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Old June 26, 2013, 09:22 AM   #1
johnelmore
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Door bell rang at 2am, called the police

My door bell rang a few times at 2am. It may be the usual course in certain areas for the door bell to ring at this hour, but its never happened to me in all the time Ive lived in the area. Its a very quiet area and I dont know anyone who would just ring my bell at 2am.

I thought of the homeowners who Ive read about in the news who go to investigate it with their firearm only to encounter legal trouble later on or who dont investigate it at all only to have their door kicked in to confront the intruder. So, as silly as it sounds, I called the police because my doorbell rang. They sent one car down who ran up the street a few times with a flood light, flashed a light in my yard and comforted me saying it must be a short circuit in my bell. I was pretty confident it was no short circuit.

So the moral of the story is not to feel bashful especially when you are the one paying the property tax bill. Let the police investigate these unusual occurrences and bumps in the night. Dont go it alone with pistol in hand like John Wayne and get yourself in legal trouble making all us firearm owners look bad in the process.

Just thought I might share...have a great day.
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Old June 26, 2013, 09:27 AM   #2
jrothWA
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I'll be checking the door..

from my window overlooking the front door.

With firearm available.
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Old June 26, 2013, 09:29 AM   #3
kraigwy
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Depends on where you are. If my doorbell rang (except I don't have one) at 2 AM and I called the sheriff, I'd be lucky if they got here by daylight.

One way, it to mount a mirror on a window that allows you to view the front (or back) door.

That way, without exposure, you can see who's there.
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Old June 26, 2013, 09:35 AM   #4
MLeake
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I take issue with the "John Wayne" and "making all us firearm owners look bad" comments.

If the doorbell rings at 2am, it could very well be bad guys. But this is also true, if not more true, at 2pm - most burglars seem to prefer daytime, on the assumption that people will be at work.

Who might ring my doorbell at 2am, other than a bad guy?

From past personal and second-hand (friends) experience...

... a friend who is not coping well with a divorce, and has just closed the bar;

... an unknown but inebriated person who has gone to the wrong apartment;

... an unknown but not inebriated person who has had a vehicle accident down the road.

I'm not saying it would be inappropriate to call 911, and in the last case that would actually be beneficial (as it might in the second case).

I am saying that it is not particularly "John Wayne"-esque to answer the door, though I would not open it to somebody I don't know. It's easy enough to talk through a closed door, and to get a glimpse of the person through windows.

If it isn't at your place, you might consider installing peepholes or fiber optics.

I also do not think it makes firearm owners look bad to answer the door, armed. Frankly, I usually have a concealed handgun on my person, so I pretty much always answer the door, armed.

I also usually answer the door, or my wife does, accompanied by a very curious and audible pair of dogs, one of which is a 60lb pit mix. This seems to provide a pretty good deterrent, based on the cautious reactions of every person who has ever come to our door, who has not been introduced to the dogs.

Last point is, if it is a burglar, NOT answering the door could very well be followed by the kicking in of the door, by the burglar who thinks nobody is home.
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Old June 26, 2013, 09:38 AM   #5
kraigwy
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Quote:
most burglars seem to prefer daytime
Home invaders don't.
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Old June 26, 2013, 09:40 AM   #6
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Also true. Still, will NOT answering the door deter the home invader?
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Old June 26, 2013, 09:44 AM   #7
MLeake
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Really, let's look at other things we might consider if we want to avoid the need for gunplay...

Good locks, on solid exterior doors, to include deadbolts.

Locks on all windows.

Good exterior, motion-detector lighting.

Landscaping and architectural features that do NOT allow hiding places near potential breach points.

Gates and fences for keeping unknown vehicles out.

Security alarm system.

Remotely controllable interior and exterior lighting.

Dogs (if homeowners are dog people).

Awareness when arriving / departing (since BGs could wait near the gate or garage door, for gates or doors to open).

Landline phone plus cell phone (911 gets an address from a landline immediately, not so with cells; BGs can disable landlines easily, not so with cell phones).

I'm sure there are other considerations, but you get the idea.

Last edited by MLeake; June 26, 2013 at 10:03 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old June 26, 2013, 10:00 AM   #8
MasterGadgets
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"I take issue with the "John Wayne" and "making all us firearm owners look bad" comments."

I too take issue with that statement.

To not take action [arming yourself and investigating] could bring harm on youself and or your loved ones.

As the Supreme Court is fond of saying, "it's not the job of the police to protect you"

The police may not show up untill after you and your loved ones are dead! [This is not meant as LEO bashing]

PROTECT YOURSELF!
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Old June 26, 2013, 10:04 AM   #9
Oceanbob
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Another good reason to install a home camera system with several cameras.

That way you can 'see' the person ringing that bell and have it on an SD Card for later viewing. (or whatever harddrive you feed it to). These systems are surprisingly affordable; even Costco has a couple.

