During the recent July 4th weekend, I noticed the garage door of my neighbors' directly
across from me was open and both of their bikes were easily visible.
I had a feeling they were gone, if not for the day, for a couple of days at least. I rang
the doorbell and no one answered. Since I have a bike and would appreciate if
someone would do the same for me, I entered the garage door and used the
opener located near the service door. I then entered their courtyard through
the garage service door and left through the unlocked courtyard door. By the
way, the garage service door appeared to be locked from the outside but I was
able to use that door from inside the garage to leave.
FYI, this is a town home development so in that sense, I feel we should keep
an eye on each other's property. Also, though I don't know these neighbors well,
I've spoken to them briefly on a couple of occasions. I know they use their
bikes often and go for extended rides so I thought losing one or both to
theft would upset them.
Before this experience, we were all notified by email from the
management company of a theft of a bicycle in a garage in this same
town home development. The main garage door was closed in this case,
but someone walked through the unlocked gate door into
the courtyard and took the bike through the unlocked garage service door.
I do not personally keep my bike in the garage as I don't feel it is safe to do.
Though it's more inconvenient, I bring my bicycle into my town home.
I did leave a note in the neighbors' box that their garage door was opened and
how I closed it. I also mentioned my concern because of the recent theft of
a neighbor's bike and that I thought they should know about the door in
case there is a malfunction that caused the door to (remain) open. It more than
likely was because they drove off without being sure the door was shut as I've done
that myself. I signed my name and house number.
Though I didn't do it for any recognition, I thought they would notify me once
they returned. They were back the next day, but I haven't heard anything
from them. I now wonder if I should have shut the garage door. A
lack of response I feel means that they didn't appreciate my going into their
garage and shutting the door.
In the future if their garage door is open and the bikes exposed, I won't
close the door.
Was I out of line? What would you have done in a similar situation? If
a neighbor shut your garage door to protect your property (in this case
the bikes) how would have you reacted?