Don't Open That Door, Masaad Ayoob

The Night Rider


I’ve seen this discussed on other forums and it seems to cause a lot of debate when it comes up.

I found this video by Massad Ayoob on youtube in which he explains how he deals with a stranger at his door and there’s not much I can add to it except maybe my personal experience.

I am convinced that I stopped an attempted robbery at the front door of my home several years ago by simply not opening the door.

A stranger showed up at my door around 9 pm saying that he wanted to give me a free Denver Post. This was back when I owned a home and I looked through the front window and he had no newspaper in his hands.

He spent 10 minutes trying to get me to open that door; nothing else was going to do. I finally ended the conversation by telling him I was calling the police. I am aware that there are any number of things I could have done better but it was almost 10 years ago and I’ve learned some since then.

I believe it’s prudent not to open the door to a stranger if for no other reason than I don’t want to hear a pitch for meat or a vacuum cleaner or encyclopedias or magazines or an invitation to your church. By not opening the door for anyone I don’t know I automatically am never faced with a situation where I open the door to a criminal.

If it is a criminal I want every advantage I can have. Why put myself in a position where I have to fight them at the door when I can just not open the door and avoid the fight entirely?
I was listening to a podcast and the host was mentioning how trades contractors actually could (and do) charge more by zip code and neighborhood because residents can afford to pay more.
Thievery comes in many forms. But it brings up my point of what a house looks like could telegraph who may reside within.

And just because some is dressed like a delivery service (or hi-viz vest), has a magnetic sign on their vehicle, carrying a labeled box and some sort of scan device to look official, there’s no guarantee that individual is on the up and up.

Plenty find daily or part time work as route package delivery (Amazon Flex) something this online retailer can’t fully restrict. Maybe the legitimate part time employee can’t finish his day but still has a bunch of stuff to deliver, still wants to get paid….can he call on a buddy take over to complete the route, theres just no telling.

There is a common ruse to size up and just to see who comes to (open) the door, then decide if that door can be forced and possible resistance.

These cunning thieves will also look at a residence from the outside and take notice of the layout. Meaning if the grass isn’t cut, the gutters are filled with leaves, the trim needs paint etc - it might be older folks inside. If they see decorations, a jungle gym, bike strewn about - they might think family. If they see a big dog dish and a beware sign - they think big dog.

I have a big enough driveway, one side is for a pickup truck that is seldom moved/driven so I can’t rely on that to give the house an occupied look. But, I always leave a space open in front of the overhead door (windows blacked out) so it gives the appearance that the daily driver is inside whether I’m home or not.

So it doesn’t hurt to add a bit of mystery to the security plan. And just not answering or opening the door is always an option.
Crooked ass contractors charge more by zip code. I never did. Not once.

There is something to your point though. I don't think any thief looking for a big payday is going to be targeting my house, that's for sure. ;)
Also why, if I have to knock on a strangers door for one reason or another. I stand well back from it so they feel a little more comfortable. Like the other night on the walk around the neighborhood someone obviously forgot to close their car door. I knocked and and then stood well away from the door to give ample space but remained in clear sight. Doing my best to put them at ease and not seem threatening.