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Old July 10, 2013, 07:33 PM   #1
johnelmore
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Strange car outside

Im not exactly sure why but every once in a while I see a strange car outside on the street. In these situations I do not call the police because there is no law violated, but I just feel I have to make it known to the people in the car that yes we do see you.

So what I did just now was turn on the outside flood lights. By the time I got back upstairs the car was gone. It goes down like that every time.

I dont believe strangers should be actively engaged, but you should give them a hint that you are aware of them. For the strange man or vehicle on the street your level of awareness has to be raised and a subtle action taken letting the stranger know that yes we see you.
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Old July 10, 2013, 07:52 PM   #2
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Awareness is a good thing, but a lot of that depends on where you live.

In a high density urban environ, you might not know who's car is parked in front of your house. In a suburban environ, you might or might not know.

I used to live, literally, down a half-mile of bad road and the road ran out in my front yard. If you came down there, you either knew me personally, or you were "by-God" lost.
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Old July 10, 2013, 08:14 PM   #3
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Go retrieve your trash cans or your mail, with your magnum on your hip.


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Old July 10, 2013, 08:17 PM   #4
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Thats the kind of antagonistic behavior which should not be promoted or encouraged. I know you are probably kidding around, but this tbread is for the promotion of a more subtle approach to these strange situations.
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Old July 10, 2013, 08:36 PM   #5
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If it continues to happen I would call the police before turning on the flood lights. If they are outside your home they are not a threat, but are a POTENTIAL threat. Doesn't hurt to have the cops ask them a few questions. Could be burglars casing your house or could be a couple that decided your street is quiet, and dark enough for their rendezvous. Ya never know.

I would not leave the safety of your home to engage them.
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Old July 10, 2013, 08:39 PM   #6
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I'm not kidding in the least. I walk around my home, outside, openly carrying. I'm not saying go up to the guy and confront him. Just wash your car windows or check your mail. It's not antagonistic in my state. Yours may be different.

If you feel like that's a little too much then go outside and make a call on your cellphone. Call your home answering machine if you don't have anyone to call.

Do you have his license number, make model color car? Description of the occupant(s)? Photos?

If I understand correctly, you turn on the outside lights and he drives off. But he comes back later or the next day. Is it the exact same time every day? That can be a big clue. Daytime or night time? I guess if you turn the lights on it's always night time.

What's your gut tell you he's doing? What does he seem to be doing while parked there? Is he looking down at something (map, texting, laptop)? Is he looking up, watching some house? Is he the one your neighbor is cheating with, waiting for you neighbor's spouse to leave? Is he a Pvt Investigator watching one of your neighbors who is cheating on their spouse or claiming insurance disability? Is he a divorced dad picking up his kid for visitation from his ex-wife, your neighbor?


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Old July 10, 2013, 09:11 PM   #7
johnelmore
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Openly carrying may let people know what you have inside the home so when you are gone they have more reason to come inside.

Now this isnt the same person. Over the years there is always a random car every so often. They could be kids or just lost...who knows, its probably something innocent, but just in case I want to show them that someone is watching.
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Old July 10, 2013, 09:21 PM   #8
Dragline45
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I wouldn't be overly concerned. There's a pretty good chance it's a car full of teenagers smoking pot. Don't ask how I know

It kinda does depend on where you live though. I grew up less than a 5 minute drive from Boston and it was not at all uncommon for someone to stop and sit on the brick wall or stairs in front of your house. Almost every house in my town was a 2 or even 3 family house so you were constantly seeing people you don't know.

Last edited by Dragline45; July 10, 2013 at 09:31 PM.
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Old July 10, 2013, 09:25 PM   #9
GJSchulze
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Get some binoculars and start logging the license plate. If the same one shows up a few times, call the police to have them check it out. Could it be any kind of criminal activity that generates traffic?
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Old July 10, 2013, 09:29 PM   #10
ClydeFrog
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Tag #....

If no one is around it & it's not moving, Id note the license tag #.
If it still sits there without moving for long periods, contact your local code enforcement office. They can cite it, then if it sits around, tow it away.

I lived in the metro Pittburgh PA area in the 1990s. My landlord(a former mayor & "big wheel" in local politics) would contact the code enforcement guys all the time for disabled or abandoned motor vehicles.

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PS: Be aware that sometimes, the "vehicle" may be a auto theft bait car or in use by a PI or narcotics cop.
I've run across all types of cops & armed professionals with strange vehicles; Deputy US Marshals, US Secret Service, ICE, PIs, bail agents, DEA, etc.
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Old July 10, 2013, 10:32 PM   #11
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Sounds like they may have you well trained.

What will they do when the lights don't come on?
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Old July 10, 2013, 10:33 PM   #12
Koda94
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Quote:
but this tbread is for the promotion of a more subtle approach to these strange situations.
Why be so subtle?

why not go out and take note of the license plate and take a photo of the car? That might not be so subtle, but not unexpected for any neighborhood watch program. Since the car eventually returns, it seems they don't care so much about the flood lights (I think Treg has a good point). If the suspects know you have a permanent record of their vehicle then they might be inclined to find an easier neighborhood to victimize than yours...



