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Old July 11, 2013, 10:42 AM   #26
Brian Pfleuger
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Several issues:

1)I do consider the OP to be a non-issue and can't imagine why, absent some additional circumstance, it merits any particular action or concern, frankly.

2)I said I'd call the cops on the guy who CAME OVER and TOLD ME he has a gun. That's not "normal", that's a threat. It's something a mugger or carjacker might do. He shouldn't be surprised if the person in the car produces THEIR OWN gun in response. I would absolutely consider that action to be a direct, credible threat.

3)Open carrying on your property IS a "normal" activity. While the folks in the car can't know the difference, what you describe is different. You are INTENTIONALLY going outside to SHOW THEM your gun and COVERING that activity by PRETENDING your car needs to be washed, or whatever you pick to do. You even suggest leaving something outside so you can have the ILLUSION of doing something "normal" but your intent is NOT normal. You intend to make a show of your gun. You're specifically going outside to show them your gun. The "activity" is an excuse.
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Old July 11, 2013, 10:49 AM   #27
Rob228
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I had this happen to me once in my old apartment complex when I still lived in CA, there was a 300M parked on the road directly outside my building for about 3 hours with someone inside. I walked up and blatantly took a picture of the license plate, at which point a guy reclining in the passenger seat flashed a badge. Having no idea what the Orange County PD badge looks like, I called up the non-emergency line to confirm that there was indeed a cop parked in a 300M outside of my building. Apparently a Taco Bell down the road had been robbed in the early morning hours and he was watching the entrance to a hiking trail.
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Old July 11, 2013, 10:51 AM   #28
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Quote:
I said I'd call the cops on the guy who CAME OVER and TOLD ME he has a gun.
I didn't see anyone suggest that.

As for "pretending" to need to go outside. That was my offer to the OP who seemed afraid to do anything. I have absolutely no problem with being in my own front yard. No secondary reasons necessary.

As I understand your take on the situation, your answer is to "not worry about it". That's not how I would view it but that's what everyone has to decide for themselves.

I'm not sure why you feel "embarassed" by people here suggesting that they have the right to be in their own front yard, looking at a vehicle that appears to them suspicious.


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Old July 11, 2013, 10:54 AM   #29
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This is different in different places, but where I live the officers would ask you to call 911 & advise what is going on descriptions etc to the best of your ability. Depending I may or may not do that. But what I would do is get times, best possible description, tag number, num. of occupants etc & email this info. to my buddy who is a police officer who works my response & is our community coordinator.
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Old July 11, 2013, 11:02 AM   #30
Frank Ettin
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Well, Brian is showing some good sense. A different, strange car from time to time over a long period is most likely innocuous.

The same strange car multiple times, frequently over a short period is also innocuous. But there's a slim possibility it is not. So that's when you start making a record and perhaps report it to the police. Still the chances are that nothing will come of it.
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Old July 11, 2013, 11:10 AM   #31
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SgtLumpy
I didn't see anyone suggest that.
In post #21,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grizz12
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
They could "know" you are armed (if you're open carrying, most don't) just by going outside but letting them know that "I have the description of the vehicle" requires interaction. No one is going to think "Oh, he's coming outside to get a description of our vehicle!" unless you tell them.

Here's the funny thing... open carrying is "normal" behavior, yes? Is stopping a car on a street NOT normal behavior? I mean, seriously, we need a "tactical" reaction to someone stopping a car on our street?

Geez, they're probably going to the birthday party two houses up and forgot to sign the card! How many millions of possibilities are there that are completely and totally innocuous?

Absent some SERIOUSLY disturbing exigent circumstances, a "strange car" stopped on the road should elicit no more of a reaction than leaves falling off trees.

It embarrassing because of WHY you're suggesting it. How do you suppose that kind of reaction to NOTHING looks and sounds to those in the middle? It's practically the "Wild West" reactions that the antis warn about. It's ridiculous.
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Old July 11, 2013, 11:11 AM   #32
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I had my "strange car" reported once, when I was in my teens.

I was visiting my lady friend, and she didn't want the neighbors to comment to her parents on the car in the driveway, so I parked a block away....
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Old July 11, 2013, 11:25 AM   #33
overhead
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Either I am naive or some of you all are paranoid.

