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STALKED..a cautionary tale/ Please read

AnnaNMoss

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 7, 2019
Messages
36
I am a PS regular, writing this under a temp name for anonymity

I am being stalked by a stranger. This person has been showing up at our house at random times during the night...just sitting in our driveway. We thought maybe innocent at first, then began to suspect we were being cased. A few days ago he was down the street as I was leaving for work very early. He turned around in my driveway, followed me for several blocks. The next morning my husband followed behind me, and sure enough the same man was around the corner.
We have alerted police, talked to neighbors. We have installed cameras at the house, getting a dash cam installed tomorrow. Deputy is concerned for my safety, suggested I get a gun permit. This is seriously scary stuff to be dealing with.

The thing is: I DO NOT KNOW THIS MAN. I am beginning to think at some point he followed me home and I was oblivious.

****LADIES: I am writing this here to you all as a reminder to be diligent, be aware of your surroundings, pay attention to who is around you. It is so easy to be distracted, especially this time of year. Please be careful out there ladies, don't let your guard down. Be safe, be aware!****


And if anyone has any experience or knowledge how to handle this situation, please comment. I am scared!
 

whitewave

Ideal_Rock
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Go to the gun range and learn to shoot. I prefer a Glock 23 with Hornady critical defense 40 point hollow point bullets.

Get a gun safe with biometric lock, practice getting faster, and I would also likely get a taser.

I would do whatever the police told me to do. Good luck.
 

whitewave

Ideal_Rock
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Do you work? If not, I would get a big dog and take him for rides with me wherever I went. You would be surprised how many people I have encountered don’t like the dog factor.

In my state, if I feel threatened, I can shoot if he is on my property.

I would also consider leaving for a few weeks if possible and obviously vary your routine. Do you have a relative you can visit for a while?

Body guards are surprisingly affordable and the one I had once is ex military and carried a gun. Even for a few days, a show of force might be helpful.
 

AnnaNMoss

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 7, 2019
Messages
36
Hi @whitewave. I have shot guns before, but it's been a bit. Husband taking me to gun range tomorrow. Need to get a permit too. I'm getting pepper spray tomorrow . This situation has suddenly escalated from just some odd behavior, to the realization that I am in danger. Police say I really need to get pics and full license plate. When my husband followed me the other day and saw the guy, he too realized that it's not paranoia... I'm in danger. I'm having a hard time doing my routine things...keep checking out the window...won't go anywhere alone... I cannot believe this is happening to me.
 

distracts

Ideal_Rock
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I would make sure you have any social media incredibly locked down and go through every single friend you have on social media and confirm that their profile is ACTUALLY THEM. Sometimes people use the strategy of taking the public info from someone's profile and making a new one saying they lost access to their old one, but it's actually not the person you it is. Cull anyone you don't trust to keep your safety, or put them on a super restricted view, and tell everyone left about the situation and that they are NEVER to give out personal details about you.

Let your neighbors know what is happening. Also notify your work so that they don't give any info about you to anyone - if there is a reception area or security, you should give them a picture or name of the stalker so they will know he specifically isn't allowed in. You should actually tell everyone you have contact about this, because a common tactic stalkers use is trying to get to you by buddying up to people you know who don't know about the situation.

Shred any papers you throw away - ideally shred them and throw them away somewhere other than your home trash. He WILL be going through your trash so be sure to think about what he can learn about you from that.

Get a PO box and have all your mail and packages redirected there - that way he can't see what you get sent or buy, or go through it before you get to it. Some websites online recommend a PO box with a private company rather than the USPS but idk if that's necessary since I think it's to protect your residential address, which he already knows. I'd learn more about that only if it gets to the point where you need to move.

If he starts calling, don't get rid of that number - get a new number that you give to close friends only, but keep the old one going so he won't know to look for the new one.

Never, ever talk to him or openly pay him any attention.

Read The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker.

I have also heard about these books though I haven't read them:
Stopping a Stalker: A Cop’s Guide to Making the System Work by Captain Robert L. Snow
Surviving A Stalker: Everything You Need To Know To Keep Yourself Safe by Linden Gross

Get glass protection/anti-shatter film for your windows and any glass doors.

Be sure to check that your fire extinguishers aren't expired and that they are easily accessible.

If you have a two-story house, get an emergency ladder.

Make security plans/escape plans for every place you are during the day.

Depending on your financial resources, you may be interesting in hiring a security firm that deals with stalking.

If you haven't yet, consult a lawyer, ideally one who specializes in cases like this and who knows what moves to make and when. It may be more dangerous to try to get a restraining order than to not get one, as it may be a sign of attention to the stalker.

Collect evidence of all of this behavior - have both hard copies and online copies. Every time something new happens, you should also alert the police and your lawyer so you have real-time documentation with other people.

