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Night time walker scares me. MOD NOTE IN OP - PLEASE READ BEFORE REPLYING

  • 22-10-2020 9:43pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭


    I am feeling fairly anxious about an issue in my neighborhood and I would appreciate any insight and thoughts.

    Im a male mid 40s, single and living in my area close to 3 years and its a decent neighbourhood, no trouble, lots of young professionals and families, and a few older residents. A nice place to live, and im about 10 mins from my family who Im close with. Most people here will say hello to you and pass the time of day. Im living in an estate which is connected to the next estate by a short alleyway, really the only people who use that alley are the residents. My home is just after that alleyway. About 6 months ago, I noticed a guy about 30s or so starting to walk past my house a few times a week. Thought nothing of it, even though he didnt look familiar as a resident. I saw him walk to his car which was parked in the estate and drive off, he came from the street nearby and had a backpack so he doesnt live here. Dont know why he would be there if he doesnt live here. One evening he happened to catch my eye as i was in my living room and I waved just to salute him, he totally blanked me.

    The reason why im uneasy is I have had one or two bad experiences when renting where someone would case out your place trying to find out whos working and when, any valuables etc. Im on the Whatsapp estate watch group but nobody has mentioned him but his routine made me uneasy. He has no reason to be there, walking down that alley and driving away. I admit i dont know the first thing about him so what i did next was really stupid: I waited for him to pass and i caught up with him and asked him right out what he was doing here? He looked shocked and taken aback and asked me what business was it of mine? I faltered and lost my nerve and just told him its a safe area and he walked on, seemed shook. I felt stupid I know and I cant get over how paranoid and odd i must have seemed, so you dont need to point that out. It was just anxiety that this stranger came from nowhere and was passing the house only in the evenings. Since then, he hasnt stopped walking here! I thought that may have been enough to let him know I found it odd but he continues to walk on and drive away as per usual.

    Should I casually mention that there might be a potential burglar casing the area to some of the neighbours, or should I put it down to anxiety on my behalf of myself. I know this may seems like a massively trivial issue to some but its not the kind of place you would be walking unless you were a resident here and my gut feeling is hes no good. Thoughts?

    =========

    Mod Note

    Posters are minded that as per the Charter, when replying to a thread in PI/RI, you must offer constructive advice to an OP, in a civil way. If you have no advice to offer the OP please move on to another thread.

    Thanks

    HS


«13

Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,946 ✭✭✭Jequ0n


    I doubt he’d be staking out the area for 6 months, that doesn’t seem like a good time investment for one or two burglaries. For all you know he could live in the area and work night shifts and take his stuff with him in the backpack.

    He seemed puzzled by your question but continued to park/ walk there...someone staking out the area would have backed off or changed their routine.

    Stop mentioning this to people, you will look like a paranoid busybody


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,245 ✭✭✭alias no.9


    Stop overthinking it. Walking the same street in plain sight every day is hardly the hallmark of someone casing the area.


  • Users Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 1,105 ✭✭✭Limpy


    Your estate might have a nice well lit loop to walk safely. He's probably thinking there's loads of curtain twitchers around here.

    If your really worried record his reg. If he was casing houses and going back to his car he'd probably be in jail at the moment.


  • Registered Users Posts: 929 ✭✭✭Shelli2


    Commuters sometimes find free safe parking and catch a bus the last stage, or as in my case, we have a few nursing homes and schools within walking distance and have staff park up and walk to work.


  • Moderators, Music Moderators Posts: 2,147 Mod ✭✭✭✭Oink


    OP.

    Come on.

    What kind of people do you think walk back to their cars in the evening with a backpack on their back and drive home?

    Who do you think park their cars every morning in estates where they don’t live because it’s a handy free spot, then come back in the evening?

    Finally - don’t stop strangers in the street to ask them to justify their presence in a public space. You’re making a fool of yourself, and you could be looking for trouble.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,049 ✭✭✭el Fenomeno


    You need to speak to someone about your anxiety. This isn't normal behaviour.


