My neighbors and I (near 23rd and Union) have had young men knocking on doors in the middle of the day or 9pm at night asking for directions or money. We’re calling it “Knock & Case the Block.” We think it’s a way for criminals to find out who is and is not home and who might be vulnerable (elderly or single people).
SPD non-emergency service was very supportive and helpful. Here’s their advice: Either don’t say anything at all to the person knocking or answer from behind a locked door with a firm voice. Then call SPD right away. Calling right away makes it more likely they can catch the person involved.
We also checked in with our other neighbors to make sure they knew. Everybody’s front and back porch lights are on now. If you get one of these guys, take SPD advice and tell your neighbors, too.
Not saying anything at all may lead to the “visitor’s” perception that no one is home and it is safe to go to a less visible door or window and break in.
Answering firmly from behind a closed and locked door will correct that misperception and cause the unknown person to go on to easier pickings.