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VANITY: Neighbors (Rental) Nocturnal Activity (illegal) - Thoughts?
Eye-Witness | 6/18/2003 | Frapster

Posted on 06/18/2003 8:58:57 AM PDT by Frapster

So last night the neighbor's dog is barking non-stop which it does any time they put it in the back yard and they are in the house. The problem was I hate noisey neighbors - it's an obsessive compulsive disorder of mine (or so I've concluded). About 10:30 PM I walk out to my driveway and they have their normal 4 cars parked. 2 in the driveway and 2 in front of the house. But this time there's a large extended passenger van with side-doors running at the end of the driveway with its lights on. I think nothing of it. As soon as I step out onto the driveway and look over I see one of them get in the van and close the side doors. Again I think nothing of it. I stand there for a moment debating about saying anything and then decide to turn around and go back in. A few moments later the dog stops barking and I assume they somehow divined why I was standing in my front-yard, barefoot, in my PJs.

About 5 minutes later the dog starts barking again so finally sometime after 11PM I walk outside, down my driveway and 2 guys climb out of the parked and running van and meet me at the base of the neighbors driveway. My mind is still on the dog barking. I ask them if they live there (I never know for sure who lives there) and they say 'no, we're selling vacuums, you wanna buy one?' That kind of jiggles my thought processes a little but I just tell them I don't want a vacuum and want to talk to the neighbors about the dog's barking.

So I walk up the driveway and they cut across the yard - I'm still not fully plugged in to what's going on but they cut across the yard rather quickly ahead of me and are in the house telling the owner that I"m on my way to 'bitch' about the dog which I overhear just as I get to the door. I stick my head in the door and tell them that the dog is right under our window and we're trying to sleep and ask them politely if they could do something about it.

Now - here are my thoughts. This house has a LOT of late-night traffic as well as weekend traffic. These guys were clearly not selling vacuums because I did not see vacuum one and what kind of salesmen walks in and says 'the neighbors coming over to bitch about the dog' with said neighbor right on his heels? Secondly - when I first walked out they closed the van doors after they saw me - I clearly had that impression but could not prove that was their intent. Thirdly - the next time I walked out it seems they got out as a direct result of my 2nd appearance. Thirdly, the whole vacuum conversation is what makes me completely suspicious. Apart from being a smart aleck - why even say something like that?

My question to my fellow freepers: what kinds of things are clear indicators that something illegal is going on next door? I'm genuinely naieve about this stuff. Thanks in advance!


TOPICS: Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: dogs; drugs; fencing; nervous; nightowls
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1 posted on 06/18/2003 8:58:59 AM PDT by Frapster
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To: Frapster
Meth lab?

2 posted on 06/18/2003 9:01:36 AM PDT by babyface00
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To: babyface00
Meth lab? Marijuana dealer? Stolen parts or other hot stuff? I dunno - what do I look for?
3 posted on 06/18/2003 9:03:18 AM PDT by Frapster (John 3:16)
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To: Frapster
Here's an article for landlords on what to look for:

http://www.ihfa.org/pdfs/RS_LL_winter_02.pdf
4 posted on 06/18/2003 9:04:15 AM PDT by babyface00
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To: Frapster
Throw a lit flare through a window. If the whole house explodes it was a meth lab.
5 posted on 06/18/2003 9:04:17 AM PDT by Tijeras_Slim
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To: Frapster
"I dunno - what do I look for?"

Be careful, whatever you do. If these folks are up to illegal activities, they may not take it kindly if you go poking around. It can be very dangerous to fool with such people.
6 posted on 06/18/2003 9:04:45 AM PDT by MineralMan
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To: Frapster
Frapster, I live in a crack infested illegal alien building and all round bad neighborhood in California.

So, my advice is: can you get together with your other neighbors about this neighbor THEN go to the police and make some kind of nuisance complaint?

