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BigMistake
post Aug 26 2012, 02:03 AM
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Hey guys,

About two hours ago something happened that scared the s**t out of me, and I'd like to know if I overreacted or not.

Basically, I was in my room and headed for the kitchen when a big dude appeared out of nowhere. He was asking for money (250 euro's) to "borrow" because of some vague reasons which changed several times. Being my small, not strong and not fast I decided to just go along with it. I locked the door to my room (which had plenty of stuff that was worth the amount) and walked with him to an ATM. I know, it sounds really really stupid and it was, but I figured it was better then saying no then and there and maybe provoking him or escalating whatever it was.

We get to an ATM, and I punch in random numbers pretending it's my PIN. My card gets blocked, and he's none the wiser. He insists we try it at a different ATM, so we end up going to a mall where there's a few. I repeat the process and he gets a bit annoyed. After convincing him that internet banking wouldn't work, he said "he'd try a nephew nearby" and said he'd be back later. I proceed to head home, lock all the doors and close all the windows (reminder to self: kick the ass of whoever left that one open), and after about an hour of not hearing anything I decide to phone the police and call it in anyway, just in case. Of course they say what I had been thinking all along, "no criminal offense", etc etc etc.

I've been running through this scenario over and over in my head and I can't stop thinking that I overreacted in the first place. What if I just said "No, and please get out of my house"? I just had this idea in my head where I thought he'd (physically) force me to do withdraw money or the like. Am I wrong for thinking that? Have I just read too many horror stories, watched too much tv?
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Hobbes
post Aug 26 2012, 11:07 AM
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I don't think you overreacted as such. Regardless of the man's intentions (maybe there was a genuine and sincere request in there... somewhere), I would class that as a threatening situation. Perhaps not necessarily "threatening" from a criminal point of view, but I reckon that having a random person requesting to borrow a large amount of money would certainly put most people on edge. 250 euros is substantially more than just, "50p for a cup of tea" or "2 for the bus home". To be honest, I am wary in situations where someone asks for some loose change because they need to get a bus home having got themselves in some kind of trouble. Mostly because, if I am not surrounded by people, it will probably mean getting my wallet out which just makes it easier for it to get stolen.

The key things to remember for your particular situation is that a) you didn't know him cool.gif he was in your home! c) he wanted a lot of money d) his story changed regularly.

You dealt with it pretty well really... trying to show that you were going to help and therefore heading out into the public world, but then putting an obstacle in the way to prevent it from actually happening but making it look like it wasn't your fault (PIN number, etc.).

You were right, in my opinion, to be suspicious. And, if you feel particularly threatened, then just saying, "No way! Get out!" isn't always an ideal option.

I'm just glad to hear that you are okay and nothing awful did happen, even if the strange man's strange request was somehow genuine.
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Mata
post Aug 26 2012, 09:44 PM
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Wait... So a random guy turns up uninvited in your home and asks for money? That's got to be at least trespass. The request for money could easily be seen as threatening. The only thing that I would say you did wrong was in waiting for a few hours before calling the police. Try to be as observant as possible of physical charateristics and quirks that would make him identifiable - it makes giving a statement to police easier later on if you you need to.


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BigMistake
post Aug 26 2012, 11:08 PM
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QUOTE (Mata @ Aug 26 2012, 11:44 PM) *
Wait... So a random guy turns up uninvited in your home and asks for money? That's got to be at least trespass. The request for money could easily be seen as threatening. The only thing that I would say you did wrong was in waiting for a few hours before calling the police. Try to be as observant as possible of physical charateristics and quirks that would make him identifiable - it makes giving a statement to police easier later on if you you need to.


I'm going to the local police station tomorrow anyway and report it again in person. Nice way to end the vacation I guess.

EDIT:

So, I went to the police station. Turns out that no criminal act was done because I hadn't told the dude off when he first came in, and because I "cooperated" I can't file charges. But I'm going back on Friday to make an official statement, give a description, etc. Apparently some of the ATM's (or cash machine, whichever's your fancy) don't have cameras, but I managed to get him in front of one that's supposed to have one, so we'll see where that goes.
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Mata
post Aug 28 2012, 09:32 PM
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Err... WTF? How is it your problem if you felt intimidated enough to just do whatever he says?

