Kids throwing rocks at windows nearly everyday. Won't stop.

86 Replies

Sorry for the lengthy post, but I've run into something I haven't had to deal with in the past. Not sure if there's much else I can do, but wanted to post what's going on here to see if I'm missing anything.

About a month ago 2 kids (maybe 14 years old) who get off the school bus 2 houses down, started throwing rocks at one my rentals. They've been doing it at least 1-2 times a week in broad daylight around the same time. So far they've shattered an 8 ft picture window (it's currently boarded up). 2 storm windows, and another bedroom window. On top of that, they put holes in the siding every time they miss a window. Tenant swears she's done nothing to provoke them. She did say she thinks it's intentional because it's happened to neighbors in the past. She also said an older guy came to her house around the time this started asking for money and she turned him down. His kids perhaps?

So far, I installed a solar Ring camera facing the back of the house (they have snuck around there in the past). She also just installed a Vivint? Security system where the doorbell sees the bus stop and the front of her property. There are also sensors on her doors and windows now. We have at least 6 police reports filed and video of them running away when they saw me sitting on the front step. Nothing of them throwing the rocks yet because each time they see someone now they run away. They always have covid masks on too. The city assigned a detective, and I thought this would be an easy thing to resolve since we know they get off the bus (some days) at the same time/spot. Unfortunately, this keeps dragging on and they continue to harass this tenant and destroy the property.

Should I tell the tenant to let them throw a couple rocks so we can finally get them on video?

Why not try hiring a private detective to follow the kids home and then turn them into the Police (file a lawsuit against the parents, and a restraining order against the 14 year olds).

You only need to find the home of one, and he will Rat Out the rest under the (perceived) "third Degree" questioning by the Police Officers.

They might still throw rocks, but at least you can get a handle on it some what.

Maybe a witch lives there, or a monster, or a ghost--who knows--it's kids..(???)

Good Luck!

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Originally posted by @CJ M. :

@Scott Mac

Not a bad idea. I'm assuming this route is going to be pretty costly?

 Depends on how many days it takes to follow them home.

Get pics too, and maybe they do it just to get a reaction from the renter(???)

You won't know prices unless you call a few.

Originally posted by @CJ M. :

Sorry for the lengthy post, but I've run into something I haven't had to deal with in the past. Not sure if there's much else I can do, but wanted to post what's going on here to see if I'm missing anything.

About a month ago 2 kids (maybe 14 years old) who get off the school bus 2 houses down, started throwing rocks at one my rentals. They've been doing it at least 1-2 times a week in broad daylight around the same time. So far they've shattered an 8 ft picture window (it's currently boarded up). 2 storm windows, and another bedroom window. On top of that, they put holes in the siding every time they miss a window. Tenant swears she's done nothing to provoke them. She did say she thinks it's intentional because it's happened to neighbors in the past. She also said an older guy came to her house around the time this started asking for money and she turned him down. His kids perhaps?

So far, I installed a solar Ring camera facing the back of the house (they have snuck around there in the past). She also just installed a Vivint? Security system where the doorbell sees the bus stop and the front of her property. There are also sensors on her doors and windows now. We have at least 6 police reports filed and video of them running away when they saw me sitting on the front step. Nothing of them throwing the rocks yet because each time they see someone now they run away. They always have covid masks on too. The city assigned a detective, and I thought this would be an easy thing to resolve since we know they get off the bus (some days) at the same time/spot. Unfortunately, this keeps dragging on and they continue to harass this tenant and destroy the property.

Should I tell the tenant to let them throw a couple rocks so we can finally get them on video?

Believe it or not, I had much the same scenario happen to me. Older black man came up to me asking for money on the sidewalk, I told him no, suddenly my corner window ended up broken. A couple white neighborhood kids hinted they knew who it was but were afraid to tell me because they wanted no trouble with black kids.

The solution is money: lights, and cameras. Not one or two. Get an eight-camera night-vision system with a DVR and mount them all. Get motion-detection light-up floodlights, it's getting dark earlier now. White 5000K daylight LED security lights. And signs. Blanket your place with signs that closed-circuit cameras are recording everything 24/7.

Keep calling the cops when this happens. Sooner or later, one will recognize the kids and go have a talk with them, inform them that you have them on camera multiple times.

Once it's clear that you're going to assert your ownership and that that you'll spend money on cameras, they'll slink away. They made you spend money. That's their victory. Let them have it.