Motion sensors that light up (at least) the porch areas (front and back).

A dog. Bad guys don't like Dogs much...

All doors hardened enough that 'kicking' them in would be very difficult.

Windows that offer no opportunity to gain entry without breaking them.

It's not just about your safety at night (or day) but it's about keeping your family safe when you're not around.

Also, my wife and daughter (the youngest of 5 who at age 13 owns a Glock 19) are fully capable of weapon handling 'if' any intruders do manage to get inside. (god forbid).

While we know and love our Police Department we also understand that they can never protect us from the bad people that live in our world. While burglers sometimes work alone, home invasion criminals are usually two or more people with a plan. We know from recent home invasions (who were caught) that people get raped and murdered and the Perps offer no compassion or empathy for other humans.

JMO
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Old June 26, 2013, 10:08 AM   #10
deepcreek
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probability 1 - kids sneaking out playing pranks.

Maybe try taking deep breath, wringing hands and say "it will be ok" "I have protection if it is more serious" "I know I am not John Wayne but I am also not a 90yr old helpless widow"

just a thought.
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Old June 26, 2013, 10:30 AM   #11
overkill0084
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If my door bell rings at 0200, I'm going to go have a look.
Where I live, it's will have most likely been a couple bored kids screwing around. Ding Dong ditch is not a particularly rare occurrence around here. It's happened before. The only time police were involved was when they didn't know when to quit and elevated it to egging.
It could be a neighbor with a problem.
It could be the police evacuating the street because some guy managed to get into a standoff the next block over(not as rare as many would think these days.)
It could be a friend or coworker who needs something.
It could be one of the local utilities dealing with a problem (gas leak, busted water main.)
Any number of people could ring your doorbell at 0200. Not all are worth involving the police over. Making an effort to eliminate mundane non-criminal activities is worthwhile. Sure, our taxes pay for law enforcement, but that doesn't give one carte blanche to waste their time either.
While I'm no bad ass by any stretch of the imagination, but I'm also not going to cower in a closet waiting for the all clear from the police when it's just as easy to get up and look through a window.
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Old June 26, 2013, 10:49 AM   #12
Constantine
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Quote:
Dont go it alone with pistol in hand like John Wayne and get yourself in legal trouble making all us firearm owners look bad in the process.
That is the silliest thing I've read in a while.

MasterGadgets, MLeake, and deepcreek pretty much summed up my response.

What's wrong with having 911 on the line just in case you give the call to send a unit while you check the door with gun in hand?
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Old June 26, 2013, 11:30 AM   #13
allaroundhunter
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I regularly have friends show up at 2AM.... But that is probably because I am a college student and that is the only time when we can get a study group going...

Now, if I am home and the doorbell rings at 2AM I'll check the front door from a different window. Is that "John Wayne" of me? I don't think so, but maybe it is to the OP... The police are a good 20 minutes from my house if they are in a hurry so I'll go ahead and take my chances. Besides, they usually have much bigger things to worry about at that time of night than playing butler for me.
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Old June 26, 2013, 04:42 PM   #14
markj
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Last time my bell rung at 2am there was a bag on fire there, I of course kicked it off the porch as Ionce did the same thing dont stomp on that bag....

Put up a lite has a motion sensor, outside of course. Will lite up the person so you can see who it is before you blast away with the 500 magnum...
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Old June 26, 2013, 05:05 PM   #15
tws92E05
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I used to have a neighbor that did not believe anyone should own a firearm of any kind unless they were LEO. I asked him who was supposed to protect his family if someone were to break in, in the middle of the night. He told me you (since I am a LEO). I explained to him that if I can get there in time that yes I would put myself in harms way to protect his family but that was not my job, it was his job to protect his own family. I never could wrap my head around his type of thinking, still can't to this day.

By all means always call the police but when they get there 30 minutes later hopefully you will still be alive. Me personally I will take my chances and have gun in hand. If legal action ensues so be it, as the old saying goes I would rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6.
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Old June 26, 2013, 05:53 PM   #16
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Lots of very inexpensive camera/recording and view-only camera options. This has served me well over the last 20 years, catching everything from 'ring-and-run' pranksters to a burglar.
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Old June 26, 2013, 06:25 PM   #17
357 Python
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Working the 4PM - Midnight shift I wouldn't be in bed long if someone knoked on my door at 2AM. My way of answering it is simple. With pistol in hand and badge showing (Police Officer) I would look through the peep hole. If I didn't see anything (front of house has a street light across the street) I would cut the porch light on. If I saw something I didn't like my wife calls 911 and we wait. If what ever is there moves to the side of the house I get my 870 and meet them before they get to my backdoor. I would rather take care of it outside instead of it coming inside.
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Old June 26, 2013, 06:39 PM   #18
SIGSHR
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I would look at how the doors are set up. In my abode the outer glass/screen door opens OUT, the main door opens IN. Hence someone intent on mayhem has one barrier to get through, it might not stop him but it will sure slow him down and will constitute a clear case of B&E. I have a light sensitive outside light, I do NOT turn on the inside light. An old fashioned Dutch door seems like a good idea, lets you face whoever's there without allowing them full access and you can keep your firearm concealed in your hand.
Even here in NJ having a gun in your hand inside your own dwelling is not considered "brandishing."
"John Wayne" ? What was it he said ?
"Life's tough. It's tougher when you're stupid."
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Old June 26, 2013, 06:52 PM   #19
spacemanspiff
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Time of day matters little in my home. If I don't wish to open up for those at my door, I simply don't open the door. Don't matter if its 9am 3pm or 2am. Just because someone is knocking at my door doesnt mean I am obliged to open it.

