OCK KNOCK KNOCK

Wo­man urges res­i­dents to im­me­di­ately call po­lice about door knock­ing in­ci­dents

The Western Star - - FRONT PAGE - BY GARY KEAN

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.”

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