I was going to say the same thing as Scott. If these kids are walking home it would not be expensive to hire someone to look at which house they are going to, (doesn't necessarily have to be a private investigator but to be clear you would be hiring them as "security" for the property not hiring them to stalk anyone) look up the parents on the county tax assessors site, and threaten a lawsuit. I would bring it to the parents first as they are probably not aware that this is happening, and if it continues you can seek further legal action against the family. I'm sure you could find someone to do this for 10-20 bucs an hour. If not, an attorney in your area should have a skip tracer for you to serve the family with a cease and desist letter. 

@Jim K.

Thanks! The interesting thing is, they are doing this at the same time in broad daylight. Is any recommendations for a camera system? I'm wondering if I can just have have the security company that's being used now install some more.

Hi @CJ M.

You might consider posting a sign that the house is "under surveillance". This could deter the culprits. If your tenant was interested, a strategically positioned outdoor Ring camera would more than likely catch them in the act. It might be a little pricey but much cheaper than replacing multiple windows. 

Best of luck, 

Christie

Originally posted by @Christie O'Malley :

Hi @CJ M., 

You might consider posting a sign that the house is "under surveillance". This could deter the culprits. If your tenant was interested, a strategically positioned outdoor Ring camera would more than likely catch them in the act. It might be a little pricey but much cheaper than replacing multiple windows. 

Best of luck, 

Christie

I have 3 signs there now (2 in front and 1 in back) 

Originally posted by @CJ M. :

@Jim K.

Thanks! The interesting thing is, they are doing this at the same time in broad daylight. Is any recommendations for a camera system? I'm wondering if I can just have have the security company that's being used now install some more.

I say the same thing every time. Night Owl. You want surveillance cameras that are obviously surveillance cameras.

@CJ M.   if you know who they are  I would try to catch it on video and not intervene so you can prosecute. If you don't know who they are first ask the bus driver what school the bus is coming from or hire someone to meet them at the bus stop to determine where they live.  Not sure if you could get a restraining order but your tenant might be able to do a no trespass.  Has your detective actually done anything or are they just assigned to placate you?    Are there any police patrols going through the neighborhood since this has happened before?

@Colleen F.

Good idea about asking the bus driver. I'm also going to call the 2 middle schools tomorrow to see if they can intervene. Detective hasn't done anything yet. Last I spoke with him he said his dept is "overwhelmed do to having only to adolescent detectives...and getting the students names isn't easy and I may need a judge? to sign off to get the school to share the info."

Give the bus driver a note with your name, number, and message that you will pay her for providing the names of the kids that are destroying your property.  Or, follow them home...or get Vinny to do it.

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@Mike Dymski

The thing I want to be careful about is them knowing who I am specifically. Right now it's pretty much them versus the property. I have another property right across the street, and I don't want them to start targeting it if they learn I own it as well.

Also, when this older guy asked my tenant for money, she said he bumped his waist with his elbow and made the comment "oh I just bumped my gun."

Last thing I want is any violence.

Surely the police can get a list of the names of the kids who get off the bus at that stop and compare their photos in the video to them in person when they go to talk to each of the parents.  If they do it regularly, sit outside the place in your car when the bus stops and then see where they go.  You can get their address that way as well, but honestly the police can get what they need from the bus driver.

I also agree with putting up a sign that says there are cameras.

I have some units in a rural area that have had the mailboxes bashed over off the 2 x 2 post two separate times. I figure it was local kids hitting them with baseball bats or with a car. I put a laminated sign up I downloaded from the USPS on the post saying to report any mail tampering and that it is a federal crime and haven’t had problems since. 

I would be very careful about seeming to stalk minors. Let the cops handle it as you never know how a parent might react to some guy asking about their kids and following them. that is scary **** and you might end up being arrested - not them. 

gosh thats tough, Im sure the kids have no clue the cost of the repairs/replacements.   You can't confront them nor harass them.  You'll need to get good  action photos asap without any personal intervention. Its too dangerous to provoke them.  

Once you catch one of them in a photo you are in business.  I would make an appt with the school administrator and show the photo. Ask if there's grounds to deny bus rides or make them get off at a different stop.  Tell them you pay taxes and own other properties in this school collecting area...   If you cant get the name find someone to follow them home...File some sort of action against the parents.   Monetary to fix your windows/siding.  Plus a restraining order so they cant come anywhere near your property.  If the parents rent I would call the owner of the property and explain whats going on,  off the record. They might be interested in learning about their tenants... Find out if you have any recourse for damages  if they are Section 8.  I would guess they dont have a super scheduled home life,  ie they arent getting driven to sports or music lessons..after school..

Bitches, I'm coming for you!  A WANTED  sign!  With their face masks on, take a picture with your cameras and print out and post on every single pole in your neighborhood (if its allowed).  It should not be illegal since you are not showing their faces, you just don't know who they are.  I'm sure they will recognize themselves in the pic.  But just in case take advice from the local PD.