a sleep over but you know kids.....Open the door, flashlight and 45 still in hand, " Is it (daughter)" and his eyes pop open, " Ohhh no Do you own the red mitsubishi in the street?" Never has a cop said something that happy to me, No did not own the car, but it was one of daughters friends, she had left a back pack on the seat, someone broke in and grabbed the backpack.

We walked out the car, I found a sheet of plastic to cover the window and some tape, Got a broom too to sweep up the glass.

He said, he was not thinking when he banged on the door, he had seen the TV flickering in the window, son had fallen asleep with it on, and he figured we were up, Told him all I could think of was he was sent to us to notify us that (daughter) had been killed or injured in a crash. He said they never do that with just one cop, and usually try to find a Preacher when they do.

I offered him a coke when we were done, but he had just bought one when he had seen the broken glass in the street. Could not sleep till almost dawn after that.
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Old September 20, 2006, 03:39 AM   #13
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Hate to burst your bubble, but those peepholes in the doors aren't all that secure.

Any joe blow can buy one of these and use it to look INTO your house.
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Old September 20, 2006, 06:11 AM   #14
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Before my brains had surpassed my testicles we had a knock on the door at grandmas house around 11pm (During the week I would stay at grannys because I worked next door). My grandmother asked who is it. We heard mumbled voices and yet another knock only harder. I sprung up and grabbed my mini-14 (all I had back then) I chambered a round and grandma opened the door. Nobody on the porch so I stepped out and looked both ways only to see two guys running away. Perhaps they heard the mini being chambered who knows, I do believe they were up to no good though. Now i would have called police after getting the mini........going outside was dumb. If they break in well.......thats dumb too.
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Old September 20, 2006, 07:50 AM   #15
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Like most of you, I'd get up and holler through the door, gun firmly in hand. Which gun is not important. Tactics and planning are.

As for peepholes... I keep a small 3M Post-It note over the peephole, negating the "advantage" of the darkened lens from the outside and the possibility that someone is using a reversing-lens to see inside.

If you're wearing shoes, before getting to the door, lift your toes up and dig your heel in so that your foot will jam the door if it's kicked. Yes, you may break a toe or two if it happens, but at that point I'll be firing on my way backwards.

It's generally recommended that you say nothing when peeping out the peep hole and then step aside of the door before answering. Doors don't stop bullets. If you can turn on the porch lights without being behind the door, do it, otherwise move quickly aside when you do.

If someone did run off the road or is asking for help, call the PD for them. Ask if they or anyone else is hurt.
BillCA in CA (Unfortunately)
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Old September 20, 2006, 08:01 AM   #16
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1. I don't have a doorbell and my neighbors know that.
2. the only people who knock are the magazine, cookie, religion, real estate sellers.
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Old September 20, 2006, 08:07 AM   #17
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People that know me know to call first. I don't acknowledge the uninvited. I've never had anyone show up at my door uninivited at anytime actually have something meaningful to me to talk about.
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Old September 20, 2006, 08:54 AM   #18
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This happened to me some time last year. It was about 3am. I remember being extremely irritated because I had to work the next day so it had to be any day but Friday or Saturday. I can't remember exactly.

Found out it's some dude in his early-mid 20's asking for some girl named whatever I can't remember. He had obviously been drinking. Probably looking for the bar rag for which he'd been buying drinks all night. After creatively telling him what I thought of him and his mistake of waking me up, I went back to bed but hardly slept due to being so mad.

Had .45 and flashlight in hand from the moment I woke up and realized what was going on. Never needed it, which is thankfully always the case.
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Old September 20, 2006, 01:24 PM   #19
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Remember for a parent the only thing worse than a wrong number at 3:00am is a right number.

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Old September 20, 2006, 03:08 PM   #20
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As a Certified "Old Fogey" that lives alone, I wear a "Help I've fallen and can't get up button." One press and all hell breaks loose. The Fire Station where the Rescue Squad and Fire Engine, both respond, is about 1/4 mile away and a Sheriff's sub-station one block further. They will all be on the way. Wheeeee!!
People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence in their behalf. - George Orwell
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Old September 20, 2006, 03:51 PM   #21
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I suspect a rung doorbell correlates with a lower rate of criminal intent than would a stealthier type of nightly contact, such as someone snooping around or quietly tugging on door handles.

My response would vary depending on what I observe, and who else is with me in the house. The wife and other family are all gun-friendly and have some training, so having a full house means I'd have a lot of help should anything crazy go down.
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Old September 20, 2006, 06:06 PM   #22
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I spoke with a police officer about the incident. He said don't hesitate to call if you think someone suspicious is knocking at the door. They can handle it. They can confront the individual and find out what's going on.

I also noticed that the person unscrewed my light bulbs in my motion light. That's why it was so dark when I peeked out. That seems suspicious to me...

We have had several knock and smash robberies in my city. They knock on the door, and if no one answers, the kick the door in and take what they can. I let him know that someone was home, and that he wasn't welcome. Crime is way up here in Minneapolis, along with our taxes.

I will not be a victim.
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Old September 20, 2006, 06:30 PM   #23
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I live in an old house in a quiet town. Our front door has a big (2'x4') single pane window in it, and a large sidelight on either side (with 20" x 64" single pane windows in them). Although it may provide a seemingly tactical disadvantage, I also feel that I could readily see someone right outside the door. If I got a knock at 2:45 AM, however, you can bet that I wouldn't be going downstairs unarmed and carefully. I hope no one would be foolish enough to try a knock and smash here
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Old September 20, 2006, 06:38 PM   #24
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Any strange bumps, bangs or knocks always are received with a loaded handgun. A glock 22 and/or a S&W 637 live within arms reach at all times. My thought is if someone knocks or is generally sniffing around my house after dark is there for no good reason. I generally do not turn on any lights and investigate in stealth mode. I do not answer my door any time after 11pm but would be ready.
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Old September 20, 2006, 06:54 PM   #25
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Thanks for the info about the peepholes, even that delivered in a less than friendly manner.

Of course, if it's 3 a.m. their reverse spyhole gizmo better have night vision because they're going to be looking into a very dark house. So I'm not sure how that would work...

I will not be a victim

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"I couldn't hear you. Stop firing the gun while you're talking!" Frank Drebin, The Naked Gun
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