In the UK, if you are afraid of the person then that covers you for most actions you take after that point.


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BigMistake
post Aug 28 2012, 10:43 PM
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QUOTE (Mata @ Aug 28 2012, 11:32 PM) *
Err... WTF? How is it your problem if you felt intimidated enough to just do whatever he says?

In the UK, if you are afraid of the person then that covers you for most actions you take after that point.


I know, it's stupid! You'd think that seeing a big unknown dude standing in your house might affect your ability to say "get out, please?". Never mind the fact that I was alone or that it was 1:30 AM :S


Edit:

Yet another update. Apparently the person I called at the police before going to the police found some obscure and rarely used article which could be used to explain what happened as "coercion" so I get to file charges after all! We'll see what happens tomorrow.
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Oni Usagi
post Aug 30 2012, 10:51 PM
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Is there someone around there you can can call/write to for free legal advice to find the best course of action? Or maybe just call a random lawyer and see if you can get some answers from them? I obviously don't know anything about your laws but the idea that it's okay for someone to come in to your house/etc until you tell them to get out seems wrong. Glad they found at least some report you could file.
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BigMistake
post Aug 31 2012, 11:05 AM
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QUOTE (Oni Usagi @ Aug 31 2012, 12:51 AM) *
Is there someone around there you can can call/write to for free legal advice to find the best course of action? Or maybe just call a random lawyer and see if you can get some answers from them? I obviously don't know anything about your laws but the idea that it's okay for someone to come in to your house/etc until you tell them to get out seems wrong. Glad they found at least some report you could file.


There are ways to get free legal advice, but at the moment there's not that much to do except file charges, which I did this morning. It came down to "attempted theft by means of coercion" (bad translation but you get the gist).I spent a good two and a half hours at the police station making sure I didn't miss anything, give a good description of the dude, etc etc. They probably won't get the guy, but that's not why I'm doing this. At least now they can be on the lookout (they're going to pull his face from the ATM camera), just in case he decided to try something on someone else.

And now I get to go home for the weekend and listen to my mother repeating "I told you so" >.>
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Mata
post Sep 1 2012, 08:30 PM
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You mum told you that a random big bloke would turn up in your house at 1:30am? Wow. She had really specfic predictions.


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BigMistake
post Sep 2 2012, 01:48 AM
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QUOTE (Mata @ Sep 1 2012, 10:30 PM) *
You mum told you that a random big bloke would turn up in your house at 1:30am? Wow. She had really specfic predictions.


Well, she didn't say anything specific, but I got the "it's a big city and those are really really really unsafe" speech when I decided to move closer to school. Of course I've been going to school on my own in "big cities" since I was 13, but that apparently didn't enter in the equation :S
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Mata
post Sep 2 2012, 02:37 PM
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We are talking about Breda, aren't we? This is barely a town. You must have been working really hard to find someone scary in this place.


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BigMistake
post Sep 2 2012, 05:21 PM
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QUOTE (Mata @ Sep 2 2012, 04:37 PM) *
We are talking about Breda, aren't we? This is barely a town. You must have been working really hard to find someone scary in this place.


Well, Tilburg in my case. But I've spent the last 15 years of my life in a town with a population of barely 1.000, so it's a bit bigger. But like I said, logic doesn't really come into it.
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Ashbless
post Sep 5 2012, 06:26 AM
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Mom's worry. It comes from putting in years of time and love.

Glad you're okay. Hope he picked your place randomly.


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BigMistake
post Sep 5 2012, 07:23 AM
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QUOTE (Ashbless @ Sep 5 2012, 08:26 AM) *
Mom's worry. It comes from putting in years of time and love.

Glad you're okay. Hope he picked your place randomly.


Yeah, he would have been really stupid if he didn't. He'd be better off trying that at elderly homes or something (not that I'm advocating that, but that's usually where they try).
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Pikasyuu
post Sep 11 2012, 08:30 PM
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um, if some random guy showed up in my house at 1.30 am, i probably would have attempted to kill him out of sheer fear. THAT IS TERRIFYING AND NO YOU ARE NOT OVERREACTING. OH MY GOD.


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