Why not just walk over and say "hello, how are you? Do you require some assistance?". I have visitors at my house, sometimes my neighbors do as well. Sometimes they even return more then once, a time or two they may have even sat in their cars sending a text message or looking up an address or checking facebook or whatever. Honestly, I doubt I would feel the need to approach them or to change my behavior at all. Though, being the odd ball I am, I might wave at them if I happen to be outside.
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Old July 11, 2013, 11:47 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sgtlumpy
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?
Do you have a crystal ball? How do you know what I told the cops when I called them?

If I get a call from someone saying a guy is carrying a gun in his yard that's one thing.

The same call saying that the guy threatened them with his gun (your word against theirs - whatever they feel like claiming you did with the gun) could very easily end up in court.
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Old July 11, 2013, 11:58 AM   #35
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My gut instinct would be to call your local non emergency number and give them a description, license plate, frequency of occurnace, so forth. I dont mess around with strange happenings. There was an instance where a car showed up with an occupant inside at the same time every morning and parked in front of my house for 3 days straight. I called the non emergency number on the 3rd day and had an officer ride by and talk to him. After the squad car left, the gentleman waited about 15 minutes and got out of his car and approached my house. I had been watching him the entire time so I met him at the door as he was making his way up my driveway. He came to apologize for making me weary and explained that he was a private investigator watching a house a few houses down for a suspected cheating spouse. Showed me his credentials and offered to move locations if it made me uncomfortable. I directed him to a less conspicous spot on the side of our house that was semi concealed by a tree but still allowed a view. He gladly obliged. There was also a time where a strange car parked in a church parking lot at the end of my street right around the same time the middle school buss dropped off. 2 days in a row and he never picked up a child. Called non emergency and they investigated. They ended up taking him away in hand cuffs...he was a convicted child molester. Be vigilant but be smart.
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Old July 11, 2013, 12:51 PM   #36
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Your first action should be to report it to the police. It's considered suspicious activity. Make it clear to the police dispatcher no laws are being violated, so far as you know. A routine check is part of their job.

I've had a couple of times where similar instances happened and called the police. One time, an older teen-aged black girl, a stranger to the neighborhood, knocked on my door, wanting to use my telephone. I declined and she continued to go to several housed. I phoned the police and they responded in short order.

Come to find out, she was just moving into the neighborhood. But the police were unable to get any response from the house she indicated she was moving into. The police had the courtesy to report back to me the circumstances, and assured me everything was O.K.

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Old July 11, 2013, 12:58 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Wright
One time, an older teen-aged black girl, a stranger to the neighborhood, knocked on my door, wanting to use my telephone. I declined and she continued to go to several housed. I phoned the police and they responded in short order.
Good example right there of why no one can say what's best in a particular situation.

I have a very difficult time imagining ANY scenario in which I would deny a lone teen-age girl the use of a telephone.

Obviously Bob Wright thinks differently.
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Old July 11, 2013, 01:20 PM   #38
SgtLumpy
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Quote:
They could "know" you are armed (if you're open carrying, most don't) just by going outside but letting them know that "I have the description of the vehicle" requires interaction.
Oh for crying out loud. Jotting down the LPN doesn't require interaction.


Quote:
No one is going to think "Oh, he's coming outside to get a description of our vehicle!" unless you tell them.
I'm not at all sure what that means but it makes little or no sense to me.


You do whatever you feel appropriate doing. I will continue to feel free to occupy my front yard, and to record descriptions of anyone or anything that seems suspicious. Other parts of the country, other personal mind sets may have a different approach. I am not fearful of occupying my own front yard, nor fearful of jotting down LPNs of cars that I think are out of place.


Now I'm curious of the original poster. Since you posted this on a gun forum, but didn't like the gun related responses...have you come to a decision on what you think you should do, if anything?


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Old July 11, 2013, 02:11 PM   #39
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Quote:
Well, Brian is showing some good sense. A different, strange car from time to time over a long period is most likely innocuous.

The same strange car multiple times, frequently over a short period is also innocuous. But there's a slim possibility it is not. So that's when you start making a record and perhaps report it to the police. Still the chances are that nothing will come of it.
That's pretty much my opinion of the situation.

There have been a couple of burglaries and maybe half a dozen thefts among my closest neighbors over the last 20 years or so I have lived in this neighborhood. I rarely report anything to the police, but I do write down a tag number from time to time. If I see a suspicious car prowling through the neighborhood, I'll ask where they're going. 9 times out of 10, it's someone looking for a house to buy or rent, or someone needing directions.

