AIBU to wonder what this man is doing (and should I do something?)

(55 Posts)
bettyblueeyes83 Sat 28-May-16 18:31:45

OK I was pottering about in my kitchen just now when a taxi pulled up in the street and a man of around 50 who I've never seen before got out with a holdall and a small wheely suitcase. I noticed him immediately because he's acting in a way that I can only describe as 'suspiciously': moving really slowly and cautiously, pausing a lot etc. He was not quite looking over his shoulders like a TV burglar in a stripy jumper but almost - his manner just looked 'off'.

He walked past the front of the house directly opposite, and stops and stares through the fence at something in the garden for a good two minutes. Then he slowly and gingerly climbed the front steps to the front door and paused on the top doorstep for another few minutes. I couldn't really see what he was doing because he was partially behind an overgrown bush but he was bent over fiddling with something. He then seemed to let himself in and slowly carry his bags inside. The holdall looked heavy. Almost immediately, he came back out and moved down the steps, stopping to fiddle with (I think?) a gate in the front garden. He then went round the side of the house and opened what looks like a fuse box or metre, I think with a key. He stared at it for a while and then took out his phone and took some photos of it. He then took quickly photos of the front garden, including the middle area he'd been staring at (which just looks like a bush and path from here). He then came out into the street and stared back in through the fence, hovered a bit at the bottom of the stairs, looking up and down the street, before going up the steps and into the house again. He's in there now.

I don't know my neighbours (London...) so I couldn't tell you if he lives there or is a relative of someone who does, so there might well be an innocuous explanation but I found his behaviour was really puzzling. I have a vague feeling a younger family lives there (I know they get big Ocado orders but that's it!). The house looks deserted today, with all the curtains drawn upstairs and down (he hasn't opened any since he went in). I'm not normally a net-curtain-twitcher in any way...but AIBU for thinking this is strange? Can anyone think of a clear and reasonable explanation? I'm trying to think he could perhaps have a bad back or poor mobility, hence the slow movement. Maybe he's back from a holiday or house-sitting or a new tenant and he wanted to document something in the front garden and take a metre reading? It was just such a weird combination of actions and I'm worried it could be something suspicious.

I am probably BU for being a nosy neighbour, but should I be worried for my neighbours (and should I do anything?)?

GinAndSonic Sat 28-May-16 18:35:35

Could they have moved out? When I check my meters I take a photo on my phone rather than take a notepad.

HallowedMimic Sat 28-May-16 18:36:24

No, don't do anything.

A guy with luggage and a key lets himself into a house he may be unfamiliar with.

He's probably the house sitter.

Alisvolatpropiis Sat 28-May-16 18:37:46

Agree with Hallow.

AlwaysDancing1234 Sat 28-May-16 18:37:50

Maybe they've moved out and he's reading the meters or something? I doubt it's anything sinister from your description.

John4703 Sat 28-May-16 18:37:51

What advice did the police give when you called 101?
Please say you did call them.

DaveCamoron Sat 28-May-16 18:38:57

Screams house sitter to me.

FirstWeTakeManhattan Sat 28-May-16 18:39:03

a new tenant and he wanted to document something in the front garden and take a metre reading?

Sounds perfectly logical.

It doest seem sinister, to be honest.

IfTheCapFitsWearIt Sat 28-May-16 18:39:11

Errrr no you shouldn't be worriedhmm

All pretty normal behaviour, for someone who is staying somewhere they have never been before.

Jeanniejampots80 Sat 28-May-16 18:39:49

He probably owns the house, renters have moved out and he is back down for a few days to check the place out before renting it out agai.

Shannyfanny Sat 28-May-16 18:40:01

take a photo of him.

bettyblueeyes83 Sat 28-May-16 18:41:20

OK that's reassuring. It was the long period staring at the house before he went in and the photographing that threw me. And the fact he's still in there with all the curtains drawn on a beautiful evening. But you're right, it's nothing suspicious enough to bother anyone about.

pigsDOfly Sat 28-May-16 18:41:57

He had luggage and he let himself in with a key. Not your average burglar then?

If he'd smashed the door in, and then walked away with a bag full of stuff I think then you'd have reason to worry. smile

bettyblueeyes83 Sat 28-May-16 18:43:31

Yes, maybe he's a landlord who just looks naturally suspicious, that would explain the photography, for the check-out. I had the feeling it was owner-occupied previously but no reason to think it was. OK feeling better now! I didn't want to be the person who literally stood and watched while my neighbours were burgled.

bettyblueeyes83 Sat 28-May-16 18:44:04

I didn't know it was luggage, it could have been 'burglar tools'!!

Buglife Sat 28-May-16 18:44:16

He's checking the bloody house because the tenants have moved out, taking pictures of the meter readings so they pay for the energy they've used and taking notes and photos of the condition it was left in for deposit purposes perhaps? Doesn't sound suspicious at all! He's probably got stuff in the case to fix something. Do you get easily 'worried' OP because that all sounds so normal! How dare he be slow and have a bad back, the weirdo.

bettyblueeyes83 Sat 28-May-16 18:47:30

I didn't say he has a bad back, I was trying to think of a positive explanation for what otherwise looked distinctly like creeping about! No, I don't normally get easily worried, that's why I thought I'd ask for other opinions here rather than calling the police or running over to enact vigilante justice...

Anyway, you've put my mind at rest if the majority don't think it sounds like someone up to no good.

JuxtapositionRecords Sat 28-May-16 18:50:09

*What advice did the police give when you called 101?
Please say you did call them.*

For what?? And why ask op what they said when you know full well she hasn't called them from the op.

IfTheCapFitsWearIt Sat 28-May-16 18:50:32

Chances are who ever owns the house. Has let this person stay.

Persons never been before. First wondered if they had the right house. Then took pics to post on social media or text someone ",look were I am" sort of thing.

Fumbled about to find keys, opened door peered around a bit. Went in.

Found note with small key saying, electrics/gas is off. Box on side house.
Came out turn electric/gas on.

Closed curtains went to bed, as had jetlag.

End of story.

Floggingmolly Sat 28-May-16 18:54:27

How does somebody walk down a street in broad daylight in a "suspicious manner"??

pigsDOfly Sat 28-May-16 18:54:37

Was he wearing a stripey jumper, did he have a mask covering the top of his face and was the bag marked swag? If not he's fine.

bettyblueeyes83 Sat 28-May-16 18:56:09

Curtains were closed before he arrived but otherwise sounds very plausible! I obviously have an overactive imagination and am judgemental about men in leather jackets.

Heidi42 Sat 28-May-16 18:56:31

Sounds weird to me . has he got a cut up body in the wheeled suitcase?????

Medusacascade Sat 28-May-16 18:57:12

It's exactly the sort of thing I do as part of my job. Rock up with hold-all and large suitcase and try to find a key hidden by a home owner in their garden. Sometimes I walk really slowly as I can't pick it up before a certain time.

MimiLeBonk Sat 28-May-16 18:58:14

I think it was an MI5 agent come to bug the house personally....maybe your neighbours are part of an international criminal gang......

No.... I've been watching too much telly! grin

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