  • Moderators, Music Moderators Posts: 2,147 Mod ✭✭✭✭Oink


    You need to speak to someone about your anxiety. This isn't normal behaviour.


    But most importantly, THAT!

    Please talk to someone. Maybe your GP, or even a friend. You need to take care of yourself.


  • Registered Users Posts: 814 ✭✭✭setanta1984


    What a horrible thing to do - someone minding their own business, simply walking in public and you have the gall to go up and question him like he is doing something wrong?? Did you think how that would make someone feel? Would you have done that if it was a woman?
    What gives you the right to know anyone elses business in the first place, why do you think anyone should have to explain to you why they are walking anywhere in public? Telling them "its a safe area" as if to guilt them into thinking they are doing something they shouldn't be?
    Since then, he hasnt stopped walking here! I thought that may have been enough to let him know I found it odd but he continues to walk on and drive away as per usual.
    Why the hell shouldn't he? Someone should stop what they are doing (which you know nothing about, and has zero affect on anyone else) because you "found it odd"? That is next level curtain twitching.
    As long as he is parked legally what you have described is nothing wrong. You can't seriously think they are a burglar if they park their car in public in the same place and walk the same route regularly?

    Imagine another thread on here, of someone going about their daily life doing nothing more than walking in public and parking their car and telling everyone here that some lunatic is out wanting to know their business and intimidating them into not not being seen around the area anymore. What do you think the reaction would be?

    And to top it off you want to start gossiping to the neighbourhood watch chat group to get the whole area on this guys case? Disgusting bullying.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,812 ✭✭✭thelad95


    Sounds like your quintessential commuter using the area as free parking. Are you anywhere near any kind of LUAS or bus stop or train station?

    I've been that commuter and there's a certain guilt in using a residential area for parking as it can impact negatively on the residential area in many ways. Increased traffic in and out leading to poorer air quality in the area, increased noise in the morning, removing parking for genuine residents etc. as well as the invasion of privacy of basically feeling like your living in a park and ride!

    The fact you have confronted this person has probably spooked them and as others have said if he was "dodgy" he would have backed off by now.

    If you're concerned he's using your area as a park and ride, it could be worth leaving a printed note on his windscreen along the lines of "residential area - parking for residents only" but in all honesty if there's no yellow lines or no clamping company he's not doing anything wrong.

    As others have said though he could be a resident for all you know.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,671 ✭✭✭GarIT


    I think you should speak to your doctor about this.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,704 ✭✭✭Xterminator


    OP - imagine if a video of you accosting the stranger was taken and uploaded to the internet. It would be no different than the videos of 'Karens' stopping black people on the street and asking them to justify their existence.

    Now im not suggesting for a minute that you have racist motives, you have made clear your motive is your anxiety, but think about that for a minute.

    Think about how it feels to be stopped in the street when going about your business and asked to justify yourself! They dont know you, nor what your motivations are, and they could well perceive this as harassment and even prejudice!

    If you felt your concerns were valaid you should speak with the local guards, especially if there is a community guard. But don't harass the poor man with no more evidence than your gut feelings.


  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,208 Mod ✭✭✭✭HildaOgdenx


    As others have said, your anxiety about this seems a bit out of proportion. I would suggest addressing that. It's been a very strange year for all of us, and that might be partly why your anxiety is manifesting in this way.

    It sounds fine to me. He wouldn't be likely to park in plain sight on a regular basis, if he was up to no good. If it would help to put your mind at ease, you could post something, I suppose, on the WhatsApp group, (if that is something that is usually done in the group) in a casual way, not in an accusatory way.