If it does not stop after a while, you may want to consider moving into an apartment building with a doorman and security - I mention apartment rather than condo or whatever because it's harder to find you if you rent, unless you are able to buy a house with a corporation, since property records are public information. And even if he finds out what building you live in, it would be harder for him to gain access than with a house, and he may not know what unit you are in.

I took martial arts classes when I was younger and there were several women in them who were taking them because they had been stalked so - consider taking a martial arts class. Judo, Aikido, and brazilian jiujitsu would probably be most applicable. You ideally want something usable by a woman (the Japanese martial arts are usually pretty good at that) with at least a moderate focus on grappling. The idea isn't to become an expert fighter - the idea is to become just good enough so that if you were attacked, you could get away - whether entirely away, or away far enough to call 911, or away far enough to use pepper spray or a gun, doesn't matter. Just far enough away to do something. Hopefully it will never, ever get to that point, but it is better to be prepared.

I second the advice to get a big dog. Guard dogs are huge, guard-inclined by instinct, AND usually pretty lazy for dogs. Of course, if you are gone all day and the stalker can access/interact with the dog, the dog will view him as familiar and that won't be any help. You'd need to come up with a plan for this.

I'm sorry this is happening to you. I would be scared out of my mind. There are a LOT of resources on this as it is much more common than you would think.
 
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whitewave

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A woman I know was carjacked in her driveway and they bought a mastiff. The dog was like 150 pounds. Sweet as could be, but super intimidating...

Maybe You and DH could stay in a hotel for several days if you can afford it.
 

AnnaNMoss

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 7, 2019
Messages
36
This may sound crazy, but we have not yet been able to get a plate even. We know the car make, model, color, and we both have seen his face BUT at this point we have no clue WHO he is. I was so freaked during encounters Thursday and Friday that I still did not get the freaking plate! Husband turned around and tried to catch him Friday but he disappeared. So I'm gearing up for the coming work week. We are making plans of action, I'm getting front and rear cameras on my car tomorrow too. The police said they will do random house checks during the night for us but not much more they can do without plate info. Husband will be following me to work, and he is armed.

I hate this!

As far as resources, there's a lot about stalking if you know the person, (like a crazy ex), but this situation is far less common... and creeeeepy
 

AnnaNMoss

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 7, 2019
Messages
36
I just read the book Spy Secrets that can save Your life by a former CIA agent. It is my husband's book, he insisted I read it yesterday. But it's got great info about being aware, about protecting yourself, how to handle situations like being followed.

Reading that book reminded me to be more aware and that's why I posted this thread , to remind everyone to be aware....especially in public...put down your phone, look around, see who is around. We get so comfortable in our routine, work, same grocery store, same route home...not thinking somebody might be watching.
 

distracts

Ideal_Rock
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Oct 11, 2011
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5,370
While I personally have not been stalked (knock on wood!) I have dealt with situations where the stalkee did not know the stalker in my career. While I wasn't directly involved in security I saw quite a bit. All of those calmed down or ceased entirely within six months to a year. But a lot of the tips above were things we used. Basically - step up overall security and awareness, tell everyone what is happening, and "leave no trace" in terms of what they can find out about you either online or in person (curtains/blinds closed, trash clean, papers shredded, mailbox empty, nothing ever left in your car, etc). You become a thousand percent less interesting to stalk when they can't find out anything new about you.

Stay safe. I'll be keeping you in my thoughts and hoping everything is going well.
 

AnnaNMoss

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 7, 2019
Messages
36
@distracts. Thanks, I'm hoping this ends with him being identified and swift police intervention. My house is locked up tight, all the blinds closed.
Kinda imprisoned at home because of a wacko.
 

Karl_K

Ideal_Rock
Trade
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Aug 4, 2008
Messages
8,775
Sorry this is happening.
If your state allows it without a permit I recommend a taser to start with while waiting for a ccw permit.
In some areas training is available and only lasts 2-3 hours.
Peper spray is also good.
Paying attention is the most important thing.

edit: real shots barbs taser, not a stun gun which is next to useless.
 

GliderPoss

Ideal_Rock
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Sep 25, 2008
Messages
2,199
Wow, this is awful! I’m so sorry you are going through this, how terrifying! I agree with the dog idea. Also change locks & redirect mail to PO Box. Change your routine & route to work etc. Probably wouldn’t rush out & get a gun as this can be also used against you... would try other less risky strategies first.

If your husband sees him (& is brave enough) CONFRONT HIM. “Hey, we know you are watching us, the Police know it too & if I catch you hanging around my wife again I’ll beat the sh*t out of you!” ‍Could be enough motivation for the stalker to give up.
 

distracts

Ideal_Rock
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Oct 11, 2011
Messages
5,370
@distracts. Thanks, I'm hoping this ends with him being identified and swift police intervention. My house is locked up tight, all the blinds closed.
Kinda imprisoned at home because of a wacko.
In my experience police intervention does little... these people are usually mentally ill or mentally disabled and not even capable of thinking rationally. So I wouldn't pin all your hopes on the police, especially since at this point all they can do is ask him to knock it off. He hasn't actually done anything illegal yet, he's just been creepy.

