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Michael A. Daniels' Blog

By Michael A. Daniels, Broker | Broker in Carlsbad, CA

Cyber Neighborhood Watch

My wife and I moved into our current home in 2004.  The area is nice with many long term residents for our street.  A few months after moving in, we started seeing quite a bit of solicitors being dropped off in our neighborhood.  My wife unknowingly opened the front door to 3 males that reached out to shake her hand.  She quickly said, "what ever you are selling, I am not interested".  They then proceeded to question her as to why she was not interested when she didn't even know what they were selling.  She felt threatened and and as I walked around the corner they left.  We called the police.  Our police department responded immediatly. The men were questioned and released. 

As we continued to recieve more solicitations at late hours of the night we decided that we needed to do something about it.  We barely new our neighbors, but we wanted to set up some sort of early warning neighborhood watch.  We printed up a letter stating the problem and that we were setting up a cyber neighborhood watch.  If you want to be a part of it please email me and we will collect all information and distribute a list to all interested parties for the sole purpose to report crime issues in the neighborhood.  This was not an email list to send out the latest jokes, or gripes etc.  It was set up for any suspicious activity.  We had a great response. 

Our next step was to contact the police department neighborhood watch program to have a bit of knowledge on the process.  We found out that solicitors need to have a permit (most don't).  If you have a "no soliciting" sign posted and someone enters your property for the purpose of soclitation, you can call the police and have them stopped.  They will check their permits and run their id. It does not hurt to call the police if you have any doubts.    

NEVER answer your door if you do not know who it is.  If they don't get anyone to purchase their product or better yet answer the door, they will leave the neighborhood.  If your neighborhood proves to be a success for them, they will be back!

Follow through is key.  You need to be prepared to have them cited if they are knocking on your door and you have a sign clearly posted.

Once you have your list of emails, send out one email explaining the process of emailing the entire list with everyone including yourself cc'd.  Then all they have to do is reply all. 

It is always best to sign off with your name address and phone number in case they do not know you personally.  Keep the list up to date-check with your neighbors annually to ensure accurate emails and maybe new additions to the list. 

It works.  Ours Cyber Neighborhood watch is still active 7 years later.  The solicitations have almost completely gone away.  (At least the ones with the questionable motives).  You will be more informed about things in your neighborhood and you might just get to know your neighbors a little bit better.

Comments

By Rachel LaMar, J.D.,  Tue Sep 27 2011, 06:32
Michael,

This is a great idea. I live in a gated community and there are "no soliciting" signs on our main gate, but we still get solicitors. There have been a few suspicious ones over the years and I personally have reported them to the police or to our security patrol, but I like the idea of a cyber patrol. Thank you!

Regards,

Rachel
By Deborah Garvin,  Thu Oct 13 2011, 12:25
Michael, Great idea! And a nice way for neighbors to know neighbors, as well. Thank you for sharing this valuable suggestion.
By Michael A. Daniels, Broker,  Thu Oct 13 2011, 14:13
It actually worked for a lost Pet Turtle last night. We were able to find the owners by sending out an email...Good thing because I didn't want to keep the turtle!

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