OCK KNOCK KNOCK
Woman urges residents to immediately call police about door knocking incidents
A knock on the door in the wee hours is rarely good news.
When the ringing of the doorbell escalates to a loud, aggressive banging two weeks later and whoever did it has run off by the time the door is answered on both occasions, it can be downright disconcerting.
That was the experience of one woman in the Corner Brook East area this past summer.
In late June, the woman’s doorbell rang at around 9:30 p.m. No one was there, so she went outside to see if she could see anyone.
Further down the street, she saw two people going towards homes on opposite sides of the street. The two saw the woman and hurried back to one another and went off down the road out of view.
Two weeks later, the woman was awakened at around 1:30 a.m. by noise from the street running parallel below her house. Fifteen minutes later, the loud knock came on her own door.
“It wasn’t just a knock,” said the woman, who asked not to be identified for fear of being targetted again. “It was a bang, like boom, boom, boom — three times with all he could hit.”
Again, there was no one there when she answered.
A short while later, the woman saw two people, appearing to be in their late teens, back on the road below. She heard one of them ask the other if he had banged on the door.
“It was pretty unsettling,” she said. “I spent the next week unable to go to sleep.”
The woman went to the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary the next morning to file a complaint. She realizes now she should have called the police right away.
She said the police told her that she was not the first person to call them to report similar activity in that neighbourhood.
“I’d like to know if they are targeting anyone specific or just anybody at all,” said the concerned woman. “It’s worrisome if there is someone out there doing that.”
The Western Star has also confirmed a report of one other incident of a loud knock on a home on the same street after dark just last week. That person never called the police at the time because they just thought it was young kids doing a prank and were unaware of any other similar incidents.
Const. Shawna Park, the RNC’s media relations officer, said the police should be called immediately any time an incident like this happens.
If it’s young children, Park said they need to be told it’s not OK to be doing that sort of thing. Of course, if it’s older people with more sinister motives, the police want to be on the scene to try as quickly as possible to try and catch them.
At the very least, the police should be notified so patterns of behavior and locations of incidents can be established. That information will help investigations and give reason for increased patrols in problem areas.
“That’s what were there for,” said Park. “We’re there to make sure everyone is safe and there are no issues causing anyone undue stress or anxiety in their own homes.”
The woman who said she was victimized twice has since installed security measures, including cameras and sensors on her windows and doors.
She no longer leaves windows open on warm nights like she used to. She had the light on over her door the nights of both incidents, but that did not deter the perpetrator.
She always has her car keys handy so she can hit the remote car alarm if she is afraid someone unwelcome is on her property outside.
She has spoken with many of her neighbours and has told them to call police immediately if they ever hear her car alarm sounding at an odd hour.
“I should have called the police that night,” she said of the second incident she experienced. “The more of us that do that, the more the police might get on the ball.”
She said many of her neighbours are older folks who live alone. She’s told them to be vigilant but not to try to intervene if there is ever an incident.
“I don’t want to put any of my neighbours in harm’s way either, so I’ve told them to just call the police and not to come over,” she said of asking. “You don’t know who these people knocking on doors are, if they are on drugs or what they’re capable of doing. If one of my neighbours ever got hurt trying to respond, I just wouldn’t be able to live with that.”