The main goals are 1. to make yourself as uninteresting as possible, 2. put security in place, and 3. outlast their interest. It sucks and it's a grind, but it's doable.

Seconding @Karl_K 's suggestion of a taser. There are double-shot tasers, rapid-reload tasers, etc in case you are worried about how good of a shot you are. You can also always carry two. And of course pepper spray.

If your husband sees him (& is brave enough) CONFRONT HIM. “Hey, we know you are watching us, the Police know it too & if I catch you hanging around my wife again I’ll beat the sh*t out of you!” ‍Could be enough motivation for the stalker to give up.
This is the OPPOSITE of what you should do as this will be a sign of interest and will motivate the stalker to escalate his behavior. I would only do this if a security professional had advised for it. Otherwise it goes against all of the advice I've ever seen. It would work if it was a burglar casing the place, but if it's a stalker it's a bad idea.
 

Daisys and Diamonds

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 30, 2019
Messages
2,246
oh my goodness @AnnaNMoss.
how dreadful for you
im so sorry this is happening to you
i like the big dog idea
my friends has a back lab x hunterway (a NZ farm dog) he is huge and his bark (from his hunterway side) is sooooo loud and intimidating yet he is a lovelly pet

i hope this horrible episode is resolved by the police very soon
 

OoohShiny

Ideal_Rock
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Apr 25, 2014
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6,704
I'm sorry you are in this situation - there are some wise words above and it sounds like you are already taking steps to deal with the unknown threat, so I hope you feel somewhat more empowered.

Can you talk to the neighbours whose house(s) he sits outside? Perhaps they could take his plate and ring the police (and you) when he's there? Or perhaps they have a good camera with a zoom lens, with which they could stand in a dark room (away from the window) and use to take surreptitious photos of him?

It would be good if you could track him but I'm not sure how you could attach something to his vehicle without him noticing.

(Have you looked round your vehicles, including underneath and in all the wheel arches, to check for any devices that might be attached?)

If you haven't already, you could get motion-activated lights round your property - you might be able to get ones that sound a chime or similar indoors, so you are aware they are going off? (Could be annoying if you have local cats padding round your house all night, so they'd need to be set appropriately!)


Could there be any possibility that he is a Private Detective??
 

lyra

Ideal_Rock
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This sounds frightening. I hope you can get that plate number safely.
 

chemgirl

Brilliant_Rock
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Sep 16, 2009
Messages
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Cameras everywhere, including dashcams in your car. The goal being identifying the man and then keeping a record of every time he is following you.

Hopefully he will be intimidated by police intervention. If not, the recordings can be used as evidence to get a restraining order.
 

OoohShiny

Ideal_Rock
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I forgot to mention earlier - if you don't already do it, it could be good to always let trusted people know when you are travelling, which route you'll take, and when you should be arriving - whether it's your husband when on the way home, your family when on the way to visit them, your boss when on the way to work, your friends when going to meet them for coffee...

That way people will know if you don't arrive when you are expected to arrive, and can implement procedures to check on you - perhaps calling your first, then calling your husband, then calling the police.

If you don't have it already, consider one of the 'track me' apps - your husband and trusted friends can then keep tabs on your location and alert police if something is wrong and you aren't where you are supposed to be. You could get a second cell phone with excellent battery life for this purpose and keep it on silent in a secret compartment in your bag - that way, in a worst case scenario situation where your main phone has been lost or taken, you still have the facility operating and a backup phone as well.
 

distracts

Ideal_Rock
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I'm sorry you are in this situation - there are some wise words above and it sounds like you are already taking steps to deal with the unknown threat, so I hope you feel somewhat more empowered.

Can you talk to the neighbours whose house(s) he sits outside? Perhaps they could take his plate and ring the police (and you) when he's there? Or perhaps they have a good camera with a zoom lens, with which they could stand in a dark room (away from the window) and use to take surreptitious photos of him?

It would be good if you could track him but I'm not sure how you could attach something to his vehicle without him noticing.

(Have you looked round your vehicles, including underneath and in all the wheel arches, to check for any devices that might be attached?)

If you haven't already, you could get motion-activated lights round your property - you might be able to get ones that sound a chime or similar indoors, so you are aware they are going off? (Could be annoying if you have local cats padding round your house all night, so they'd need to be set appropriately!)


Could there be any possibility that he is a Private Detective??
Yeah the possibility he is a PI occurred to me too - but seems weird he’d be at the house randomly throughout the night?

