General Question

marinelife's avatar

Am I overreacting?

Asked by marinelife (62430points) July 31st, 2008

Yesterday a large van parked on the street outside my house. It had the look of being lived in as a home. Clothes hanging off it. Food and boxes on the dash, etc.

From my desk, I look out a window at my yard and the street (today right at the van). There was a lot of action with at least six young men in and out of the van, moving boxes to the house next door where they appeared to be visiting my new neighbors, opening the side door of the van and napping in the bench seat, etc.

Seeing movement out of the corner of my eye early this afternoon, I looked up from my work. Another young man came out and opened the side door of the van, rummaged around in the back and proceeded to change clothes stripping down to his briefs with the door open. It was clearly exhibitionist since he could have taken the change of clothes into the house or even gone into the back of the van to change where there were no windows. He looked straight at me and grinned when I waved to indicate I could see him, and he did not stop changing.

I’m not a prude and I’ve seen it before, but I kept thinking that I was glad it was summer, because all the neighborhood kids walk past my house on the way to and from the elementary school at the end of the block. There are also several elderly people who take walks in the neighborhood.

If the van comes back, should I do something, and if so what? Call the police? Talk to the neighbor? Approach the van guys?

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20 Answers

PupnTaco's avatar

Don’t approach them. Call the police or your community association if you suspect something suspicious.

melonsforeal's avatar

call the cops, yikes.

baseballnut's avatar

I hate to involve law enforcement without trying to work it out directly with a person but I think in this case I’d not approach them directly. Be careful!

tinyfaery's avatar

Are you certain these men were “guests” of your neighbors? If you know your neighbors I’d talk to them first. If you know your other neighbors, talk to them and see if they have seen these men, and if it is bothersome to them as well. There is always more power in numbers. As far as calling the police, if I called the police where I live and reported this, they’d probably laugh in my face.

Les's avatar

I agree with everyone who said call the cops, but call the non-emergency number. The police deal with this sort of thing all the time, and will be more than happy to look into it, but not as an emergency. Back home, I personally hate all of my neighbors, and would never go talk to them for fear of being killed in my sleep. In this situation, just call the number, ask to please remain anonymous, and see what is done.

btko's avatar

You said they are new neighbors… maybe they are still getting set up inside? Otherwise having the police check them out is a good idea.

marinelife's avatar

Thanks to all for the input. For now, I am waiting to see if they come back or if it is a regular thing. Then I will decide on neighbors or police. (The latter non-emergency and when it is happening.) These responses have made me feel my concern was valid. I’ll let you know what happens.

poofandmook's avatar

@Marina: The fact that he grinned at you would have frightened me terribly, to be honest.

lefteh's avatar

@Marina: I’d do what you just described. Stay safe, and update us. You’re not overreacting at all.

flameboi's avatar

If you feel its suspicious, call the cops :)
I came back to my house after a day in the woods with my bike doing enduro, I had mud everywhere and I couldn’t come in, I had took my t shirt and all the gear off in the sidewalk (i kept my pants). because I couldn’t get into the building like that.
I thought nobody noticed me, but then the cops came looking for me and they asked me (gently) not to do it again, a neighbor called because she didn’t recognized me without the suit… :s so, you are not overreacting :)

La_chica_gomela's avatar

One time my mom called the police over a vaguely similar issue and they did laugh at her (maybe we live in the same neighborhood, tiny), so (if i remember correctly) she told them she felt threatened and would use her shotgun to defend herself if they didn’t. Believe me, they showed up! I am not advocating that course of action, but I do know that when you call the police, using the phrase “I feel threatened” or “I’m concerned for my safety” gets their attention. It like, puts your call into a higher catagory from just “suspicion”. Several different officers have told me that over the years, anyway.

Lovelocke's avatar

Call the police. Too many people stand around wondering “What to do” while crime’s going on. This reminds me of another question I shall ask later this evening about what me and a friend did last night in someone else’s backyard… heh.

marinelife's avatar

@flameboi If he had left his pants on, I would have had no problem. This is Florida in the summer and many people walk around in nothing but shorts or cutoffs all the time.

flameboi's avatar

Hope you are dialing 911 now :s

charliecompany34's avatar

call the cops marina! this is disorderly and a public nuisance. don’t attempt to handle it yourself. stay safe and be vigilant.

Skyrail's avatar

Throw bricks at him or call the rozza’s.

Whatever you do, don’t make contact with them directly. Or throw bricks at them.

Up to you =]

jballou's avatar

Call the cops, that’s what they’re there for. Just don’t call 911. Call your local precinct directly. They might even have a hot line for public nuisance, noise complaints, and loiterers- San Francisco does and they are very responsive.

susanc's avatar

See now, Marina, not only is your concern valid but people are worried about you. Do what you’re asked to do by your friends. You don’t have to handle this. Let the cops take a look at the situation. Ask them to keep it under their hats who blew the whistle.

Cardinal's avatar

Call the cops STAT! This sounds really fishy!!

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Definitely call the cops!For him to grin at you like that is really creepy!

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