I don't know if they are teens, or what, but I'd definitely start writing letters to the police and talking to *friendly* other neighbors about that house.
7 posted on 06/18/2003 9:04:59 AM PDT by I_Love_My_Husband (Yes I want to move, but yesterday my mortgage person said we can afford it :((()
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To: Frapster
Don't *look* for anything. These sound like dangerous creeps. Cops come around yet?
8 posted on 06/18/2003 9:05:13 AM PDT by Mamzelle
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To: Frapster
What kind of dog is it? A shepherd, a pit bull? If it is, good possibility in addition to annoying you, it is an early warning for them inside. A house of ill-repute? A crack house?
9 posted on 06/18/2003 9:06:09 AM PDT by hardhead
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To: Tijeras_Slim
lolololololololololol, now wiping coffee off my monitor!
10 posted on 06/18/2003 9:06:31 AM PDT by eyespysomething (Breaking down the stereotypes of soccer moms everyday!)
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To: Frapster
Drugs? Coke? Vacuum maybe a reference to nose candy? Just guessing, I dunno.
11 posted on 06/18/2003 9:06:43 AM PDT by b4its2late (The Road Map to Peace is looking more like a "Road Map to Pieces".)
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To: Frapster
The next time you think about it, step outside and take several good sniffs of the air. Do this several times over the next few days. If you smell anything resembling ether or any chemical-like smell, then it might be time to involve the authorities.

Most salespeople don't sell vacuum cleaners at 11 PM. Trust me on this.

12 posted on 06/18/2003 9:07:09 AM PDT by strela ("Have Word Processor, Will Travel" reads the card of a man ...)
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To: Tijeras_Slim
Thanks a lot!

Now I have to wipe pop off my monitor...
13 posted on 06/18/2003 9:07:31 AM PDT by TSgt (“If I do my full duty, the rest will take care of itself.” - General George S. Patton)
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To: Frapster
Best advice: move
14 posted on 06/18/2003 9:08:25 AM PDT by savedbygrace
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To: Frapster
Most towns have ordinances about barking dogs after 10:00 PM. Call the police about the noise and you can also tell them about your suspicions.

15 posted on 06/18/2003 9:08:54 AM PDT by Fzob (Why does this tag line keep showing up?)
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To: Frapster
I dunno - what do I look for?

Don't look for anything. Talk to the owner about the barking dog, but otherwise mind your own business. It will save you alot of grief.

Why does that movie with Tom Hanks (The Burbs) come to mind?

16 posted on 06/18/2003 9:09:26 AM PDT by Pern ("It's good to know who hates you, and it's good to be hated by the right people." - Johnny Cash)
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To: Frapster
Caution is advisable, and I agree with the poster who says get with other neighbors. I would try not to raise undue alarm. Tell the story and ask them the same way you asked us, to get their opinion. This will help you get their help and prevent you from causing them stress and alarm and looking to you to do something about it.

I would stay away from the neighbors. Then again, a simple solution might be to call in a noise complaint about the dog one night. Cops show up, they'll sniff trouble like you did, insinuate their way into the house and badda bing. Problem solved.

17 posted on 06/18/2003 9:09:46 AM PDT by Huck
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To: Frapster
If you call the cops about suspected drug trafficking or whatever, be prepared to defend yourself if these fellows are of a vindictive nature.

I own a large self storage facility. Unless, I find dead bodies or child porno or now Islamakazis....in other words something serious......, I just tell them to move on. If I suspect they are keeping dope cars or growing pot...I just tell them to move out and quickly.

I spend 4 days a week in this front office and I'm an easy target if they get the jump on me or do a drive by on my metal building office later. I have 6 dependents and 2 sort of dependents....I'm not going to risk my life for some pot growers or dopers. A meth lab is unlikely here because of the stench.

I spent most of my adult life in war zones and I am not gonna fall on my sword for BS.

Call me jaded.
18 posted on 06/18/2003 9:09:55 AM PDT by wardaddy (I was born my Papa's son....when I hit the ground I was on the run.....)
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To: Frapster
I would have asked what kind of vacuums. My house needs a good once over....
19 posted on 06/18/2003 9:09:58 AM PDT by freebilly (I think they've misunderestimated us....)
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To: Frapster
What kind of neighborhood are you in?
20 posted on 06/18/2003 9:10:35 AM PDT by wardaddy (I was born my Papa's son....when I hit the ground I was on the run.....)
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To: Frapster
There is little doubt from your description that some kind of illegal activity is going on here. If you call the police they will ask you all kinds of personal questions about your identity etc... You may be able to refuse to identify yourself, but still tell them your concerns and the address and they probably will still check it out. The only reason NOT to identify yourself is if you are afraid of the neighbors finding out it was you who turned them in.
21 posted on 06/18/2003 9:10:53 AM PDT by Drawsing
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To: Frapster
What kind of pajamas were you wearing when you decided to walk over and talk to your neighbors?
22 posted on 06/18/2003 9:11:10 AM PDT by Hatteras (The Thundering Herd Of Turtles ROCK!)
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To: Frapster
Sounds like your neighbors aren't holding prayer meetings.I think the idea of the dog being an alarm makes sense. If you call the cops you could easily become a victim.
The bad guys traditionally try to get even with the good guys. Have you discussed this with your other neighbors?
23 posted on 06/18/2003 9:12:27 AM PDT by The Brush
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To: Tijeras_Slim
"Throw a lit flare through a window. If the whole house explodes it was a meth lab."

