Today, another reader had a strange encounter in his own building at Union and Clinton Streets. He writes:
[I] had a strange incident in our building here on Union and Clinton earlier today. Found two college-aged girls on the fourth floor of our walk-up, ostensibly soliciting money going from door to door (there are only four units in our brownstone), so, when I came home, I heard them upstairs. They were looking at personal belongings that were stored upstairs by our neighbor.
I asked them who they were and what they were doing and how they got in and they said they were raising money, and had been talking to all of neighbors, where one of them had buzzed them in. I was the only one who was home, so I knew that couldn't have been the case... anyway, I rushed them out of the door, not thinking that I should have insisted on getting their names and the organization they were raising funds for.
I confirmed that no one else was home, and then I started to remember that there had been a lot of daytime break-ins in our neighborhood of late... so, my question to you - have you heard anyone mention whether some of the break-ins have involved younger people posing as volunteers soliciting money?
The thought occurred to me that, unlikely as it may seem, perhaps they were casing our building. I don't know. Just thought I'd ask.The reader followed up his first email with further details. He writes:
*The incident happened at 3 pm on a weekday (today).
*The two girls were women, i shouldn't have called them girls, but they appeared to be college-aged or a little bit older. they were clean-cut, wearing baseball hats, one had a clipboard - so they looked the part as volunteers. there was nothing else about their appearance that suggested that they were suspicious. ordinary winter coats, they didn't look like drug addicts or homeless or any other kind of vagrants.
*What tipped me off was that they said they were talking to all of the neighbors, and that one of them had buzzed them in, when i knew that none of my neighbors were home... and then, when i started to ask questions, the two women quickly made their way down the stairs, with me following, asking more questions which they did not answer.
Again, it's most likely that they were simply two college-aged women who were, in fact, volunteers, and that nothing unusual was happening other than they let themselves in and figured that it was ok to knock on each door - if so, then they were likely a bit confused and maybe concerned that i was obviously displeased with their being in the building and they just wanted to get out... fair enough.
I'd be curious to know if anyone else has encountered something like this and if it raised any red flags. most people in our neighborhood know not to let yourself into a building unannounced. that's generally not how people engage with each other. even the older catholic women who occasionally solicit door to door know not to let themselves in the buildings.I am curious curious myself if these two ladies have been ringing doors in the neighborhood and for what cause they are fundraising. Of course, as the reader says, this most probably is a legitimate fundraising attempt, but then again, we may as well be careful, especially when someone gains access to our buildings without permission.