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Problem neighbors and being watched by them

Posted by NicholeN (My Page) on
Tue, Mar 4, 14 at 18:59

Hi I'm sorry if I'm posting in the wrong section but I am in need of help with my neighbors. I have lived in this neighborhood for 16 years and have never run into a problem with any of the neighbors until last year. My old neighbors had moved and we received new neighbors next to both side of our house. We never bothered them and continued with our everyday lives. In the household we are all women. I attend high school and my mother is a single mom. We also live with my cousins and their mom. How does this bring in a problem? One day my mom and I were getting out the car from when she picked me up from school and the neighbors also were exiting their car. The husband waved to us and we tried to be friendly and waved back before entering the house. The next day when we arrived home his wife was waiting outside the house and began to walk towards us while yelling. She was screaming at us and speaking in her home language(we weren't able to understand her). My mom immediately placed herself in front of me but the wife continued to yell at us, now in English, using racial slurs and stating that all the women in the house were trying to sleep with her husband. My mom was calm in the moment and tried to speak calmly with her but the wife still insisted on it and as she was fighting with my mom I moved to the side and saw her husband laughing at the front of their house. She eventually left and my mom and I just returned home. Ever since then we try to avoid the husband but he still attempts to flirt with my mom and even me. The wife also continues to harass us but she never bothers us saying we are loud but she continues to talk about how we are a household full of women and that seems to be the only problem she has and I'm not sure why. To add with all this the other new neighbors have been watching us. At first it wasn't noticeable but eventually after a month we began to notice a van that was always in the front yard and never used. We had noticed some people in the car just sitting there. They just ate, talked, and watched us. Whenever we turned to them they would just turn their head all the way back. Once while I was walking back to the house I heard the men in the van talking and one of them said "Hey did she cut her hair? It's at her shoulder now," and that day was the same day i got my hair cut to my shoulders. Another time while i was walking home I heard voices again so I stopped and looked around and heard "She's been looking around a lot lately" and when I turned to the van the men just turned their heads away. Even my mom has experienced it along with my aunts and cousins. Also when my grandparents dropped me off at my house I saw the men from the van again but this time they were outside and talking. While I was walking into the house I turned and noticed them staring at me. Later I heard a ring at the door and when I went to see who it was it was them. They said that they needed to use the restroom but I didn't let them. They kept saying that they needed it badly and I continued to say no until they left. We have thought about getting a gun but our aunt does not want one in the house since one of my cousins has autism. My aunts said that we needed a "man of the house" to protect us but I'm not sure if this will solve anything. We also can't move due to money problems and most apartments in our area are full. I'm worried about what could happen to my cousins but I'm also very worried about what could happen to my mom since she is alone at home most of the time when she is not at work. I'm aware that she is an adult but even so things such as house break ins and assaults can happen even to the most cautious people. I'm sorry that the post was long and maybe confusing but some help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Problem neighbors and being watched by them

Keep looking around when you're coming and going. Good thing to be aware of what's going on. The men watching and talking isn't illegal, not much you can do. Good thinking to not let them in. I hope your whole family is aware of this watching and talking they do. Your neighbor woman screaming accusations is Illegal, Call the police. When you do, tell them about your concerns about the men next door. Make them aware of your situation. Call them if they do anything you don't like. That's their job. Keep us posted, and keep your family aware of the goings on. Good luck.


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RE: Problem neighbors and being watched by them

If they are watching you from a van, that indicates that they don't live in or belong to the neighborhood. If they lived in the area, they would not ask you to use the bathroom. I would write down tag numbers and times to see if you can come up with a pattern.


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RE: Problem neighbors and being watched by them

I'm sorry you're having this problem. You sound like an intelligent and sensible young woman, and I commend you for trying to get some advice about this difficult issue.

Do not get a gun...that will only increase the potential for problems. It's a hard call, but I suggest talking with the police, and describing the situation as you have above. They may be able to make a "friendly" visit to scope out the situation. Of course, such a visit may get the neighbors annoyed, but I don't think it can get much worse, and they will be on notice that you are not afraid to get the police involved. Another thing that the police can do is determine whether there are any laws being violated with those people loitering in the van.
Good luck.


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RE: Problem neighbors and being watched by them

Thank you all for the advice. I talked to my aunt about calling the police but she doesn't agree and says that it might cause more trouble but my mom was able to convince her about talking to her ex-husband for help(He is in the police force). My aunt and him are still on friendly terms since my cousins are their daughters so she has decided to tell him what is going on but she refuses to call the police in our area. I'm sure the men live there since I saw them enter and exit the house. I've also seen them get items from the blue van. Our neighbors wife seems to have calmed down but when we walk by to throw away the trash she begins to yell at us but she hasn't actually walked up to our part of the house to argue with us lately.The husband still continues to try and flirt with us though. We still have had no luck on finding apartments near my school so we think we might have to search for one that is farther from my school than we would like.


