Doorbell Ring and Run: Prank or Crime?

How do you feel about the old prank, now dubbed Ding Dong Ditch, that people are taking more seriously these days?

It’s an old prank with a new name and reaction — the random ring the doorbell and run scam, commonly perpetrated by adolescents and teens.

It's been dubbed “Ding Dong Ditch,” Rumson and Fair Haven residents who did not want to be identified, for fear of retribution, told Patch.

And rather than employing the old-time curbing method of chasing down the kids and threatening to tell their parents, victims of the act have been calling the police.

Some have brushed it off as a typical prank, while others are not amused and find it troubling, threatening and harassing, said .

In Fair Haven, as far as reported bell-ringers go, “This has been an ongoing incident for the past two years with the same resident,” Dykstra said. “The problem is that we don’t get the call about it until days after it happens, so the chances of catching them [the perpetrator or perpetrators] are slim.”

Beyond the one repeat harassment complaint called in, Dykstra said that Fair Haven police get, “off the top of my head,” a couple of calls a month, usually in the summer — but nothing beyond that.

According to a, Dykstra “took a report from a Lewis Lane resident who reported multiple occurrences of harassment in which unknown individual(s) were allegedly ringing his doorbell and leaving the area.”

A Rumson resident, who did not want to be named, said that the incidents she has heard of are happening after 10 p.m., making it less of a typical prank and more an alarming type of harassment that she fears could be a precursor to criminal activity.

What do you think? Is this an alarming trend or a typical prank to which some residents are overreacting. And, tell us: Were you or anyone you knew a prank phone caller or doorbell ringer? Give us your anonymous answer in the poll and/or tell us how you feel about this issue in the comments section below.

Geezer45 July 26, 2012 at 12:50 PM
Kids? Most of them are drafting age. I think the "kids" will continue to do this until someone breaks their head. Then it will stop.
J, O July 26, 2012 at 04:40 PM
Children are children for a very short time.
Rich2 August 02, 2012 at 12:51 PM
I agree whole-heartedly with Geezer45! I would not call these morons just kids, because to do so would be giving them the old excuse that kids will be kids. Today's teenagers don't seem to care that how they treat other people have consequences, not only to the other person but also to the perpetrators. I have been a victim of this crap all summer long--my bell being rung in the middle of the night--and I suspect that my nephew (and have accused him) of being behind it. I konw it's him becausae he has done this sort of thing to me in the past, and I don't know how to fight this mid-30s jackass who calls himself a grown man and a Christian who seems to hate me.


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