COLORADO SPRINGS — News5 followed up on this story after getting a call from a viewer who filed a police report after a recent interaction with an unexpected visitor at her front door.
The viewer tells News 5 someone unexpectedly came to her door claiming to be with a heating company. She says she told him she was not expecting him and maybe he had the wrong address, but that’s when she said he became aggressive and insisted on going inside of her home. She shut the door and he left, but she was so shaken up she filed a police report and then reached out to us at News5.
Now, we’re finding out interactions like this may be happening more often than you would think.
”Oh, it happens a lot. I’ve had many situations like that already. That’s why we have neighborhood watch and we have meeting twice a year because we are talking about it constantly,” said local Neighborhood Watch leader Kim Almquist.
She has been a part of her community’s Neighborhood Watch for ten years now and says one of the top concerns for people year after year is figuring out how to deal with someone unexpectedly showing up at their door.
”So, I always try to look out my window before I answer the door. I’ve got a storm door that’s locked and I talk to people through the storm door, not opening the door,” said Almquist.
Colorado Springs Police Department officers say suspicious door to door interactions are something they are concerned about.
”We do see it yearly… numerous times throughout the year,” said CSPD Crime Prevention Officer M.J. Thomson.
Recent police reports show just how persuasive door to door solicitors can be.
”The main thing is if you didn’t call for them and now they are at your door, take heed to that,” said Thomson. “Sometimes they will even say “Hey the HOA sent me” (make sure to) verify that information and make sure that’s accurate. We have seen some instances in apartment communities as well.”
News5 asked Almquist what concerned her the most about a suspicious person coming to the door and possibly getting inside her home or a neighbor’s home.
”Theft and personal injury would be a big worry,” she said.
But investigators say sometimes the suspicious person at the door is looking for an opening for future crimes.
”They might simply be trying to get into your house to get the keys to your car if they are on the cabinet or the counter, the garage door opener,” said Thomson. “Anything to come back and victimize you later.”
This is even a conversation officers say you should have with your kids.
”If there happens to be a few minutes where you are home alone in between you getting home from school and mom and dad showing up and somebody is at the door. Go up stairs and talk to them from an upstairs window,” said Thomson. “Find out why they are there, but don’t open the door and give them a chance to rush in or put their foot in the door.”
Ultimately, Almquist says she hopes neighbors will speak up and share information with each other about suspicious people to help avoid trouble.
”The more Neighborhood Watch we have in the city the safer we’re going to be. We don’t have the police department staffed to be able to handle all of these situations and to be the eyes in the community,” said Almquist.
Investigators say in many cases these interactions are reported through social media or on the Nextdoor website, but if there is a real safety concern it’s important to file a police report.
Crime prevention officers tell News5 information from those police reports and what’s passed on from neighborhood watch leaders can be sent out citywide to improve safety and to hold these suspicious people accountable.
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