There was a renter a couple doors down, who I am concinced was selling drugs out of her house. They had a visitor once a week who always backed in, right up to the bumper of the renter's SUV, where it was impossible to see the tag. One night he showed up, and the people didn't have the SUV pulled up far enough and he was parked on the street. I walked over with a flashlight and wrote durn the tag. I could hear him yelling at the tenants about parking. I went back in the house. He never showed up again, and they went broke and moved out about a month later.
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Old July 11, 2013, 02:55 PM   #40
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SgtLumpy
I'm not at all sure what that means but it makes little or no sense to me.
Well, there's a good chance that my comments won't make much sense if you continue to remove them from the clear context in which they were written and apply them to your own comments, to which they were never directed.

The comment you quoted is directed at the idea that someone is going to "let them know I am armed and have a description of their vehicle", which is entirely different from "writing down the LP". Writing down the plate is an action which will not necessarily draw anyone's attention. Particularly since they are probably busy signing a birthday card or entering an address in their GPS. They aren't likely to be watching the every move of some dude who walked out of his house. Even if they ARE up to no good and they DO notice that you're watching them, it is not an active response on your part, it is not the same as "letting them know".

"Letting them know..." is an ACTIVE response to their presence. It is not passive. It is not a few moments of looking at their car and getting the plate number. If I parked my car and somebody MADE A POINT to "let me know they've got a gun", (note that this is entirely different behavior than washing your car with a gun on your hip) I would consider it an aggressive action and I would contact the police. It wouldn't be a "call the police and let them sort it out" situation either. I would be actively looking for charges to be pressed.

You keep making reference to this being a gun forum, as if it just makes obvious sense that being a gun forum means that every situation requires a response with a firearm. This is the "Tactics and Training" subforum. "Tactics" do not always require (in fact almost never require) a firearm. Something being posted here is not automatically begging for a response of how a firearm could be justified just because the forum is a "gun forum". Just because you've got a hammer doesn't mean that everything you see is a nail.
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Old July 11, 2013, 02:56 PM   #41
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Strange car outside

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grizz12 View Post
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
You could always take the more direct approach as you,DeepCreek and others have mentioned. ? With that or Maybe something like shinning a 5M lumen spot light on them with 120db loud speaker asking them to step outta car with hands up and state name age and nature of there business in area.Be sure to announce you're citizen patrol resource officer chief. A few flash bangs may be approximate at this time too. The other may be to covertly circle around, crawl up from behind and deploy the ole' banana in the exhaust pipe maneuver.
It's possible they're just there to pick there kid up from piano lesson or drug deal. Pretty sure it's one of the two though.
Without knowing all the details, I would guess piano lesson/ private tutor scenario. IMO

Last edited by Garycw; July 11, 2013 at 05:53 PM.
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Old July 11, 2013, 03:14 PM   #42
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wow...I am amazed at some of the idiotic comments in this thread.

Taking pictures and/or displaying a holstered weapon is ill-advised...at best. Personally, I believe that it is just plain stupid.

If you see a strange car parked in the street in front of your home, call the police non-emergency line ... and make a report. At a minimum, request a cruiser to make a drive to your address by as soon as possible.

Go a step further: start a civic league. Get your neighbors involved. Invite the local police station commander to attend every league meeting.

I did.

And I got a better than expected response from my neighbors. Between myself and my next door neighbor, we contacted 96% of the homes in our neighborhood. More than half of every home contacted has become an active household with one or more members.

The local police precinct commander comes to virtually every meeting. After she or her public affairs officer speaks, she usually has time to field questions from my neighbors. And every single time she attends, she is more than clear that her officers in our precinct are chomping at the bit to take these kind of calls. Most police officers like nothing more than a citizen's call requesting a cruiser to drive a neighborhood to check out suspicious activity...these calls break up the monotony of a long shift.
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Old July 11, 2013, 03:16 PM   #43
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Quote:
The comment you quoted is directed at the idea that someone is going to "let them know I am armed and have a description of their vehicle", which is entirely different from "writing down the LP".
OK. I now see the confusion. Somewhere between my keyboard and your monitor, the words took a left.

