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neighbourhood's kids


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i bought a house in a relatively good area around a year ago and am very happy with it. Very big, excellent price, mortgaged to the hilt but worth it..... There's just one niggling thing which has made my fiancee so mad that she actually asked me if we could move house last night:


The kids in the neighbourhood.


Now don't get an image of teenage gangs hanging on street corners with menacing glares etc - this is about 7 to 12 year olds off school for their summer holidays with nothing to do... so they get bored and unfortunatley for us... creative.


The area we're in has a lot of young families - something we liked because we do intend on starting a family in a few years - but we've come to realise that they're completely out of control. The two major concerns (there's a list as long as my arm mind you) which made my fiancee really mad are:


1) they keep stealing pottery, flowers, rockery, anything which isn't nailed down in the front garden. We take pride in the front garden and for the past few months have been constantly 'repairing/replacing' the damaged/stolen items. We can't lock the garden gate during the day when we're at work as the postman needs to get in, and when we're home from work we usually have visitors at night.... so I'm at a complete loss as to what to do about this


2) this will sound stupid but they keep changing the doorbell ringtone. We have one of these ones which has multiple tones - and the really annoying thing is that they have to actually remove the mounting outside from the wall, take the front cover off, remove the battery, flip a switch and then put the battery back in, the front cover back on and the button back on the wall. I've tried glueing it together and to the wall but they're determined and still do it maybe three or four times a week.


I don't want to get the police involved if I can help it because I can't proove which kids are doing it (though I have my suspicions)... but it's getting really frustrating for us.


Any ideas, please?

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Out of curiosity, have you tried talking to your neighbors at all?


I live in an area with a lot of young families too, near a school. The kids do tend to run wild around this time, on their bikes and on foot.


I watch what kids are going through my yard and hanging about the area a lot, see what families and houses they 'belong to', and talk to their parents if things get wild.


Would this work in your neighborhood? Could you talk to them like this or would it be like approaching a stranger?


Floodlight or two doesn't hurt either for night time.

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I'm not sure I fancy the camera route (too expensive, and I'd not know what to do with it), floodlights however would work for the evenings so I'll look into that. It's the day time when the house is not under watch which I'm more worried about.


I have spoken to my next door neighbour about it (casually in passing) who has 3 kids, and they have assured us that their kids wouldn't do that (if it was them in the first place).... but beyond them I don't know the other families in the area. You can tell where they live though but I'm unsure as to whether it'd be considered too confrontational to go talking to a bunch of parents if I'm unsure as to their child's involvement.


Beyond that I can just imagine it may even get worse for asking all the parents in the area: if a kid is told "dont steal pots from #52" isn't that just going to make them want to try it because other kids do it already (?) and from the whole do the opposite to what you told us thing?

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Oh, well, I'm thinking of the one time I had a problem with kids. My house wasn't the only house having problems. Basically spreading the word and talking to people, without ever having to name anyone or accuse anyone of anything, simply saying what was happening, was enough for it to stop.


Oh and when I said floodlights, I meant the motion detector ones. You know what I mean? I like those a lot.


Someone else will come along with more ideas. Honestly, the kids in my neighborhood are pretty well behaved for the most part.

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Some relatives of mine put up a fake security camera as a deterrent! It has a blinking red LED to make it look like its live, but it's just a decoy. I'll bet that's something you can find online & is pretty cheap.


You could talk to your postal carrier, find out if it'd be acceptable for you to lock your front gate if you give the postal carrier a key. Or maybe you can have a locked mailbox outside the gate?


Seems like the doorbell mechanism could be moved indoors.


Lock a loud bell to the gate.


Any interest in owning a big menacing dog? LOL.


A question, though: If you haven't actually witnessed the thefts, how do you know it's kids doing it? Flowerpots seem like an odd thing for kids to want to steal.

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