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ALERT! Burglaries & Scams Are On The Rise In Grand Rapids & West Michigan

It happened to me recently and thought I’d share it with you.  I was working in the yard recently when it was raining, and three white males walked up my driveway.  They were in their early 20′s, all wearing orange caps with white lettering on them, they parked a taupe colored, medium sized car in front of one of the neighbors homes.  I have other details I am not at liberty to share with you here.

Two of them walked up my driveway, made some comment about the rain and I said, “What do you want?”  They went on to tell me they noticed I have burglar alarm signs and a burglar alarm system that is hard wired into my home.  I said, “No, those are old wires I have a new system that is wireless.”

Normally, under usual conditions they wouldn’t have even got that much information out of me, but I was caught off guard.

Lesson #1 Pay Attention and DO NOT BE CAUGHT OFF GUARD.  Stay In The Present Moment.

They ask me what I’m paying, I say I’m covered by a relative who owns the company and I pay $15 a month for monitoring.

Lesson #2 Cease Talking DO NOT ENGAGE WITH THESE PEOPLE.  Have your cell phone on you at all times, even in your yard, for emergencies.  Tell them you are not interested in what they are selling or saying and excuse yourself.  Say you have something on the stove and go in the house.  

These guys tell me they are with OnStar and say “You know, OnStar, the car people, well, they are branching out into home security.  I can offer you whatever you have now for $9.99.”  I tell them I am not interested and would never leave my family member or the system I have now!”

Lesson #3 Observe A Stranger’s Behavior I Noticed as he was talking to me he is looking over my shoulder into my garage.

At this point I am aware something is wrong and I stare at him and again say, “I am never changing companies, ever!.”

Then he turns to walk away and asks me if i know my neighbors?  I say, “Of course, people in this neighborhood watch out for each other.  Almost everyone has a home security system and some even have surveillance cameras.”  At that point I see he becomes visably nervous.  He says, “Thanks”,then he calls to the other guy across the the street who has a clipboard in his hand and was walking the neighborhood knocking on doors.  They jump in their car and leave.

I reported this to the Grand Rapids Police Department, filed a police report, called OnStar who told me there was no such program they are not branching out into home security.  They told me they were going to do an investigation of their own.  I also contacted a company based in the South, whose name is OnStar Security Systems who also told me they have no people in this area and to report it to the Better Business Bureau.

GRPD, contacted me to tell me this is a typical Breaking and Entering scan of a neighborhood.  It is executed to determine who is home and when, where to the elderly people live, and to obtain information such as name, banking or checking account info for identity fraud. 

If this happens to you or you see anything suspicious call 9-1-1 for emergency situations.  For non-emergency situations and to file a police report call 616-456-3400.  You can now submit a report to the Grand Rapids Police Department Online.  The Grand Rapids Police Department is also on Facebook.  Log into your Facebook account and click on this Facebook link.  

By the way, the following day some different guys came to my house saying they were not trying to sell me anything but asked if they could see my gas bill so they can see if they can get me a lower rate.  I asked them, “Seriously, are people that stupid to show you their gas bill.  Really?”  GRPD says do not show them any personal info like that. 

ALSO, if you have signs on your door that says NO SOLICITORS and they still ring your doorbell or knock all you have to do is call the Grand Rapids Police, and tell them what happened.  GRPD advised me that ringing a doorbell or knocking with a No Solicitors sign on your   door(s) , IS a misdemeanor, and the GRPD will issue a citation to them.  GRPD told me there are so many scams going on right now door to door it is hard for even them to keep up.   Protect yourself, stay aware, trust your gut and most importantly Stay In The Moment.  be on guard.  Stay safe!

Here are a few more things you can do to make your home safer…

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