You may also want to hire a PI to follow the follower/do countersurveillance - especially if you aren’t able to get a plate number and ID in the next few days.
 

TooPatient

Ideal_Rock
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You might ask about the security of your home network. Is your internet safe or did he manage to get access to view (possibly through wifi or compromised computers?). Another thing that I was thinking of as I read your posts again this morning is about security of your cameras. A neighbor recently had her Nest cameras hacked and someone was watching them through the cameras. There are steps to take to make sure your system is safe. I'm not familiar with them, but the police or another security expert should be able to help you make sure he can't use your safety measures to get further access.

Also, do you park in your garage or on the street? A comment above made me think about the small tracking devices available now. If he has done this much already, I would worry about him attaching a small tracker to your car.
 

AV_

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I had a frequent visitor like yours some twenty years ago - a man I have never dared to take a close look at, certainly a stranger to me since I had just moved in that house from abroad; the house had not been used for a decade. The man would look in through my low front windows & ring the bell at odd times, then dissapear. I had thought it a prank for a week, then deferred the issue to a campus police that provided escorts... In fact, I do not know if they did interact at all with him, or police walking the quiet street daily for a while was enough. ,(
 

AnnaNMoss

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Dec 7, 2019
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Sorry, but the suggestion that he might be a PI is soooooo unlikely! We are squeaky clean, married forever, faithful, both in professions that are state licensed, so we must follow the straight and narrow. We are boring, in a content way. Plus his behavior is getting more aggressive and he certainly is not trying to hide the fact that hs is lurking and now following.
I looked up my state's penal code, and his activity already qualifies as stalking, a class 3 felony in my state. I am so hoping to get a plate soon. I'm staying up all night, too scared to sleep.
 

luv2sparkle

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@AnnaNMoss, I am so sorry this is happening to you. One thing that @distracts mentioned that is a superb idea, is getting the film for your windows that prevents them shattering. With all your other security measure, it would add another layer of security. It would prevent anyone from breaking the glass and making their way in. It could happen way too fast.

You have a lot of good suggestions her by everyone. I hope you stay safe and can get the help you need from the police and others. I can't even imagine how frightening this must all be for you. I hope you can come on here and let us know how you are doing. Big hugs and prayer for your safety.
 

PreRaphaelite

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The gift of fear by Gavin debeker is a great book.
There’s another book called How to disappear
Good luck. Wishing you all the best.
 

OoohShiny

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Log dates, times, durations, all the information you can, and make sure it can't be lost - perhaps an online tool??

There might be a pattern to it which might be useful to know.
 

Arkteia

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Just remember, your cell phone is a GPS. I second buying another phone from a different phone company and using it with your friends,

I would hire a PI to go through your car and see if there are any trackers there.

A dog is a great idea.

What concerns me, the guy is not scared. Either he is ill, or has been to jail and has nothing to lose. I think, the second.

I wonder if he has been sitting at your porch or something like it, long enough to leave at least touch DNA? Left cigarette butts near your porch? Anything to lift DNA from and compare to what is in CODIS?
 
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AnnaNMoss

Rough_Rock
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Dec 7, 2019
Messages
36
Just bought driveway sensors with an indoor alarm receiver, didn't know they were available! Thank you for that suggestion. I spend too much time at night peeking out, is he here?? The alarms will give me some peace. I already have a motion activated light where he parks...first time he pulled in and that light shined on him he literally squealed his tires leaving in a hurry. But didn't stop him from returning.
 

KristyDarling

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Oh man, of course you're terrified. I am so, so sorry this is happening! I've been through something similar a couple of times and I second the suggestion to start with pepper spray and a very effective taser. (Like others said, I would worry that a gun could be used against you.)

I also like the suggestions around arming your house with tons of lights and surveillance. Having a house that looks like Fort Knox can only help. Hopefully you'll be able to capture his car/license plate info soon. Also having a big German Shepherd with you whenever you leave the house could be a good deterrent (and shepherds are a great home security alarm system, not to mention they're excellent dogs to have in your life, period. They're super loving and loyal.).

You've received a ton of excellent advice here so I don't have much to add. But I'm glad you're keeping your eyes peeled and that you're proactively taking measures to protect yourself. Please try to get some rest when you can and keep us posted. We're here for you!!
 

kipari

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Such a scary situation to be in! I'm sorry you have to go through this.
I hope you can rest and get some sleep.

Not much to add, you've already received excellent advice. In my hometown you can ask a specially trained police officer from the anti burglary unit to professionally check your home. It was very useful for me to know what most intruders will or won't to and if he doesn't find anything to improve,a visit like that gives you at least peace of mind.

I second amping up the motion sensored lights to a max. That's what my friends did upon recommendation when they were the targets of a professional jewellery heist. It's like a Football stadium in their yard now,if someone comes in uninvited...
 
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