Here's Why You Should Run a Background Check on Your Neighbors
Ever get the feeling that your neighbor is up to something, well, a bit weird? You can’t quite put your finger on it, they just give off a…vibe? Well, sometimes, it’s not your imagination.
In 2013, a man in Georgia had a life-changing experience at the hands of a creepy neighbor...and not in a good way. Marty Corbitt had his house burned down when Phillip Bennett, his ‘friendly’ neighbor took matters into his own hands after a disagreement about the length of his front-lawn grass. After slapping Corbitt and yelling at him to “mow his lawn” the day before the arson attack, Phillip the ‘amiable’ neighbor went completely off the rails. In the most extreme way. Ever.
Why did he torch the house? Because the grass was too high.
Fortunately there were no casualties and Phillip Bennett was caught after being considered by police to be ‘armed and dangerous due to past criminal history’.
This is definitely at the more disturbing end of the nightmare neighbor scale, but it’s far from an isolated incident. Neighbors can overstep the mark all the time, from dangerous behavior to just plain weird and annoying.
You know how cats can wander for miles on end at night, often sneaking into other people’s houses and gardens? You might think that’s just the kind of thing that cats do. That it’s not the kind of thing that people do. But you’d be wrong. Chat forums and message boards are awash with consternated individuals who have discovered that their neighbors like to “mooch around” their kitchens while they’re out at work.
Yeah, people are weird.
Luckily, with the right tools, it’s actually very easy to find out pertinent information about, well, just about anyone you know. A few second’s search through public records using a tool like BeenVerified, Intelius or Instant Checkmate can reveal a lifetime’s worth of information relating to a person’s criminal record, arrests, jail time, name changes, financial background – you name it. If you’re getting a slightly uncomfortable read off a neighbor, a friend, or just someone who is offering to give your teenage daughter a lift home from school, you can make a few more subtle inquiries first.
Running a background check can certainly help you to identify the worst characters, and keep them firmly at bay.
Top Sites for Background Checks:
Intelius: A comprehensive people searching and reverse lookup tool. You can find out everything from someone’s address and financial history to who’s been trying to call you.
BeenVerified: A background search tool that searches public data to find out personal information such as current and former address, court records and convictions.
Instant Checkmate: A public records database that enables instant criminal background checks, including known aliases, arrests and charges.