Advice on a (moderately boring) situation


PDA






RTR_RTR
February 19, 2012, 01:51 AM
Hey all,

Just looking for a bit of advice on any further action I should take with a situation.

Background - I live in a studio apartment that is part of a house - the landlords live above me, and they do not know, to my knowledge, that I own a firearm (the topic didn't come up in renting - I have no reason to believe they're pro, anti, or ambivalent for that matter). My area has one door to the outside, located wayyy up the driveway off the street.

Tonight - At ~10 pm at night, someone tried to open my (locked) door - not persistent about it, just one turn of the knob and push (bolt lock only). Grabbed gun, looked through peephole, no one there. Called landlords, they couldn't think of anyone who would be doing that, so called local security. During that phone call, the security guard divulged to me that it was he who had tried the door, and said something or other about it being scheduled, but that he had the wrong door. Was kind of hard to figure out what exactly he was getting at. Called the landlords back to let them know what was up, and they confirmed that they had called security to let them know they would be going out of town tomorrow, and security had just come to check on the place.

Anyway, that's where I am now. I think the most likely situation is that the security guard is well intentioned but not too bright. I'd like to convey to him in the most polite but serious manner possible that opening doors without knocking is a quick way to end up in a bad place... but I don't want to give the impression of owning a firearm, or anything like that. Any advice for that, or would you all just leave the situation where it is?

Thanks in advance

If you enjoyed reading about "Advice on a (moderately boring) situation" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
doc2rn
February 19, 2012, 02:32 AM
Same thing happened to me on an internship to Fallschurch, VA side of DC. Best bit of advice: "leave it be." The guard admitted his mistake, no need to go any farther. If it happens again then contact higher chain of command with Security Co.

psyopspec
February 19, 2012, 02:41 AM
You already let him know that the situation caught your notice. That alone is likely to keep him from making the mistake again.

Escalating with what could easily be interpreted as veiled threats won't help anything.

RTR_RTR
February 19, 2012, 02:43 AM
Thanks - a double consensus and a little time for the sympathetics to die down are all I need :)

azgard
February 19, 2012, 05:32 AM
Why would he announce himself? He was checking to make sure the door was locked and secure to a supposedly vacant house, what would knocking on the door accomplish?

303tom
February 19, 2012, 09:23 AM
Jiggle the knob of my front door & you will think you just opened the door to the Hounds of Hell...........

J-Bar
February 19, 2012, 10:06 AM
Tell the guard you appreciate his efforts to keep your home secure. The guy is on your side, no need to make an enemy.

If you live in an area where you feel so insecure that are ready to shoot someone at your front door, I would consider moving. If you don't take the time to discriminate between a security guard who is investigating a possible break-in and a real criminal, you could be headed to court yourself someday.

AirForceShooter
February 19, 2012, 10:35 AM
A security guard that walks around checking door knobs?
That is just looking for a lawsuit.
I can't believe the management comapny or the landlord condones this.

I'd advise the one that applies that this is happening.

And leave the gun out of it.

AFS

answerguy
February 19, 2012, 03:56 PM
A security guard that walks around checking door knobs?
That is just looking for a lawsuit.


It seems that the security guard was doing what was asked of him, except that he was checking the wrong door. Regardless, what would you suggest someone would sue him for?

Haywood
February 19, 2012, 04:53 PM
If it were me I would keep my mouth shut, about my firearms, and my door locked 24/7.

NOLAEMT
February 19, 2012, 05:14 PM
I think this falls firmly into the category of no harm no foul.

He made a mistake, and I don't think it will happen again. I agree that having someone turn my doorknob would get my interest in a hurry, but after figuring out what it was, it doesn't seem like a big deal.

Part of living in an apartment is that others will be around, and sometimes in your apartment, most leases allow for access, even without permission for various reasons. Just wait until there is a leak somewhere in the building, and you come home to find the maintenance man, landlord, and a plumbing crew in your bedroom when you come home from work, and you have no power to ask them to leave.

RTR_RTR
February 19, 2012, 05:29 PM
Why would he announce himself? He was checking to make sure the door was locked and secure to a supposedly vacant house, what would knocking on the door accomplish?