    Mind yourself, I think what we are all going through right now can make us overthink things that are in essence, quite harmless.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,979 ✭✭✭Caranica


    If you're nervous have you considered CCTV or a doorbell camera? There was an attempted break in near me last month and the Gardai advised the residents to get a Ring doorbell. I ordered one too after that and feel so much safer.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,319 ✭✭✭JustAThought


    I don’t see why everyone is so harsh twoards the OP. He hs as had bad experiences with house casing and so his caution is relatively natural. He has flagged it with the local neigbourhood watch - that’s what it’s there for. He is concerned for his safety - Ok - he is on radar alert - it dosn’t make him a nutjob or anxiety freak. We had cars parking in our estate and people using it to commute - one or two of them caused all kind of problems as the cars were them left there untaxed and uninsured when their owners went off back home or emigrated or whatever. We also had a guy who used park and deal - it took vigalence by neighbours and the NW to convince the gaurds to do a stakeout and clear him from the area. Lets face it - nothing will magically happen by itself in this country. If I had someone hanging around my house at night who didn’t live there I’d probably eventually challenge them somehow too.

    OP - the others here have probably put their finger on it and he is using your estate as a park and drive (however annonying this is its probably legal unless its a private estate or in someones allocated parking or blocking a footpath/drive). His reaction when you challenged him probably shows that he is more afraid of you than you of
    him - so you learned something positive from your challenge! It may be that he is working locally and the company has told him not to use the customers parking out front, or perhaps he is moved in with someone where they have no driveway space for him so he is using the laneway to get from his rental or partners house or rental to his car ( or vice versa). I assume the backpack is not one big enough to go camping with - lots of people carry PC’s and study folders or textbooks or hat and work clothes ( safety boots/ engineering overalls/safety hat etc) so I wouldn’t think too much of it.

    Now that you’ve challenged him he knows he’s on peoples radar so will be on his gaurd against further approaches so I’d leave him alone. If he is smuggling bags of toilet rolls or stealing garden gnomes that will probably put him off. I’d say he’s just under a bit of logistical pressure and going about his business as best he can maybe working nights or irregular shifts - and leave it at that and rest easy.

    Despite what the court system and judges seem to think there are no victimless crimes and having been subject to stalking/housecasing behaviour in the past can put you on high flight mode and make you fearsome. He probably now talking to his friend or family about a guy that is watching him as he exits the dark lonely alleyway & is probably now worried himself!! Leave it be and try not to worry so much - just because you have had bad experiences in the past dosn’t mean that the world isn’t full of nice normal hardworking people just trying to get by and who wouldn’t harm a fly.


  • Registered Users Posts: 580 ✭✭✭Pablo_Flox


    If that was me you would have gotten a much more aggressive response. Do you think you are John Wayne acting as the local sheriff for the town?! It is absolutely none of your business what he is doing there, and you feel uncomfortable that is your problem not his.

    I suggest you get help, that is very strange behavior you are exhibiting.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,176 ✭✭✭✭ILoveYourVibes


    I know this may seems like a massively trivial issue to some but its not the kind of place you would be walking unless you were a resident here and my gut feeling is hes no good. Thoughts?


    My thoughts are you haven't handled this very well.

    You have a gut bad feeling about someone yet you have actually drawn this person's attention TO YOU. This isn't wise.

    You should have kept your head down.

    Never draw attention to yourself if you think someone is bad news.

    You can't surmise his motives just from what little info you have.

    What you should do ..is simply secure your house. Alarms bolts ..strong doors and locks ...maybe get a dog etc.

    Your behavior was very odd.

    Totally illogical in fact. Which makes ME think its more anxiety based than reality based.

    If it were logical to think this person was up to no good. You wouldn't have had the guts to approach him. And i mean if he is a burglar do you think he is going to TELL YOU 'yeah i am going to rob a house tonight don't tell anyone?'

    The fact that YOU perturbed him makes me think he is just an ordinary person. Also if he was a robber and someone clocked him ..he would stop walking by every night if he was clever.

    He would be an extremely dumb robber to keep walking by after someone clocked him wouldn't he?

    Usually if i clock someone doing ill ....i don't see them again ...because they know i have their number.
    Despite what the court system and judges seem to think there are no victimless crimes and having been subject to stalking/housecasing behaviour in the past can put you on high flight mode and make you fearsome.

