Beware the occupancy probe knock – Message from Toronto Police Service, 54 Division

The following message has arrived my way through the Long Branch Neighbourhood Watch Facebook group, and I am pleased to pass it along:

**Please “share” & discuss this with your friends & neighbors**

Toronto Police (54 division) states … “Criminals don’t want to break into your home if they think someone’s home. So how do they decide if someone’s home? They knock. This is an “occupancy probe”. If someone inside the home does’t come to the door, or shout out, then the criminal is likely to break into the home.

If you hear someone knock on your door, pls don’t ignore it. Come to the door and let your presence be known. You don’t have to open the door. Look thru the window, say “I’m busy” or similar so they know you’re home. In many cases, a homeowner has reported ignoring a door knock before the door came crashing in! Don’t let that happen to you.

***We’ve had a number of residential home break-ins during the past few days. There are a number of things you can do to minimize your risk of a break-in.***

1) Have a security system. If you already have one, ensure it’s turned on and working.

2) Trim bushes/shrubs from your property. Eliminate “blind spots” near your windows.

3) Be your brother’s keeper, and they yours. Know your neighbors, and their routines. Report any suspicious behaviour to 9-11 right away. We would prefer to be called for “nothing”, then not called for “something”. We’re here to protect your neighborhood – use us!. Often, a canvass of the neighbors after- the-fact revealed someone saw someone approach their neighbor’s back door, walk down between houses, saw people carrying items from their neighbor’s homes, or heard a large “bang”, etc. yet did’t call us. If you have a “gut feeling”, you’re probably right about your suspicions.

4) Get a good description of the bandit(s), vehicle or bike description etc while calling 9-11. Take a picture on your cellular phone if you’re able to do so discreetly.

5) Note serial #s, engrave your valuables where possible. Many stations have engravers you can use.

6) See # 3 above. Watch out for your neighbors. *Call us immediately*

[End of text]

See also:

Be alert regarding break-in attempts in your local neighbourhood


You may also wish to read previous posts about scams and scamming. When I see somebody at the door with a fancy badge and clipboard I shut the door within 3 seconds. In some other cases (as in, no badge), I’ll take a few more seconds to decide. If in doubt, I check with others in my network of contacts, after I’ve shut the door, and compare notes with them.

Some sample previous posts:

Beware of energy scammers going door to door

Beware of energy scammers going door to door; they are still going door to door

City of Toronto is warning residents to be cautious about private companies offering door-to-door free water testing

Door-to-door salespeople ‘aggressive’ and ‘intimidating’: poll (CBC Marketplace item)

Beware of email messages telling you to log on to Dropbox via email


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