-The landlords were leaving the next day, so regardless of which door he tried, it would have been into an occupied residence.

If you live in an area where you feel so insecure that are ready to shoot someone at your front door, I would consider moving. If you don't take the time to discriminate between a security guard who is investigating a possible break-in and a real criminal, you could be headed to court yourself someday.

One only has so much choice in where they live - particularly as a grad student on grad student money going to school in a big city, with not much free time to commute (averaging over 90 hour weeks). Still managed to get in one of the safest spots in the city. Regardless of where you live, however, you're telling me if someone let themselves into your home, your reply would be "Howdy! Commode's first door to the left, I assume that's what you're looking for. Want a drink while you sit?"

I think that's fairly absurd. I think grabbing a firearm to a late night unexpected attempted entry is beyond reasonable (no matter where you live), particularly in a studio where you're not going to have much time to do anything if the next thing to happen is a kick to the door.

Part of living in an apartment is that others will be around, and sometimes in your apartment, most leases allow for access, even without permission for various reasons. Just wait until there is a leak somewhere in the building, and you come home to find the maintenance man, landlord, and a plumbing crew in your bedroom when you come home from work, and you have no power to ask them to leave

I'm the sole tenant, and my landlords are 100% about keeping me informed about what's going on. I lived in a big complex for 2 years, and there's a big operational, if not legal, difference in the way my current landlords take care of things.

---

All that aside, I'm still in agreement that I have no need to follow up with anything. Just wanted to clear some things up.

J-Bar
February 19, 2012, 05:53 PM
One only has so much choice in where they live - particularly as a grad student on grad student money going to school in a big city, with not much free time to commute (averaging over 90 hour weeks). Still managed to get in one of the safest spots in the city. Regardless of where you live, however, you're telling me if someone let themselves into your home, your reply would be "Howdy! Commode's first door to the left, I assume that's what you're looking for. Want a drink while you sit?"

YOU have absolute control over where you live. You choose your career, your school, your city. No one put a gun to your head to force you to live and study where YOU have chosen. If you are uncomfortable with any aspect of your current situation, YOU have the power to change it. Sitting there imagining yourself to be a victim when your circumstances are totally of your own choosing is a great rationalization, but not convincing. Your excuse sound like those offered by women who choose to remain with an abuser, rather than taking steps to improve their situation.

Of course you have the right to defend yourself if the situation arises. I'm suggesting that you minimize the chances of that occuring in the first place with judicious choices.

rcmodel
February 19, 2012, 06:09 PM
A security guard that walks around checking door knobs?
That is just looking for a lawsuit.Mmmmm?
Thats what security guards are supposed to do.

They don't call them Door Shakers for nothing.

In 1923, Luegemus Bratton, a pioneer in the field of private security is credited for coining the phrase “door shaker” because he literally went from store to store in the middle of
the night checking the front and back doors of business to make sure they were securely fastened.
Beat cops did it long before that.

rc

RTR_RTR
February 19, 2012, 06:10 PM
How am I victimizing myself? I just didn't feel the need to qualify my "you can only choose so much" statement with "with balancing based on a number of other factors." I could certainly be a rancher in the middle of nowhere. That's not what I want to do for my life, and I've made a living decision (that I'm very happy with) based on my career decision. I was just defending the (in my opinion) ridiculous notion that you should apparently base all living decisions off of safety? It's a very important but not te sole factor

jim243
February 19, 2012, 06:10 PM
Solve your problem for $9.95. Get one of these and no one will touch your door knob without you knowing.

Jim

http://www.thehomesecuritysuperstore.com/window-dooralarms-watchdog-portable-door-alarm-130db-jb5533-p=2347

J-Bar
February 19, 2012, 07:18 PM
Please re-read my posts.

No where have I stated that safety should be the primary factor in decision making.

I said, "IF YOU live in an are where YOU feel insecure...", "IF YOU are uncomfortable with any aspect of your current situation..."