    This ..however ..just to be safe ..secure your house in a normal healthy way. Try and be a bit more confident in yourself and maybe speak to a mental health professional especially during covid.


    No smart burglar is going to keep walking past a house that clocked him.

    So he is prob just a normal guy . Hope that makes you feel safer. :)

    But next time ..DONT challenge someone you feel is iffy....unless you are defending yourself.

    If i am walking and i see someone odd ..i cross the street . I walk by ..i dont draw attention...its VERY dangerous to do that.


  • Registered Users Posts: 880 ✭✭✭Rachiee


    My partner has mobility issues and we sometimes walk around nearby estates as there are so few places to walk that are 100 percent flat could it be something like that ?


  • Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭LegacyUser


    OP here, thanks for the replies so far.

    Yes, my previous experience when renting in a kinda dodgy area has made me anxious, as I had 2 neighbours who had their flat ransacked when they were at work and it was from a gang who knew the hours of the tenants so I was only spared as i work flexi hours. Its made me jumpy, thats why im so in tune with the comings and goings of the people who live here. It isnt a well lit alley thats the thing, but that doesnt stop him walking there, plus its always between 9-10pm when he does it, which is also suspicious.
    Yes, I know now i absolutely shouldnt have confronted him, i wasnt planning to scare the chap, only to let him know i was aware of his routine. I regretted it right away because he asked me what business it was of mine and all my bravado went. i realised how stupid i was for doing this to a stranger. So i get it, i shoudlnt have done it.
    But...and this is my main issue, he still comes here! Down the estate and through the alley and into his car, which isnt blocking any other area (but i have noted the reg) which i find even stranger because surely after that interaction, he would have copped on that he was being watched and moved on, but he hasnt.
    Is it best to throw a pic of the car and reg on the Whatsapp group or just have a quiet word with the community officer to put my mind at ease? Im torn right now!


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,287 ✭✭✭✭Dial Hard


    Why would he move on when he isn't doing anything wrong???

    You've been told over and over again the most likely reason for his movements - he's parking there.

    Work on your anxiety and for the love of god, no, don't post a picture of his car in the neighbourhood WhatsApp group or report him to the police. Jesus.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,061 ✭✭✭leggo


    OP you’re not getting it. Every single shred of evidence, including your confrontation and him continuing his routine, is pointing to him doing nothing illegal or harmful. All that’s happening is that you’re being irrationally anxious.

    And I get it, I’ve had my own wars with anxiety in the past. But the solution is for YOU to tackle YOUR anxiety, not to try and get the world to accommodate it. The most likely outcome of you pursuing this in any way is your neighbours thinking you’re an oddball, or a Garda laughing at you. Even if you were successful in getting your man to park somewhere else while at work...the issue isn’t that, it’s that you have anxiety, so all that would happen is something else would come along to trigger that instead.

    To be perfectly clear one more time: this is your issue OP, not anyone else’s. Take the warning sign here when there’s no harm done and is just an idle thought on boards.ie: stop pursuing this and do some work on your anxiety and you can make this non-event into something life-changing where its current course is hurtling towards it being a bit cringy and embarrassing.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 854 ✭✭✭beveragelady


    Here's what it looks like from the outside...
    Like a lot of people, you have not had a huge amount of human interaction in recent months. This has caused you to over-react to a stranger's fairly normal behaviour.
    You are wrong to think that the stranger should have stopped walking there because you accosted him. It sounds like isn't breaking any laws or even doing anything very odd.
    The thing you need to keep in mind is that your anxiety is all yours. Other people don't have to adjust their behaviour to ease your irrational anxiety. You need to deal with your problem and let other people go about their day.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,972 ✭✭✭Smee_Again


    OP here, thanks for the replies so far.

