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NER really: vacant house next door

Alright I have a tendency to be paranoid about things and watch a lot of scary movies, so I'd like you to weigh in on a situation here. H thinks I need to just wait and see what happens.

Ever since we moved into our house, the home next door has been vacant. They have a sign out front that it is for sale by owner, but the owner is living in FL (we met her once when she came back to clean out the garage in Oct). The house is always completely dark and no one is ever over there.

Taking the dog out tonight, I was startled to see a bright light on in the backyard (like a spotlight on the side of the house). I mentioned it to H and he said this morning he noticed smoke coming out of the house (like if a furnace were on). Driving past the house tonight, there are no curtains in the front window and a single light is on inside. You can clearly see the house is totally empty with no furniture or anything in it. These lights have been on all night but no cars in the driveway or out front and no activity.

We were going to try to contact the owner, but the phone # has been worn off the sign out front because of weather. So at this point I'm not sure if I should call the non-emergency police number to have them check it out, or if I am just being paranoid. I am trying to run through what it might be. If someone moved in, we would have noticed and there would be stuff inside. But on the other hand if someone were squatting there, I don't think they'd want to advertise it by having a backyard light on, KWIM? So what would you do if it were your neighbors?


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Vacation

Re: NER really: vacant house next door

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    Definitely call the police.  If I were the owner, I'd be thankful you were concerned.  Could you ask another neighbor who might have their number since they may have known the owner longer?
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    I agree with PP.  It certainly wouldn't hurt to call the non-emergency number and have them check things out.
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    I'd have the police scope it out.

    A few years ago we had a vacant house (for sale) next to us. We noticed people pulling into the driveway and presumably checking out the house. The next weekend when we were out of town our house was broken into on the side next to the vacant house and we were robbed pretty bad.

    Squatters and/or potential thieves are definitely real threats. I wouldn't feel bad about asking the cops to check it out.
    June 16, 2012
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    Is the house listed online?  You might be able to find her number there.  If you can't get in touch with her I'd definitely go ahead and call the police.
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    I would definitely call the non emergency police number. If they're squatters, they need to go.
    Not to worry you.... The back yard light could be on a sensor and the other lights could be on a timer. Isn't there also a way to turn on lights from using your cellphone now or something? The owners could be doing that.
    Either way, it's better to be safe than sorry.
    image
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    Thanks for the input. We are going to see what happens tonight with the lights and if any cars pull in. We plan to call the cops tomorrow. It just worried us because it has been vacant since we moved in (in Aug) and not once has the back light or any inside lights been on. We have lots of rabbits around here and that side of their house is right on the street (it's a corner lot) so I don't think it's a motion light, though we thought about that.

    Hopefully there turns out to be a good explanation! I'll update if I find anything out.


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    Vacation
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    Gumby68Gumby68 member
    Name Dropper 5 Love Its First Comment
    edited January 2013
    It's probably nothing, but I would call the non-emergency number sooner rather than later. It would suck if there were a break-in before you called because you had waited. 

    My neighbor texted me one morning because there was a random car in her driveway (which is behind her house so you can't see from the road). She had a really funny feeling about it, but she thought maybe it was someone visiting my house which is why she asked me. I had a weird feeling about it too, but I figured it was nothing so I snapped a few pictures of the vehicle and the license plate just in case. 

    A few hours later, she texted me again to tell me police were swarming her house because the vehicle had been stolen and was involved in an armed robbery. The police thought they ditched the car there because you can't see it from the street. We both wished we had listened to our intuition and called the non-emergency number immediately because they had been looking for the van for hours. 

    ETA: If there is nothing going on, it won't hurt anything to make the call. If there is something going on, the sooner you call the better. 
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