Oh yea - I wanna' be on YOUR team !!
(I mean that).

24 posted on 06/18/2003 9:12:43 AM PDT by Psalm 73 ("Gentlemen, you can't fight in here - this is a war room".)
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To: Frapster
I'd say that all of the things you noted make it failry clear that there's something illegal going on.

Keep an eye on things and the next time the van is there call the cops.
25 posted on 06/18/2003 9:13:04 AM PDT by Bikers4Bush
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To: strela
I just asked my wife and neither of us knows what ether smells like. I can identify 'chemical' smells so I'll just keep my nose to the wind and see what turns up. Thanks!

Most salespeople don't sell vacuum cleaners at 11 PM.

When he said he was selling a vacuum I immediately assumed he was a Kirby salesman. My niece sold those things and they did demonstrations at all hours. But it did strike me as odd.

26 posted on 06/18/2003 9:13:42 AM PDT by Frapster (John 3:16)
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To: Frapster
It sounds like you live in a crack infested neighborhood full of illegal aliens and vacume salesmen that are actually selling drugs. I would get out of Texas fast.
27 posted on 06/18/2003 9:14:07 AM PDT by Joe Hadenuf (Recall Gray Davis, position his smoking chair over a trap door, a memo for the next governor.)
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To: Tijeras_Slim
Throw a lit flare through a window. If the whole house explodes it was a meth lab.

Funniest post I've seen today!
28 posted on 06/18/2003 9:14:13 AM PDT by Xenalyte (I may not agree with your bumper sticker, but I'll defend to the death your right to stick it)
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To: MineralMan
True. So drop a dime. Tell poice this van pulled up, it doesn't belong there, it *could* be visitors, but they claim to be vaccuum salesman at this time o' night. The Police will check it out for you.
29 posted on 06/18/2003 9:14:19 AM PDT by theDentist (So. This is Virginia.... where are all the virgins?)
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To: Joe Hadenuf
Dude, what IS it with you and Texas?
30 posted on 06/18/2003 9:14:58 AM PDT by Xenalyte (I may not agree with your bumper sticker, but I'll defend to the death your right to stick it)
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To: Tijeras_Slim
I do love your ideas...
31 posted on 06/18/2003 9:15:38 AM PDT by Sweet_Sunflower29 (Since 2002-05-19 __ I'll admit it....I just LOVE Toby Keith!)
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To: Frapster
If you want to know what ether smells like, get yourself some starting fluid (sold in auto parts stores or simply borrow some from a neighbor). It smells real close to that.
32 posted on 06/18/2003 9:15:48 AM PDT by strela ("Have Word Processor, Will Travel" reads the card of a man ...)
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To: MineralMan
Be careful, whatever you do.

Noted and heeded. I definitely have no intention of actively doing something like going through their garbage or taking pictures. I'm mainly considering 'passive' observations during my normal course of events.

33 posted on 06/18/2003 9:18:22 AM PDT by Frapster (John 3:16)
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To: Frapster
Some folks here have warned you about getting the police involved, because the police will ask a lot of question about who you are, where you live, etc.

This is not necessarily the case, if you do this right.

The next time you see any suspicious activity going on next door, do the following:

1. Leave your home quietly and make your way to the nearest public phone.

2. Call the local police department directly (not 911), and report that someone parked a van in the driveway across the street from your house (not next door -- this will be too specific).

3. (Very Important) Be sure to mention that a man has emerged from the van and is exposing himself to the neighborhood children.

Whenever a potential child molester is involved, the police will generally not ask any questions. In fact, they will get off the phone as quickly as possible so that the situation can be addressed. In fact, several police cars will probably show up at the neighbor's house before you even hang up the phone.

When they find a crack lab in the van instead of a naked man, they are not going to complain about the details.

34 posted on 06/18/2003 9:18:53 AM PDT by Alberta's Child
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To: hardhead
What kind of dog is it?