Goes same for those who try to reach me on my cell phone. If I dont want to answer I dont.
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Old June 26, 2013, 07:05 PM   #20
Double Naught Spy
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Quote:
So, as silly as it sounds, I called the police because my doorbell rang. They sent one car down who ran up the street a few times with a flood light, flashed a light in my yard and comforted me saying it must be a short circuit in my bell. I was pretty confident it was no short circuit.

So the moral of the story is not to feel bashful especially when you are the one paying the property tax bill.
Well it does sound pretty silly that you called the cops because your doorbell functioned as you intended for it to do.

No reason to be bashful to call the cops, if you have a legitimate problem. You didn't have any sort of legitimate problem. You called the cops out of ignorance and I would assume, fear of the unknown.

Time for you to disconnect your doorbell.
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Old June 26, 2013, 07:27 PM   #21
CharlieDeltaJuliet
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Brother, trust me, follow your instincts. I had mine ring one night. I answered the door with a P90 Ruger in my hand behind the door. The guy tried to push his way in(he was drunk and it was raining). I shoved the .45 in his face and he left. I called the police. He went to the neighbors house,1/2 mile down the road and tried kicking her door in. He had a buddy hiding in the bushes and they hung her dog with a garden hose. The deputy showed up 20-30 minutes after I called and 15 minutes after she called 911. They had two deputies on duty, the one that answered was across the county, the other was on his lunch break and they couldn't reach him... (This was before cell phones were popular, 20+ years ago).

So the moral is, if you get a feeling to all the cops, do so. But always be careful at that time of night especially.
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Old June 26, 2013, 07:41 PM   #22
AL45
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I see nothing wrong with calling the Police and then arming yourself and investigating. A few years ago, there was a wreck in front of my house at around 2 am. It woke me up and I went outside to check on the victim and then called the Polce and ambulance. When the Police tried to notify the owner of the car that was hit, he wouldn't come to the door. The next day he told me that he heard the wreck and heard someone knocking on his door, but he was afraid to check things out. I can't imagine not investigating a noise in the night.
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Old June 26, 2013, 07:57 PM   #23
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357Python, I agree that business should be taken care of outside. A while back, a young lady in Oklahoma killed an intruder after he had gotten in her house. She had called the Police and it took a considerable time for them to arrive. The intruder had made several attempts to enter her house and had been warned by the lady to leave. I believe that she had spotted a knife in his hand. On another "gun Site" I stated that she should have shot him through the door or window after she saw him as a threat. Why should she have to wait for him to enter her house, I asked. I was ripped apart by others on that "gun site". I don't suggest going outside and confronting them but if they are trying to beat your door down, they are obviously intent on doing harm and have been warned, I see nothing wrong with sending lead through the door.
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Old June 26, 2013, 08:46 PM   #24
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Quote:
I take issue with the "John Wayne" and "making all us firearm owners look bad" comments.
As do I. I answer the door armed at all times, if I answer it at all. At 2am, I'll be on high alert, if it ever rings at that time. That's just about the time I go to bed, so I could even be in my jammies and the gun will be in my hand as I'm heading toward the bedroom. I can see who's on the porch from the dining room window in either house and both places have security lighting. The new place will also sport a multi/camera and DVR surveillance system when I am fully settled. I've heard some don't even lock their doors. Tough. I'm taking no chances.
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Old June 26, 2013, 10:53 PM   #25
Double Naught Spy
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I see nothing wrong with calling the Police and then arming yourself and investigating.
What is the actual basis for calling the cops when your doorbell rings at night? Do you call the non-emergency number or do you call 911? If you call the non-emergency number because you have no actual emergency, then what good is it doing you? You aren't a priority call and somebody will come at their convenience, if at all. Why call 911, though, if there is no emergency?

Preemptively calling the cops because somebody has come to your public entrance (front door) but isn't threatening you in any way is somewhat absurd, especially when there are other folks out there who may actually need the cops.
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