I have been living alone for some months. It's in a spare apartment that my parents have. On vacations, many times we would come here.
However, when I was a child, this apartment got robbed and I witnessed it all. I was 8 or 9.
I remember someone ringing my door number either downstairs to gain entrance to the apartment complex or they were already at the door. My parents were not at home at the time. They rang several times. I hid under the bed. Eventually someone was in. I remember being under the bed seeing hairy legs. I was lucky enough that he didn't see me. I heard the ring again and then he left.
This event traumatized me. For years, my parents didn't believe me. They thought it was just my imagination. As I got older, they believed me more, especially because a gold necklace disappeared.
I was told that when the apartments were made, the keys may have been copied so they had access to it.
My parents told me that nowadays the key to the door from below is changed every year and that the key to my apartment was changed too. Honestly, I don't know if they were telling the truth.
Once in a while, I hear the ringing from downstairs. I feel as if they are trying to get in so they can rob. It only takes one person to open the door from below.
I'm terrified of getting robbed again and everyday my heart feels like it's exploding from my chest. I am weak and female and have no ways of protecting myself. I also wonder if they only ring my door or if they do it to all. Could my room be a specific target?
Is there a way to open the door with a key if it's locked from the inside?
Why do you think people are ringing me to open the door from downstairs once in a while?
Should I respond and say that I'm here as they might only rob if no one is home?
Please help me.
The ironic thing is that this is a vacation place. However, people hide the fact that robberies happen here to attract tourists. I think the high robbery rate is because they want to rob rich tourists.
And no, I can't move anywhere else. No money :(
They rang again around 15 minutes ago. I thought I was going to have a heart attack.
You're a fucking asshole. I'm in a crisis and did nothing to you and all you do is insult. Hope you die soon.
Can someone at least tell me if there is a way for them to get inside without forcing their way in if the door is locked from the inside?
Your parents have one fucking vacation house. Surely your family is not that poor? Can you ask your parents for money? I don't think they'll leave you in some high crime rate area.
Also, which country are you from? Some countries (eg. Venezuela) have a high crime rate.
It's hard for a girl to win a fight against a guy unless if she's some Olympic athlete.
I'll disclose that I'm from south Europe. British like to come here for example and it's because of them that I think all these robberies happen. They have vacation houses too.
Listen, I really can't move anywhere else. That is not an option currently. I'm so freaked out.
The key is locking the door from the inside in a vertical position. Is this enough?
I hate to sound racist, but is your area full of Moroccans? My Spanish friend told me how these guys tend to be caught up in crime. A friend of mine also had her iPhone stolen by this white guy in Rome.
>Is there a way to open the door with a key if it's locked from the inside?
I think so? I'm from Hong Kong and here you can ask these men (no idea what they are called in English) to open doors for you if you accidentally locked yourself outside.
Once this helper living nextdoors accidentally locked herself outside. She asked one of these guys to open the door to her flat as her employers were away on vacation. The guy had this key which easily opened the door. It seems like his key can easily open doors.
No, this is not enough. Best case scanario it takes them 10 seconds to break down the door instead of the usual 2.
1. Get a gun and ammo, learn how to use it, and keep it by tour aide at all times. They can be purchased for as little as $200.
2. Barricade the fuck out of your door with couches/bookcases/the heaviest objects you have in your apartment.
3. Do both.
I think not though there are obviously foreigners here. From old british wanting a cheaper place with better weather, to indian restaurants and thai restaurants and I see some different ethnicities but it's not the majority. The place where I'm at get's extremely crowded in the summer but dead in other seasons.
I think most burglars are from my nationality but many of them don't look like the people from my country.
Jesus christ. Might as well prepare myself for a rape and kill.
Thank you. I'll go there. I can't feel like this anymore. Every day I'm full of stress.
Tour aide should be your side. That wasn't even autocorrect's fault. I should add getting a large dog that you can still control will help, burglars don't want to deal with them if they have a terrifying bark.
I live by myself with a gun and 2 dogs in a crappy area and I sleep fine at night.
They are ringing the doorbell to check is someone is home or not. You need to start giving the impression that someone is home most of the time. There are many burglars, but very few home invaders.
Leave a radio or TV on, loud enough that someone can hear it from outside of they listen. Leave a light on in the house when you are out or asleep. Leave a pair of dirty shoes or something at the door so it looks like someone just got back from a hike.
If that doesn't stop them, take about $200 in random bills, put it in an envelope marked 'rainy day savings' and put it under the mattress. Thieves want as much money/valuables as soon as possible. If they find that, they'll assume it's all you have, and then run off before they get caught. This way, they won't trash the place.
Change your locks. Ask your neighbors if they can look out for you. Lock your bedroom door. Have a weapon incase someone comes in. Gun, taser, air horn, road flare, baseball bat, anything.
Mentally condition yourself not tI be paranoid, but prepared.
I'm not american. It would be extremely difficult for me to get a gun I'm sure though I never tried. My parents said that they couldn't get in with the door locked from the inside but now I don't believe them for sure.
I'll barricade I guess but that will just stall them a bit. I just want to feel safe and that they have no way of getting in.
I just found out these keys that can open a lot of doors are called "bump keys". Not sure if they can open ALL doors.
Can you ask a friend to move in with you or the other way around?
