What If an Unexpected Visitor Comes to Your Door?

After a rash of thefts in Snellville, this column explores personal safety tactics that could keep you and your family from becoming the next victim.

The Scenario

Your doorbell rings, and when you go to the door, you see a (pick one):

  • person in a uniform
  • strange-looking man
  • strange-looking woman
  • all of the above

There’s certainly nothing inherently wrong with any of the above, but when an unexpected visitor shows up, it’s always advisable to be cautious. A few months ago, some strange-, and not-so-strange-looking people showed up in a variety of locations around Snellville and Gwinnett County and pulled off a rash of thefts.

In these cases, the thefts began with a knock on the door and a seemingly innocent request for the homeowner to come outside and look over, or discuss a landscaping or utility problem. While the homeowner was outside with the visitor, an accomplice or two would enter the house and help themselves to whatever they liked.

The Personal Safety Tactic

If you don't know any of the people described above, be wary of what they have to say, should any of them show up at your house or place of business. They very well may not be as innocent, confused or in need of help as they appear.

Criminals of various descriptions often do a bit of reconnaissance before attempting a break-in or burglary. Their prep work can take many forms, and a close-up look can be especially useful in formulating a plan for a future crime, or executing one at the moment.

It’s rarely in your own best interest to tell a stranger any details of your personal life, or to share information about your neighbors. Keep that in mind the next time “a”, “b”, “c”, or “d” unexpectedly rings the doorbell. And if the uninvited guest becomes aggressive or threatening, consider that you’ve just entered the realm of “It’s better to be safe than sorry." Get to a phone and call the police.

Becky December 10, 2012 at 01:43 PM
Not that I would ever go outside with a stranger but my fear is if I close the door in their face they will get aggressive and try to break in. I guess maybe carry the phone to the door with you to call 9-1-1 immediately if they do get aggressive. Why can't we live in a simpler world where we didn't have to worry about stuff like this. :(
Crystal Huskey December 10, 2012 at 01:57 PM
I so agree with that sentiment Becky. But I think having an action plan, and being prepared, can help alleviate the fear of something like this. It likely won't happen, but just in case, be prepared.


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