You are the one who posted that you were concerned about unauthorized entry to your abode. If you are satisfied with your present situation, I am starting to wonder why you made your original post. Did you really expect anyone on this forum to recommend announcing that you have a gun and are ready to shoot an intruder?

I'm glad you are comfortable with your choices. Good luck in school.

JRH6856
February 19, 2012, 08:03 PM
The security dispatch may have gotten the dates wrong and dispatched the officer a day early, but even if it had been the right day, the door check would have still been done.

The homeowner should have advised security that even though they were going out of town, someone would still be in residence in the downstairs apt. Whether the HO volunteered the info or not, whoever took the call should have asked and the officer doing the check should have had that info.

Failure to record and/or relay that information created a dangerous situation for both you and the officer. For the safety of all involved, make sure the HO advises security of your presence when they call in out of town. You might want to follow up with the security company to make sure they are aware of what happened so they can take the necessary steps on their end to make sure the information is communicated properly. You don't need to tell anyone you are armed--that's your call, but you need to be aware of the possibility of such security checks and take care not to overreact.

FWIW, I used to manage a private security operation and encountered this problem more than once.

eagleno49
February 20, 2012, 12:37 AM
Some of you make such a big deal over nothing. There is not a conspiracy in everything odd or unscheduled. I consider myself aware of my surroundings but I would hate to live my life like some of you claim to.
(not directed at the op)

RTR_RTR
February 20, 2012, 01:40 AM
Please re-read my posts.

No where have I stated that safety should be the primary factor in decision making.

I said, "IF YOU live in an are where YOU feel insecure...", "IF YOU are uncomfortable with any aspect of your current situation..."

But where did I hint at any such thing? I said I was made uncomfortable by an unexpected attempted entry into my home, which should be enough for someone in any living situation to have their guard raised a fair bit.

The security dispatch may have gotten the dates wrong and dispatched the officer a day early, but even if it had been the right day, the door check would have still been done.

The homeowner should have advised security that even though they were going out of town, someone would still be in residence in the downstairs apt. Whether the HO volunteered the info or not, whoever took the call should have asked and the officer doing the check should have had that info.

Failure to record and/or relay that information created a dangerous situation for both you and the officer. For the safety of all involved, make sure the HO advises security of your presence when they call in out of town. You might want to follow up with the security company to make sure they are aware of what happened so they can take the necessary steps on their end to make sure the information is communicated properly. You don't need to tell anyone you are armed--that's your call, but you need to be aware of the possibility of such security checks and take care not to overreact.

FWIW, I used to manage a private security operation and encountered this problem more than once.

Thank you for the advice. I actually probably will follow up and just let them know of the separate living situation

Edit: Don't see an option to lock your own thread, but a mod is welcome to do so if they don't think anything else useful is to come of it. My q has been answered

MachIVshooter
February 20, 2012, 06:38 PM
This is a non-event. People go to the wrong door (or right door number, wrong building) in apartment complexes all the time. Unless they're persistent about trying to enter, there is nothing you can (or should) do about it.

kd7nqb
February 21, 2012, 10:27 AM
I say no harm no foul, you were prepared and acted properly. He made a mistake and probably got some bad info about what he was suppose to do and when it was suppose to take place.

MX26
February 23, 2012, 07:56 PM
I don't wish to be brash or rude to the original poster, but I'm rather surprised that this event was even brought up. Even more confounding is the number of responses that this post has generated.

I can completely understand your initial alarm at a late night jiggle of your door. However, the situation was later determined to be a complete accident by a well meaning security guard employed by your landlords. Some of these inflammatory responses are transforming a harmless, albeit unexpected, jiggle to the devil himself busting through the door.

"Unleashing the hounds of Hell" - Sir, are you downright mad?

I fully realize the uncertain and often frightening modern times we share today. However, those that are sane will not restore health in the world by choosing to live their lives in an alternate form of mania.

Freedom_fighter_in_IL
February 23, 2012, 08:15 PM
"Unleashing the hounds of Hell" - Sir, are you downright mad?