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RE: Problem neighbors and being watched by them

You need to let the police know. Even if you have to do it behind your aunt's back. Your neighbors and the men in the van sound like trouble you don't need. I hope you aren't opening the door when the men come to your door. They might force their way in. Can you get a big dog to scare them off? That might work better than a gun.


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RE: Problem neighbors and being watched by them

I agree with kudzu9, you're a smart girl. I think it might be wise to talk to the police who patrol your area. You could call and ask it a car is in the neighborhood, not necessarily in front of your house, and tell them what's happening, about them sitting in the van, try to get the license plate, and that they talk about you. Since they park in the yard, and you've seen them going into the house, it seems real strange that they asked to use your bathroom. If you call police, meet them around the corner to talk to them. Get that license plate and what kind of van it is, chevy, ford, etc. It may be illegal to be parked on the yard. Good luck, and keep us posted.


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RE: Problem neighbors and being watched by them

I would start documenting dates and times the van is there and they are watching you, and take a picture each time.

Why not ask them why they are sitting there? And take their picture.

If you expect the cops to be able to do anything, you would need to have documentation that you are being harrassed and spied upon.


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RE: Problem neighbors and being watched by them

I would advise to document everything. Do not engage in any conversation with any of them. Do not call the police to your home at this point....go to the police station with your family to talk to them and get advice as to what you should do, what is and isn't legal, next steps, etc. Of course do not hesitate to call the police if you feel in imminent danger. Good luck and please keep us posted.


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RE: Problem neighbors and being watched by them

I'm confused with the van thing. The van is parked where exactly? In the neighbor's front yard? And then they're ringing your doorbell to use the bathroom?

I'd have 911 on speed dial. There's nothing wrong with getting the cops to check out who they are and why they're sitting in a van parked in someone's front yard (don't they have zoning laws about parking vehicles on the lawn?)


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RE: Problem neighbors and being watched by them

Go to a shelter and get a dog. Then take some training classes in protection with him/her. You don't need a Rottweiler or a pit bull. You would be amazed how protective a cocker spaniel can be.


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RE: Problem neighbors and being watched by them

I'm female w/ a single mother and know of the fright you're experiencing. I don't think you've told us the whole story - about why your people won't contact the police - but that's no matter.

I doubt that the landlord would allow a dog so you could get an app of a vicious dog barking and when any of them (men) approaches your door play it loud and clear. You can buy very inexpensive fake "security" cameras that you would "install" in bright day light.

I would recommend a women's defense class but if you all can't afford it, again I would look online to free classes.

Once when men came to the door, drunk, my mother yelled "Jim get the gun!" They left with pants filled, if you know what I mean. There was no "Jim" and no gun.

If you won't go to the cops you must get creative. I wish you all the very best.


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RE: Problem neighbors and being watched by them

Nichole, are there police at your school? Depends on the school district, but if you can speak with a police person at the school, or anywhere away from your family, they should be able to give you good advice.

You seem very level-headed and intelligent. If you are trying to move to another place, check it out at all hours to make sure the neighborhood is better, before your family signs the lease.

People have given you good advice. I hope it helps.


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RE: Problem neighbors and being watched by them

I'm so sorry for this situation you all have to put up with. It sounds very stressful. Both neighbors sound aggressive and that would worry me a lot. Especially that the men came up to your door. I'm glad that you have someone connected to the police that you can ask for advice from. I can understand your aunt's reluctance to call the police, that maybe she just thinks it will escalate things, but you want to be careful that you don't hide your head in the sand. You need to do as much as you can do before something happens.

I agree with Joanie, who suggested that you document everything. Take photos of them sitting in the car. I wondered if the car is actually on the road, or is just in the yard, and not operating? Be sure to get as good a close up of their faces as you can and if there is a plate on the car, get that too. If you have a camera that takes movies, that one person from inside your house could take when the other person is leaving the house and being approached by the neighbors, maybe that would help. Keep a journal or a log and date every incident that takes place with the time of day and the details.

I don't know how to advise you to act toward these neighbors. If it were me, I'd try to avoid them completely. But if you can't avoid them, I would get advice from the police friend about that. I also wonder if you can get their names and if the police can check their background to see if they have a record. I would be more concerned if they have a history of criminal behavior. Not sure they can do that unless a complaint is made against them. I would also check the internet to make sure they are not on the sex offenders list.

I would strongly encourage everyone in your household to take self defense classes until you feel confident that you can handle yourself physically if you are attacked. Even without these neighbors in the picture, in the world today, the ability to defend yourself is very important for women who are on their own and coming and going by themselves.

I definitely would not answer the door to these men who came to the door before. Check to see who is at the door before you open it. I'd also get a rubber doorstop that you can put under the inside of the front door and back door at night when everyone is sleeping. It's very hard to push open a door with one of those in place and at the least, slows someone down so you can call 911. And put a metal bar in any sliding doors.