I did not mean to imply I would walk up to the car, openly carrying or otherwise, and TELL the people I was writing down the description. I simply meant I was making my presence known by being in my yard.

I also suggested all those other options you mention, reading a map, GPS, waiting for someone etc. Remember that this was originally portrayed as one car that repeatedly comes to the same place night after night. Only later did it become - once in a while, over the period of years, various cars park there.


I believe there is also a misconception of alarm when people not in Arizona read about us open carrying. In AZ, there is no permit required for anyone to carry open or concealed. Unless you are the usual restricted classes (felons, minors etc) you can, and lots of people do, wear your side arm exposed. People in AZ don't freak out seeing someone picking out produce while wearing a magnum.

So - Sorry for the confusion about what I said or you misunderstood.


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Old July 11, 2013, 04:45 PM   #44
Jammer Six
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I hate to side with the staff here, but Plfeuger is right on the money.
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Old July 11, 2013, 06:10 PM   #45
srtolly1
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Re: Strange car outside

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer Six View Post
I hate to side with the staff here, but Plfeuger is right on the money.
Maybe is jus my small town mentality but most times its completely innocent. My daughter comes over, sometimes a few times a week. I have 5 kids, there are occasionally strange cars on my street.

I for one would not be offended by a polite inquiry as to my presence. Be polite and walk right up and ask.
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Old July 11, 2013, 06:50 PM   #46
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Quote:
Taking pictures and/or displaying a holstered weapon is ill-advised...at best. Personally, I believe that it is just plain stupid.

If you see a strange car parked in the street in front of your home, call the police non-emergency line ... and make a report. At a minimum, request a cruiser to make a drive to your address by as soon as possible.
You are going to need a LPN for any kind of creditable report and if taking pics is "stupid" hows standing in front of the car with a pen and paper any better?
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Old July 11, 2013, 08:52 PM   #47
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PIs, bail agents, plain-clothes cops....

It may be off the main topic, but keep in mind, in general sometimes cops, PIs, process servers, federal agents, etc may be watching a property or waiting to talk to someone.
If the ignition is on & they have tints, the AC may be on. I knew a off-duty sheriff's deputy who would sit in his take home vehicle with the engine on all thru his security job.
I've run afoul of many "working shulbs" who were harmless or doing a LE detail.

I've also called in "bait cars" & "auto theft" vehicles much to the ire of the PD.
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Old July 11, 2013, 10:56 PM   #48
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Open carrying a weapon around a property to intimidate strangers is truly debatable. I think it attracts unwanted attention.

I could see doing it if its a really remote property. For example lets say you are a farmer or rancher and the police are hours away. I would open carry on a remote farm or ranch especially those by the border.

I know a lot of guys do the broom sweep of the porch. They see a stranger and start sweeping just letting the stranger know they are there.
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Old July 12, 2013, 01:06 AM   #49
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I get that pretty often around here, I was seeing the same vehicle parked in front of my house with the same guy in it, he turned out to be a real estate agent that had a few houses listed in the neighborhood.

Other times I have seen strangers parked, fumbling with what appears to be a cell phone or mobile GPS, then they leave.

Most of the time it's completely innocent, only one vehicle/person was truly suspicious, he would park in front of my house and watch children walk by from the elementary school around the corner, I sat out on the porch and watched him, he became aware of me and I never saw him again.

I am always armed when I am at home, I keep it concealed just like I'm in public.
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Old July 12, 2013, 02:13 AM   #50
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Strange car outside

Well clearly if you walk outside and approach them you are now the aggressor. At this point whoever is in the car has the legal right to pound you into the pavement. After all, you started it...

Back on topic... This happens frequently on my street due to a neighbor having a run-in with a certain religious group. Apparently JW's don't take kindly to rejection. Anyways, they park out front every now and then and just kind of, watch. Being the person I am I've chased them away on a few occasions, however this was before I was privy to why they were there. Aside from some vandalism and the usual juvenile graffiti it hasn't turned violent. But I cannot promise this will always be the case.

Back on topic once more... To the OP, I would say it depends on your particular area and what constitutes as "normal" where you live. What may sound crazy from a poster on TFL might be completely understandable considering the environment. I'm no MMA trained neighborhood watchmen, but I do personally check the situation out when the hour and circumstance seem appropriate. On second thought, I do carry with a round in the chamber and, GASP! No safety!
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