The 'barker' is a black lab. They also have a pit bull.

35 posted on 06/18/2003 9:20:44 AM PDT by Frapster (John 3:16)
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To: Frapster
Mind your own business or move. Snitches aren't protected by the cops. How will you like jumping out of your skin every time you hear a strange noise, just because you had someone put in jail?
36 posted on 06/18/2003 9:21:13 AM PDT by Sir Gawain (Mongo only pawn in game of life)
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To: Pern
Why does that movie with Tom Hanks (The Burbs) come to mind?

Exactly my concern here. Of course it turns out that Tom and friends were right in that movie so your example is not necessarily a good one.

37 posted on 06/18/2003 9:22:21 AM PDT by Frapster (John 3:16)
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To: Xenalyte
He lives in California... we call it "envy". ;)
38 posted on 06/18/2003 9:23:27 AM PDT by dandelion
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To: Frapster
Regarding post #34 . . .

It's also worth noting that if the police show up at the houose next door looking for a child molester and find a meth lab instead, the people who live there will think they were just the victims of some bad luck ("Why did a naked man have to come out of a house in this neighborhood just as we were cooking up some product?")

After you make the phone call from the public phone, you should probably wait an hour or so before you go back home. You can get the details later.

39 posted on 06/18/2003 9:24:16 AM PDT by Alberta's Child
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To: Frapster
Want to get a whiff of what ether smells like? Go buy a spray can of starting fluid (the label usually says whether it contains ether or not).
40 posted on 06/18/2003 9:24:20 AM PDT by IYAS9YAS (Go Fast, Turn Left!)
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To: strela
You beat me to it.
41 posted on 06/18/2003 9:25:26 AM PDT by IYAS9YAS (Go Fast, Turn Left!)
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To: Joe Hadenuf; Frapster
I would get out of Texas fast.

That's a bit extreme. Just get out of Houston. ;o)

42 posted on 06/18/2003 9:25:42 AM PDT by al_c
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To: Xenalyte
Dude? I remember using that term when I was about 17 years old. A few years back. Hehehe. Look, when you got loud rude, drug selling neighbors, it's time to get out! It's sign that the entire neighborhood is going down, and the state for that matter. I suggest moving to Michigan.
43 posted on 06/18/2003 9:25:44 AM PDT by Joe Hadenuf (Recall Gray Davis, position his smoking chair over a trap door, a memo for the next governor.)
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To: wardaddy
Quiet, middle-class, subdivision. Homes are VHA loan type homes so it's relatively affordable for a wide range of people. Very little crime to speak of considering the location and affordability. We've never had anything so much as 'borrowed' from our garage or front yard after leaving the garage open accidentally or leaving bikes on the front lawn. W'ere in a cul-de-sac.
44 posted on 06/18/2003 9:26:06 AM PDT by Frapster (John 3:16)
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To: Frapster
Get a Sony handheld 8mm camcorder with a digital zoom and a feature called Night Watch. And a tripod

Start taping these little late night sales meetings. It may constitute invaluable evidence in the future.

45 posted on 06/18/2003 9:26:26 AM PDT by Bloody Sam Roberts (®)
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To: Hatteras
What kind of pajamas were you wearing when you decided to walk over and talk to your neighbors?

Underoos. ;-)

46 posted on 06/18/2003 9:26:47 AM PDT by Frapster (John 3:16)
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To: strela
Ok - that I know. Thanks!
47 posted on 06/18/2003 9:28:02 AM PDT by Frapster (John 3:16)
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To: Frapster
Probably crazed, demon-spawn, heathen Muslims running a meth lab in order to ensnare our youth into turning into devil-worshipping suicide bombers.....or maybe nothing like that at all.
48 posted on 06/18/2003 9:28:51 AM PDT by stuartcr
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To: Joe Hadenuf
Why do you assume that every Texas neighborhood is infested with meth labs and shanks? The grandmas in my neighborhood far outnumber the crack whores.

Nor do we have any meth labs. The homeowners' association tightened up on 'em.
49 posted on 06/18/2003 9:29:39 AM PDT by Xenalyte (I may not agree with your bumper sticker, but I'll defend to the death your right to stick it)
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To: Frapster
I would consult with my neighbors. There is strength in numbers and you have a right to keep your neighborhood clean.
50 posted on 06/18/2003 9:30:19 AM PDT by wardaddy (I was born my Papa's son....when I hit the ground I was on the run.....)
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