It's official!

It's official!
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Sunday, January 20, 2013

NYPD encounter

Well, it was bound to happen. Mike and I had our first run-in with the NYPD. (Okay Mom and Dad, I'm going to need you to stop reading now.)

Yesterday morning, we were getting ready to go to brunch when our doorbell rang. First of all, it cracks me up that we have a doorbell in a 500 sq. foot apartment because are we really not going to hear someone knocking if we're in say, the bedroom? Secondly, we didn't buzz anyone in the front door, so it took us both by surprise that someone was at our door. The dogs were also going nuts with barking, so they clearly weren't expecting anyone either.

Mike looked through the peep hole and saw two men he didn't recognize. Acting in a very smart city way, instead of opening the door, he just yelled, "Can I help you?"

One of the guys said back, "Ugh, we're the exterminators."

Okay, this was strange for several reasons...
  • First, and most obvious, we didn't call exterminators. 
  • Secondly, our landlord doesn't work on weekends, so we know he didn't either. 
  • Third, it's winter in NYC, so there aren't a ton of bugs running around. 
  • Fourth, these guys were wearing winter puffer coats and gold chains, not what you'd think of for typical exterminator gear.
  • Fifth, they didn't have any equipment with them.
Yep, it's the oldest trick in the book. They say they need to get into your house to kill bugs/check the water heater/check your cable, and when they get in, they rob you blind. Mike yelled back, "We didn't call the exterminators." They said okay and left. After we turned them away, we could see them go to every apartment on the floor below us with the same story.

In a total reversal of typical behavior, Mike suggested we call the cops while I said, "Nah, I don't think we should "bug" them. (pun  intended) They are sooo busy." But fearing one of our neighbors might get robbed, I decided to call.

Let me just say when New York's finest showed up, they couldn't have been nicer. The officers confirmed that the gentleman were likely there to rob someone. They also checked every floor, and said many of our neighbors were "idiots" who kept their doors unlocked. Here was my favorite encounter...

Officer: "Dude, you need to lock your door."
Third-floor resident: "It was locked."
Officer: "No it wasn't, I just opened your door."
Third-floor resident: "Oh. I'm so sorry!"

Unfortunately, the men were long gone. But in a totally surprising move, instead of getting after us for wasting their time, one of the officers praised us for calling the police. He said it's important that people keep their eyes out for anything suspicious and said how alarming it was that the "exterminators" knocked on every door, but we were the only ones who did anything. He told me that's exactly what they are here for, and to never hesitate to call. Isn't that awesome?

Bravo NYPD, bravo.

And to the "exterminators": you might have a more convincing story if you at least wear a Ghostbusters backpack.

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