Simple comprehension of the stated sentence would have led you to understand that the person posting that was intending the readers to understand he has DOGS. Which, if that were to happen here, anyone "jiggling" my door knob would also get a pretty healthy intimidation of very deep, aggressive, downright vicious sounding, growls that would make the hair of the devil himself stand up and take notice. (I love my boys :D )

OP, I to am in the boat of get in touch with the security company to verify that they are indeed informed of your presence at the residence.

Ragnar Danneskjold
February 23, 2012, 08:23 PM
Jiggle the knob of my front door & you will think you just opened the door to the Hounds of Hell...........

The DA will be thinking the same thing about your at your negligent homicide trial.

ApacheCoTodd
February 23, 2012, 09:30 PM
Say nothing to either him nor the land lord. Divulging the presence of a firearm would in no way whatsoever make your situation any better and after telling them, you'd have to be concerned about everyone they may say something to. At this point I'm thinking more about break-ins for the theft of the firearm after the info is out.

crazyjennyblack
February 24, 2012, 01:39 AM
Just say nothing. Honestly, it wouldn't do any good, because shaking the door knob really isn't a big deal. In some places in the country (rural Midwest) people sometimes walk into the houses of friends and neighbors without much more than a quick knock.

An easy solution - always lock your door! That's what I do automatically, and the one time I did have someone try the doorknob (family member) they found it locked up tight. This way you know what is going on at all times.

Anything that comes through a LOCKED door gets met with a hail of lead.

Black Butte
February 24, 2012, 02:02 AM
Anything that comes through a LOCKED door gets met with a hail of lead.

So what happens when you forget to lock the door, Rambo?

Owen Sparks
February 24, 2012, 02:08 AM
There was a time when small town cops walking a beat would routinely check the doors on all the stores. It was a form of 'make work' to give them something to do in small towns where nothing much happened and it also made the tax paying business owners feel more secure knowing that there property was being checked on. This is not a new idea. It is the sort of thing that Barney Fife did in Mayberry.

crazyjennyblack
February 24, 2012, 11:54 AM
"So what happens when you forget to lock the door, Rambo?"

The sound of someone coming through an unlocked door is a soft click and footsteps. The sound of someone coming through a locked door is much louder and quite distinctive, so it's kind of hard to mistake one for the other.

Also, have you ever heard of an auto-locking knob? They're easy to find, quick to install, and you'll never forget to lock your door again. Even if you're renting, just a quick replacement and take it with you when you leave.

Black Butte
February 24, 2012, 01:57 PM
... it's kind of hard to mistake one for the other.

"Kind of hard"? So you're ready to greet somebody "with a hail of lead" on the possibility you might be mistaken?

Clipper
February 24, 2012, 02:25 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyjennyblack
... it's kind of hard to mistake one for the other.

"Kind of hard"? So you're ready to greet somebody "with a hail of lead" on the possibility you might be mistaken?



Sounds reasonable to me...The sound of a door being kicked in IS rather distinctive...

CZguy
February 24, 2012, 02:32 PM
Sounds reasonable to me...The sound of a door being kicked in IS rather distinctive...

It's one of my personal standards. ;)

Flopsweat
February 24, 2012, 02:55 PM
Wow, you're kind of taking a beating over this one OP. It's almost like being on ARFCOM but without the profanity. :D You've handled everything fine, including deciding not to peruse it any further. Don't sweat it.

Funny story - I had an apartment years ago in a tourist area. The building was originally a motel (it didn't look that bad actually). My apartment was situated such that every now and then a distracted tourist would mistake my place for a motel office. They'd just walk right in. :eek: Or try to. One time I had a note stuck to my door with one of those plastic thumbtacks. I had forgotten to lock the door handle, but had the deadbolt locked. Wouldn't you know it, some guy comes up to the door in full stride, turns the handle, and walks smack into the door. Thump! Hit his forehead on the thumbtack. It left a perfectly round red mark on him (soon to be purple I'm sure). Bent my tack too. :) I really wanted to feel sorry for him, but I just barely held the laughter back while I explained to him that this was an apartment complex. A friend later told me I should leave a note tacked up there all the time that said "Warning! Thumbtack."

mbt2001
February 24, 2012, 03:13 PM
These aren't the droids you're looking for... Move along.