FWIW: I don't view Sgt Lumpys suggestion as antagonistic. Not what I would necessarily do, but not antagonistic.
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Old July 10, 2013, 11:11 PM   #13
SgtLumpy
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Quote:
but just in case I want to show them that someone is watching.
Show 'em.

If open carry bothers you, then CCW. Or don't carry if you feel that safe. Go out and water your plants. Pick up your newspaper. Don't have a newspaper? Get one and leave it on your driveway till they come back again.

Call a friend. Have him come over to "pick something up". Have your friend innocently pull up in back of the car a couple of car lengths but leave his lights on. Or have him just pull into your driveway. You go out and meet your friend. While the two of you are out there talking, take photos, take down lic numbers etc. The friend angle gives you an innocent way to go out there. It's your house. You have every right to be in your front yard.

There's a gazillion ways to try and get them to move along. Try several. I don't recommend doing the same thing every time. And I don't recommend relegating it to "It's probably ok" status.


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Old July 11, 2013, 12:23 AM   #14
srtolly1
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Re: Strange car outside

I used to live on a country road and would occasionally see strange vehicles. I just walked up to them and asked if they needed any help.

Usually just lost.
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Old July 11, 2013, 12:34 AM   #15
BuckRub
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That was me ! Just trying to nock a piece off and then I seen the porch lights come on , we then had to move a couple miles.

Last edited by BuckRub; July 11, 2013 at 01:43 AM.
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Old July 11, 2013, 01:27 AM   #16
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If I were that afraid in my home, I'd move.
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Old July 11, 2013, 01:39 AM   #17
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Replace one of the flood lights with one that has a automatic sensor, when they drive up it will automatically go off and I doubt that you will see that car around after that.

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Old July 11, 2013, 07:31 AM   #18
wayneinFL
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Quote:

If I were that afraid in my home, I'd move.
If I had neighbors that didn't look out for each other, I'd move.
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Old July 11, 2013, 08:00 AM   #19
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Could well be one of your neighbors is an escort.
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Old July 11, 2013, 08:06 AM   #20
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Just be sure to get the make and liscence#. Then just leave him/her alone. The light trick seems to work well also.
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Old July 11, 2013, 08:44 AM   #21
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call the cops, give them the vehicle description and ask for more patrols in your area. Bad guys will be less likely to show up if they know cops are cruising the area on a regular basis.

If its legal in your area I would walk outside and let them know I am armed, I have the description of the vehicle and people inside
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Old July 11, 2013, 09:08 AM   #22
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Thats the kind of antagonistic behavior which should not be promoted or encouraged. I know you are probably kidding around, but this tbread is for the promotion of a more subtle approach to these strange situations.
Open carry of a firearm on one's own property isn't antagonistic. It's your right to do so, as long as you don't do so in a threatening manner.
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Old July 11, 2013, 09:25 AM   #23
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Go out with a video recorder or a camera. Then they will know you have recorded of them and their license plate.

It could be many things, a few "strange cars" I have seen turned out to be undercover LE, gotta be careful who you make subtle threats to.

I have also heard of cases where property owners went out into yards with guns and people reported exaggerated accounts that turned into felony charges for the property owners.
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Old July 11, 2013, 10:15 AM   #24
Brian Pfleuger
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Some of these opinions should be embarrassing, frankly.

This is a DIFFERENT car, EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE, over the course of YEARS.

Anyone can seriously tell me that they've never stopped their car on a unknown street for a few minutes? You've never had someone turn on their lights in their house when you've stopped on a street? What do you do? Most of us drive away because we don't want to bother someone and or have them come out and ask us what's up when NOTHING is up, we just had to stop for a minute for any of 10,000 reasons.

Go outside and take pictures? What will they do? They'll leave! How suspicious! No... they'll leave because there's some guy taking pictures of them for no damn reason! They'll be weirded out!

Go out side and wander around with a gun?

Go TELL THEM you have a gun? You've got to be kidding! If I pulled my car over and you came out and told me you had a gun, I'd be calling the cops ON YOU! I would absolutely consider that a threat.
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Old July 11, 2013, 10:28 AM   #25
SgtLumpy
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Brian -

We didn't learn it was a different car, over the period of years, till later in the thread.

In my state at least, it's perfectly legal and common for people to walk around openly carrying, not only on their own property but at Wally World, Grocery store, restaurants etc.

If you were parked in front of my house, and I came out with a holstered pistol while I washed my car (which I do all the time), and you then called the cops, that would have ended in a good resolution. The cops would verify that I'm ok and that you're ok. And that is the desired outcome here isn't it? To verify that the stranger is ok?

The original question was posted to a gun forum. Then the OP, and apparently you, feel it's not appropriate to suggest a perfectly legal gun related resolve to the problem. I'm not exactly sure what the OP is hoping to hear. Sounds to me like he's talked himself into thinking "it's probably ok". In which case, I'm not sure why the post in the first place.


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