You are renting, so you can move if you can find somewhere to move to. I would be looking at rental ads every day, but is everyone in the household open to the idea of moving? I wouldn't want all of you to split up and someone ended up living there alone.

Hope you will let us know how it is going.

This post was edited by prairiemoon2 on Tue, Mar 18, 14 at 21:27


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RE: Problem neighbors and being watched by them

I suggest a mental health screening. I used to think my neighbors were smoking inside, turns out I was hallucinating the smell due to lack of sleep. You seem very paranoid, and your post doesn't seem remotely believable. Your mind might be tricking you into seeing/believing things that really aren't there.


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RE: Problem neighbors and being watched by them

Phaewryn-
You have no information that would allow you to come to those conclusions or offer that unhelpful assessment. It looks like you just registered on GardenWeb, so, welcome... but I suggest you hang out and observe a little longer before being so judgmental.


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RE: Problem neighbors and being watched by them

Nichole,
I am sorry you are having to live next to two "new" neighbors that seem to be a real PITA.
Don't talk to any of them. Ever.
If you must watch them, watch them from inside your home, but don't make it obvious.
Even if they attempt to speak at you, pretend they don't exsist.
Until you can move to a safer area, you must follow these rules.
Don't walk anywhere, especailly alone.
WHen you get a ride home, go right into the house.
Don't EVER let anyone in your house.
Tell your mom and aunt to watch your cousins at the door, so they don't open it for anyone.
Keep the front door locked with a dead bolt ALWAYS.
Keep your key close.
Tell your aunt to have her ex hubby come and visit his children at the house, in daylight so all can see, in his patrol car and uniform.
VERY important you do this. Let all your neighbors see him stop by and come in your house, at different times.
Tell your aunt this, she will know why.
Tell your mom you want mace for your protection, and carry it in your jean pockets.
Don't tell anyone about it, ever. Not even your best friend at school. If you have metal detectors at school, don't take it to school, only use it on the weekends in your jeans pocket.
I know your aunt doesn't want a gun, and a dog is alot of work to take care of, so I guess the mace, and a little street smarts is all you can do.
Never talk to the nutty woman or her husband next door, ever. Pretend she is a tree, would you talk to a tree?
Good luck honey.
I hope your mom and aunt get the oppurtunity to move for your sake and the cousins sake.
In the meantime, you have to watch your back.


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RE: Problem neighbors and being watched by them

Phaewryn,

Don't be a jack*ss, eh?

Don B.


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RE: Problem neighbors and being watched by them

butterfly: can you share a little more about why the OP should do all these things?

[EDITED to remove incorrect content]

This post was edited by toxcrusadr on Thu, Apr 17, 14 at 12:52


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RE: Problem neighbors and being watched by them

toxcrusadr, Don's post was not directed at the OP. He clearly addressed his comment to Phaewryn, and I agree with him.


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RE: Problem neighbors and being watched by them

Oops, upon rereading, I agree too. Clearly I mixed up some posts here and mis-attributed them. Apologies, and I've edited my previous post. Sorry y'all!


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RE: Problem neighbors and being watched by them

NicholeN,

Can you give us an update? Did you incorporate any of these suggestions? Hope you and your family are safe and not living in such fear any more.


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RE: Problem neighbors and being watched by them

Anytime I hear about vans surveilling and neighbors spying, I think a mental health evaluation is not a bad suggestion...seriously.

The advice about completely ignoring and refusing to talk to neighbors is terrible advice, that will just make people angrier if they are speaking to you and you totally ignore them.

The wife seems overly controlling and jealous. There are lots of people like that in the world. YOUR mother should deal with her and not a high school girl on the internet trying to figure it out.

A man/husband in this situation would go a long way towards making it stop.


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RE: Problem neighbors and being watched by them

Neighbor's hubby tries to "flirt" with girl & woman next door, Lady should be straightening out her "flirty" husband!! Woman across the street from me told me not to wear shorts to mow lawn. Hubby would watch me. I told her I was not going to have a yellow jacket go up my pant leg as highly allergic to bees & other such critters. My shorts were cut off below the knee baggy things with loose long T shirt with sports logo on front & back of team I never heard of- nothing anyone but a nut case would want to watch & could only see me when on blvd as have hedge across main yard. I had plenty of "Off" on for chasing away any other critters so yes there are weird neighbors. The young teenage girl may be very pretty, If the girl speaks to those 2 guys it may egg them on. Stalkers/bullies take negative comments as their right to get more aggressive. Police have had pieces on that on TV many times. If they are sitting there drinking & she said anything they could quickly become more aggressive. Sounds like the women of the house-adults aren't very sure of themselves & good at handling situations. That would make bullies more likely to "have their fun". Parenting classes might help!


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