Certaindeaf
February 24, 2012, 03:29 PM
.The sound of someone coming through an unlocked door is a soft click and footsteps. The sound of someone coming through a locked door is much louder and quite distinctive, so it's kind of hard to mistake one for the other.

Also, have you ever heard of an auto-locking knob? They're easy to find, quick to install, and you'll never forget to lock your door again. Even if you're renting, just a quick replacement and take it with you when you leave.
Not to be picky (ha!), but there are certain individuals that can and will pick a lock (and very easily so I've heard) for whatever reason. Some door locks are almost pick-proof though.

RTR_RTR
February 24, 2012, 03:54 PM
Wow, you're kind of taking a beating over this one OP. It's almost like being on ARFCOM but without the profanity. You've handled everything fine, including deciding not to peruse it any further. Don't sweat it.

Funny story - I had an apartment years ago in a tourist area. The building was originally a motel (it didn't look that bad actually). My apartment was situated such that every now and then a distracted tourist would mistake my place for a motel office. They'd just walk right in. Or try to. One time I had a note stuck to my door with one of those plastic thumbtacks. I had forgotten to lock the door handle, but had the deadbolt locked. Wouldn't you know it, some guy comes up to the door in full stride, turns the handle, and walks smack into the door. Thump! Hit his forehead on the thumbtack. It left a perfectly round red mark on him (soon to be purple I'm sure). Bent my tack too. I really wanted to feel sorry for him, but I just barely held the laughter back while I explained to him that this was an apartment complex. A friend later told me I should leave a note tacked up there all the time that said "Warning! Thumbtack."

I hadn't previously heard of arfcom. Thank you for that

And funny story :)

trex1310
February 24, 2012, 04:20 PM
Kenneth Bianchi was a security guard.....

Certaindeaf
February 24, 2012, 04:23 PM
Kenneth Bianchi was a security guard.....
Abe Lincoln was a log splitter. And the price of teanevermind

MX26
February 24, 2012, 06:09 PM
Simple comprehension of the stated sentence would have led you to understand that the person posting that was intending the readers to understand he has DOGS. Which, if that were to happen here, anyone "jiggling" my door knob would also get a pretty healthy intimidation of very deep, aggressive, downright vicious sounding, growls that would make the hair of the devil himself stand up and take notice. (I love my boys :D )

OP, I to am in the boat of get in touch with the security company to verify that they are indeed informed of your presence at the residence.
My mistake. I apologize to the poster that my comment was aimed at.

Flopsweat
February 24, 2012, 07:52 PM
I hadn't previously heard of arfcom. Thank you for that

And funny story :)
Sorry, ARFCOM is what the arfcommers call AR15.com. An entertaining bunch, but the General Discussions forum over there is like a kindergarten. A dirty, dirty kindergarten. ;) Where Teacher leaves the room for hours at a time. I guess it's more like Lord of the Flies. :)

B!ngo
February 24, 2012, 08:42 PM
Same thing happened to me on an internship to Fallschurch, VA side of DC. Best bit of advice: "leave it be." The guard admitted his mistake, no need to go any farther. If it happens again then contact higher chain of command with Security Co.
Yep. By analogy, I travel a lot on business, don't drink at all (I'm just a boring guy), and happen to be a bit of a nutty professor type. It's not unusual during a trip every now and then that I'll return to a hotel room that I think is mine, try my key (even a few times) before I realize that my room is down the hall or another floor. If I got met by someone holding a handgun every time I made such a mistake, I'd ground myself and leave my job.
Let it be. It was either an accident similar to mine, or someone has been forewarned.

Aaron Baker
February 24, 2012, 09:42 PM
I think some of the posters are giving this guy too hard of a time. This could be a serious issue. When you rent an apartment, that property is legally yours (for the purposes here, anyway) for the duration of the lease. If your landlords are employing security guards to check on your property, you need to be aware of it and be in some control of how they operate.

In this case, the landlord wanted the security guard to check HIS property, but that shouldn't include checking yours without your knowledge.