    Yes, my previous experience when renting in a kinda dodgy area has made me anxious, as I had 2 neighbours who had their flat ransacked when they were at work and it was from a gang who knew the hours of the tenants so I was only spared as i work flexi hours. Its made me jumpy, thats why im so in tune with the comings and goings of the people who live here. It isnt a well lit alley thats the thing, but that doesnt stop him walking there, plus its always between 9-10pm when he does it, which is also suspicious.
    Yes, I know now i absolutely shouldnt have confronted him, i wasnt planning to scare the chap, only to let him know i was aware of his routine. I regretted it right away because he asked me what business it was of mine and all my bravado went. i realised how stupid i was for doing this to a stranger. So i get it, i shoudlnt have done it.
    But...and this is my main issue, he still comes here! Down the estate and through the alley and into his car, which isnt blocking any other area (but i have noted the reg) which i find even stranger because surely after that interaction, he would have copped on that he was being watched and moved on, but he hasnt.
    Is it best to throw a pic of the car and reg on the Whatsapp group or just have a quiet word with the community officer to put my mind at ease? Im torn right now!

    Why would he stop waking/parking there? He’s done nothing wrong, he’s not even done anything suspicious.

    And just to give your anxiety a wee nudge if you do go to the Community Officer who in turn has a word with him he’ll rightly suspect it was the local busybody who previously accosted him.


  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    Stop peering out your window between 9-10pm and the "problem" will magically go away.


  • Registered Users Posts: 814 ✭✭✭setanta1984


    But...and this is my main issue, he still comes here! Down the estate and through the alley and into his car, which isnt blocking any other area (but i have noted the reg) which i find even stranger because surely after that interaction, he would have copped on that he was being watched and moved on, but he hasnt.
    Is it best to throw a pic of the car and reg on the Whatsapp group or just have a quiet word with the community officer to put my mind at ease? Im torn right now!

    Who the hell do you think you are?


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,647 ✭✭✭✭punisher5112


    Get net curtains or blinds op and stop twitching them, go read a book or put on the TV, get a dog.... What gave you the notion to go ask someone what they are doing in a public place and you say you are nervous.....

    Bizarre way to carry yourself, if you felt it was a bit suspicious say at the start or it was random then of course ring your local Garda station and just tell them the issue if you believe there is one....

    You say he is doing this 6 months, how do you know he doesn't live or isn't off with some married woman around the corner, it's none of your business and as it's a public road and the car is road legal he has as much right to park there as you do.

    Obviously as already stated if he was up to no good you most likely wouldn't see him, he wouldn't park for everyone to see and hell he must be a shocking robber if he takes 6 months m....


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,222 ✭✭✭✭salmocab


    Your lucky he didn’t slap you for being a nosey bastard. 6 months casing a house? Have you got a museum of fine art in your shed. Leave the man alone and mind your own business.
    If you send that picture to the WhatsApp and it turns out to be a friend of a neighbour you’ll have made yourself the laughing stock more than you are already.


  • Registered Users Posts: 807 ✭✭✭Jenneke87


    I work very erratic hours, and if I have to work a nightshift, I'm leaving at 22:15 and coming home around 07:00. In a previous job, I would sometimes arrive home at 03:30 and no doubt that anyone who saw me out at that time wondered why a woman was walking alone out there in the dead of night. Just to say, maybe he is coming home late or is leaving for work. It really doesn't sound like he is doing anything wrong.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,315 ✭✭✭✭Snake Plisken


    Sounds like someone using the estate to free park for the day. If you are in neighbourhood whatsapp group have you asked if anyone knows or have seen the guy?


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,647 ✭✭✭✭punisher5112


    Sounds like someone using the estate to free park for the day. If you are in neighbourhood whatsapp group have you asked if anyone knows or have seen the guy?

    Why ? Who cares!!!

    Doing nothing wrong or illegal


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  • Registered Users Posts: 561 ✭✭✭Sonic the Shaghog


    Hopefully you'll go after him again and he'll get a video as maybe a word from the local Gardai may sort you out and get you to realise what you're at is absolutely crackers carry on

    You seriously need to speak to your GP and engage in some sort of therapy. Just because you have issues doesn't give you the right to control others. Yes this exactly what you are trying to do, control this poor fella cause you obviously have issues


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