So that is the only reason the are ringing as I thought.. I remember when I got robbed I was seeing the legs in front of me and I heard a ring again. Probably his friend who was checking how stuff was going and telling him to leave. I honestly don't know what they would have done if they had seen me back then.
Fighting them will be a bad idea. I'm underweight and all I have is kitchen knives and most likely I'll be the one stabbed.
As I said, this place is barren when it isn't summer. There are 0 neighbors in my floor at least. I don't know where to buy locks. Should I try online? I don't plan to live here forever but I don't want to go back to my parents.
I have thought about the dog many times but it take at least a couple of years for them to get a decent size. I need a faster solution.
Lol I know it's obnoxious, but if it can freak out a bear, it can freak out a person.
The best thing you can do to a predator is disorient them. That 1-2 seconds of their vulnerability can give you just the right opportunity to run away, grab a weapon, or straight up kill them.
Put yourself in the shoes of a robber. The best time to break in is when there will be no resistance. They try to make sure people are gone, windows or doors are easy to enter/exit, and they can find what they are looking for QUICK. They are prepared for someone to come in, so they are most likely armed.
Once you understand what you're dealing with, you will know what to do. Since you're tiny and have no fighting experience, you need to 1) keep them out by giving the impression someone is home, and 2) creating distance between them and you in case they ever get in when you're home. Air horn, hot water from a tea kettle, spraying air freshener in their eyes, any of that stuff will hold them away so that they either run away or give you a chance to escape.
Keep in mind, VERY FEW criminals will engage in physically assaulting someone. It's too risky, even burglars are afraid of being shot/stabbed.
Also, many burglars will observe their target for a few days, just to see what the tenant's schedule is like. It might help to give the appearance of an irregular schedule. Leave randomly for 5-10 minutes some days. When you walk in your door, say "I'm home!" Or "hey jerry! How was the movie?". It will throw people off and appear that you have people over frequently.
I know this all sounds goofy, but it helps.
Some more details. All the doors and windows are the same. I'm on the highest floor but there aren't many rooms ( especially on this floor) and being on the highest floor didn't stop them from picking my room in specific that time. I just hope they don't target me with so many other rooms to rob.
The window isn't easy to break through. The door I'm not sure. Should I take a picture of it?
I was always taught to not initiate a fight with a burglar. Something tells me that it's not a good idea at all to attack them especially because it almost never is just one person.
I didn't know that. In that case maybe I should get one. Any recommendations? I heard pitbulls, rottweilers, doberman aren't a good idea because they turn against their master sometimes.
Should I respond next time they ring from downstairs? I don't know if a female voice responding will intimidate them.
I'm so nervous. They rang today so I'm particularly in panic today. I'm losing years of life like this. The stress is immense. I hope that if they do break in they don't hurt me or kill me. I just can't feel safe considering this place has already been robbed at least once and they entered normally as I heard no break in sounds. Most likely had a key.
>Should I respond and say that I'm here as they might only rob if no one is home?
DESU if they'd rob while you're there they'd prolly rob if it was empty, so you don't worsen your chances by responding.
I see. I guess I'll be courageous and try to reply next time.
Do you think that the other idiots living here will usually open the main door to randoms or not?
Also, burglars aren't usually killers right? Even if they got in and saw me here they wouldn't attack me?
I feel so unsafe.
One thing I've heard is it's generally better to warn them that you're there than to surprise and attack them. If you make some noise, giving them the impression they haven't been detected yet, they'll be deciding between running away or finding and attacking you, which is a lot different than deciding between running away or defending yourself when attacked. Fewer people would be cold blooded enough to turn a burglary into a murder.
OP, I don't mean to be rude, but it sounds like you're being completely paranoid. This is normal when you're living alone for the first time, but you shouldn't feed that fear, or act like it's reasonable.
There was ONE robbery, many years ago, and even that sounds like the circumstances were very strange (you were the only witness, you "witnessed" it while hidden under a bed, and all they took was a necklace?) There's absolutely no reason to believe burglars are checking your apartment regularly.
There are MANY reasons people might be ringing your buzzer. The mailman always rings my buzzer if there's a package or a large piece of mail. There are salespeople, pollsters, etc etc.
You know what's going to make you feel better? START ANSWERING IT. Instead of cowering in fear and assuming the worst, and letting your imagination get away from you, just answer the damn buzzer. Most of these have a feature where you can talk with the person downstairs, confirm their identity, before you let them in. If it sounds strange, then don't let them in. But I think you'll find that most of the time, it's something completely normal and non-threatening.
Take normal precautions. Buy a chain-lock for your door, maybe a home alarm system. But the healthiest thing you can do, in the long run, is to help yourself get over this irrational fear. It sounds like the stress is driving you crazy, and you'll never live in a 100% safe world, so the best you can do is fight through this and get on with your life
If you insert your key to the keylock in the door there is now way someone can use replica of the same key from the other side, I do this all the time
Of course you can just barricade your door with chain or plank to ensure your safety more
Thank you. That is what I wanted to hear because I'm pretty sure that's how they robbed us that time.
There wasn't much to steal at the time. It's a very small apartment. It had furniture and a shitty tv from what I remember. They wouldn't carry things. It was in the summer I think. So people would see and find it suspicious. They just took the gold necklace.
Thank you for making me feel a bit better.
I don't know where to get locks but I'll get informed.