Knock! Knock! Who's There? The Bogeyman! Newsletter

Preventing Push-Ins When You Answer The Doorbell

A “Push-In” happens when you blindly open your door to a monster who’d knocked, or rang your bell. “Hello! Come on in and shatter my life.”

Dr. Jack Hertzler said two men posing as police detectives came to his Pontiac MI door to "check on neighborhood crime." John was suspicious and didn't let them in. They left, and later were arrested for a series of violent home invasions while posing as police officers. Randy Stradley and Malcolm Coleman had recently been paroled from prison.

Dr. Hertzler should’ve instead used a peephole and intercom, and then called 911 to confirm they were indeed cops before opening the door. He’s lucky he wasn't pushed-in when he did open his door. Only the criminals’ lapse of will spared him.

A Yakima WA woman opened her door without first checking who was there. The man at the door, Ronald Vernon Smith, said he wanted to talk about Jesus. She was soon fighting for her life and barely escaped alive. Smith had recently been painting her apartment complex - and he was later tied to an earlier murder of another woman in a similar push-in.

Any stranger at your door is a potential threat. Being nice and polite exposed both targets above to danger. Both cases began as a Scam-In (which often becomes a Push-In).

Never ever blindly open the door to a stranger. Period. All family members must always use a peephole - (it’s even better with an intercom as well) before opening the door. And then do not naïvely fall for any clever scam enticing you to open your door. Simply tell them, “Hold on. I’ll call the police to help you. Wait right there.” Then watch them suddenly flee. Now how hard is that?

Another Push-In with a few more lessons

Three men burst into a Kodiak AK woman's home when she heard a knock and opened the door without thinking. Phouvieng Loumal and her husband were knocked down and injured. Their children were screaming and praying.

Since then, her husband installed a chain lock on the door. She said they'd felt safe there for many years and weren't afraid because they have good neighbors.

Oh, NO! A “chain lock” is far too flimsy – far too easy to kick or crash through in a split second. It’s a false sense of security – useless. See "The WORST Door Security Hardware" at Door Reinforcement.

OK, they “aren't afraid," but let’s hope they have learned something – now that they’ve met random evil face-to-face. Besides, being more careful is so easy.

And unfortunately, their “good neighbors” were useless when the family was at the mercy of vicious thugs. Though oftentimes very helpful, Neighborhood Watch (see Home Security - Good Neighbors) is no guarantee of security – your neighbors might be away, or sleeping, or have the TV volume up loud, or whatever. You have zero control over their availability (as proven above).

But you do have total control over properly securing your home as described in Home Security - Overview. That – along with your entire family’s cautious behavior – is your very best home invasion prevention.

Crime-Safety-Security > Newsletter Archive > newsletter-22-Jan-08

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