Dealing with Real Life “Land Sharks”

[Scene: Interior. A New York apartment. There is a knock at the door.]

Woman:  [speaking through closed door] Yes?
Voice:  (mumbling) Mrs. Arlsburgerhhh?
Woman:  Who?
Voice:  (mumbling) Mrs. Johannesburrrr?
Woman:  Who is it?
Voice:  [pause] Flowers.
Woman:  Flowers for whom?
Voice:  [long pause] Plumber, ma’am.
Woman:  I don’t need a plumber. You’re that clever shark, aren’t you?
Voice:  [pause] Candygram.
Woman:  Candygram, my foot! You get out of here before I call the police! You’re the shark, and you know it!
Voice:  Wait.  I-I’m only a dolphin, ma’am.
Woman:  A dolphin? Well… Okay. [opens door]

[Huge latex and foam-rubber shark head lunges through open door, chomps down on woman’s head, and drags her out of the apartment, as Jaws attack music plays.]

Land Shark would always find a way to (comedically) convince the victim to open the door for him against their better judgement. Real life “land sharks” are not so funny. Here is how to deal with them.


  •  Don’t blindly answer the door!
    • Check who it is first.
    • Install a two-way intercom with a camera.
  • If someone knocks and needs to use your phone to call AAA because their car broke down and their cell phone is out of juice , then offer to dial it for them. They will often scurry off when you make this counter-offer. If it is someone who actually needs help, then they will gladly wait outside.
  • Verify the credentials of anyone asking to gain entry into your home.
    • Unless they have an appointment, a utility person has NO business coming into your house.
      • Water and electric meters are outside your house and often read remotely as well.
    • Utility companies NEVER collect fees door to door nor do they accept payment during service calls.
  • Police officers cannot just enter your house without a search warrant or an invite.
    • Police officers serving a search warrant will most likely be in uniform and most likely be with a group of other police officers.
    • Memorize what you localr police department‘s uniforms, cars, and badges look like.
    • Police officers in the United States must generally knock and announce their presence unless it is a “no-knock” raid done under “exigent circumstances”.
    • If something seems strange about the person at the door, don’t be afraid to call the police to send a car over to your house.
  • Consider “Home Carry” of your sidearm
    • A fanny pack works well for this.
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Posted in Awareness, Home Defense

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