There's no real concern if your door is locked when the security guard checks, but mistakes do happen and people do occasionally leave their door unlocked. What happens when you've accidentally left your door unlocked one night? You're in bed asleep and your friendly security guard checks the door, finds it unlocked, assumes no one is home, and thinks that he needs to check the entire apartment for intruders. You wake up to the noise of him coming into your apartment and go for your gun.

If you don't want your landlord to be aware of your firearm ownership (which is none of their business), then I see two options:

A) Be aware that their security guard may check your door when they're out of town because he isn't paying attention to the fact that your building has multiple occupants, and just ALWAYS lock your door.

B) Tell your landlord to notify that security guard NOT to check your door, since it isn't your LANDLORD'S door while you're renting it, and so they shouldn't be having people checking it without your permission.

Some people might disagree with me, but look at it this way: if your landlord wanted to hire a handyman to enter your apartment to do repairs, he'd have to give you notice. If the security guard your landlord hires tries the doorknob of your apartment (and assuming it isn't locked, he doesn't just walk away, but instead opens the door), then it isn't really any different. In both cases, the landlord is hiring someone to enter your apartment without giving you notice. You shouldn't have to put up with that.

Obviously the original poster doesn't WANT to shoot anyone, and especially doesn't want to accidentally shoot a security guard. That's why he's asking for our advice, because I'm pretty sure everyone here would potentially react with force if they were surprised by someone walking into their home at night.

Aaron

Adam123
February 25, 2012, 12:58 PM
... so much pointless debate and squabbling.

RTR_RTR
February 25, 2012, 11:45 PM
I'm glad at least one person thinks so :) I was beginning to think I was a bit daft getting all these responses from a user population that often brings up SHTF and recently had a topic related to buying ammo for unowned guns! :D

shootniron
February 25, 2012, 11:53 PM
Mmmmm?
Thats what security guards are supposed to do.

Bingo !!!

This ain't rocket science folks...

Most security guards have numbers they call when doors are found open rather than "clearing" the property.

willypete
February 26, 2012, 12:11 AM
YOU have absolute control over where you live.

In this regard, I beg to differ. Sometimes an economic or work situation may dictate that one live in an area which is not up to their standards or preferences. At times, I've been forced to live in areas with higher crime or possibility of break-ins and thefts than I'd like for one or another reasons. While it's a nice illusion, sometimes we really don't have all the control over our circumstances that we'd like to imagine we do.

OP, I can only tell you how I've reacted in similar situations.

1: ~1 am, I was moving into a new apartment and had the door open while I was running back and forth to the moving van. My dog starts barking and growling and I see a very large individual silhouetted in my doorway. Turns out it was my 5'7" neighbor asking when I was going to move the van, as he had to go into work in the morning. Funny what tricks light and fear will pull on your eyes... I answered the door after drawing my gun, but had it hidden behind my hip, so hopefully he never noticed it. I told him I would move the van shortly so he wouldn't have a problem leaving in the morning. We made some small talk and he went back to his apartment and I finished moving.

2: I was asleep on my couch around 2 in the morning when someone barged in through my unlocked front door. Turns out it was a drunk friend of my roommate, who was in the habit of leaving the doors unlocked. To be honest, I was startled out of sleep and my first reaction was to yell at him, not go for my shotgun (which was upstairs in my closet, anyway). He very quickly identified himself as a friend of my roommate, who came in about a half hour later and apologized for the whole incident.

In my opinion, while it may be prudent to go armed in your own home, it's far more likely that someone's intentions are benign or simply misinformed. I wouldn't suggest unleashing the "hounds of hell" or even showing a gun. I think dogs are the best home defense/early warning system in existence, and that's in addition to being great companions. I recommend a dog, backed up by a discerning, armed human.

I think merely mentioning the situation to your landlords is sufficient to handle the incident. Perhaps you might request that they inform you if such a thing is to occur again, in order to save undue worry or stress on yourself. No mention of guns, going rambo, hounds of hell, etc. need occur.

If you enjoyed reading about "Advice on a (moderately boring) situation" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!