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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
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    4

    Default Police Want Home Owner's Date of Birth when Responding to a Burglar Alarm

    My question involves police conduct in the State of: PA. We've had a home security system for decades. Occasionally we experience a false alarm and in past years when the police responded they would ask me for my name (they already know the address obviously). However, now they ask for my name and date of birth, and the last time they asked for my driver's license which one of them took inside the cruiser. I suspect they are checking to see if there are any warrants on me which I find to be objectionable. They're there for the purpose of helping me, not trying to jail me. In the past giving my name was sufficient. Can I refuse to provide my date of birth?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    6,198

    Default Re: Police Want Home Owner's Date of Birth when Responding to a Burglar Alarm

    Sure, you can refuse to provide the information they request. But if you are a law abiding person, what is the problem?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Behind a Desk
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    98,844

    Default Re: Police Want Home Owner's Date of Birth when Responding to a Burglar Alarm

    Quote Quoting flyingron
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    failure to identify yourself can result in being cited for obstruction.
    Failure to identify yourself can result in detention as a suspect for B&E.

    The police can perform a warrant check without a driver's license number, so if that's their inclination they will run a warrant check. If they run a warrant check, a DOB can help narrow down results if similarly named people show up, but again it's not needed.

    The homeowner does have the option of saying, "I would prefer not to [give you my DOB/ driver's license]" and see whether the police officer says, "Okay" and moves on to other matters or becomes more insistent.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    15,210

    Default Re: Police Want Home Owner's Date of Birth when Responding to a Burglar Alarm

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
    View Post
    Failure to identify yourself can result in detention as a suspect for B&E.

    The police can perform a warrant check without a driver's license number, so if that's their inclination they will run a warrant check. If they run a warrant check, a DOB can help narrow down results if similarly named people show up, but again it's not needed.

    The homeowner does have the option of saying, "I would prefer not to [give you my DOB/ driver's license]" and see whether the police officer says, "Okay" and moves on to other matters or becomes more insistent.
    That is the first thing I thought of when reading the original post. We get false alarms at the office from time to time and since I live very close to the office, I am generally the person that gets called by the alarm company, and I often get there before the police do. They always ask me for ID and I always cheerfully give it to them, because I do not want to be suspected of the potential B&E. That is just common sense.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,433

    Default Re: Police Want Home Owner's Date of Birth when Responding to a Burglar Alarm

    Quote Quoting trebordet
    View Post
    My question involves police conduct in the State of: PA. We've had a home security system for decades. Occasionally we experience a false alarm and in past years when the police responded they would ask me for my name (they already know the address obviously). However, now they ask for my name and date of birth, and the last time they asked for my driver's license which one of them took inside the cruiser. I suspect they are checking to see if there are any warrants on me which I find to be objectionable. They're there for the purpose of helping me, not trying to jail me. In the past giving my name was sufficient. Can I refuse to provide my date of birth?
    It’s very simple

    how do the police know you are who you say you are and not a burglar claiming to be you? It is a simple means of attempting to assure them that you are you.

    Yes you can refuse to provide your date of birth. No it is not obstruction of justice. It’s just that the cops may not believe you are who you claim to be and arrest you for suspicion of burglary or simply not bother responding to calls concerning burglaries at your home.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    18,915

    Default Re: Police Want Home Owner's Date of Birth when Responding to a Burglar Alarm

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
    View Post
    Failure to identify yourself can result in detention as a suspect for B&E.
    Of course, you could be detained as a suspect even if you properly identify yourself.
    I was speaking to the legality of not giving ID. It's chargeable (although it's only a summary offense).

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    1,116

    Default Re: Police Want Home Owner's Date of Birth when Responding to a Burglar Alarm

    Quote Quoting trebordet
    View Post
    I suspect they are checking to see if there are any warrants on me...
    You suspect?

    You should not be assuming things like this for no reason. Why didn't you ASK at the time the report was taken?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Police Want Home Owner's Date of Birth when Responding to a Burglar Alarm

    Quote Quoting Highwayman
    View Post
    Why didn't you ASK at the time the report was taken?
    Because they were there to help me and I didn't want to be impolite. Also, I'd like to thank everyone who replies to my original post.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    1,116

    Default Re: Police Want Home Owner's Date of Birth when Responding to a Burglar Alarm

    Well if you were afraid to ask then you shouldn't come here asking questions about something you assume is the case - you're just guessing.

    We ask for people's licenses all the time because it's an easy way to get much of the needed complainant's information for a report.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    20,287

    Default Re: Police Want Home Owner's Date of Birth when Responding to a Burglar Alarm

    Quote Quoting trebordet
    View Post
    My question involves police conduct in the State of: PA. We've had a home security system for decades. Occasionally we experience a false alarm and in past years when the police responded they would ask me for my name (they already know the address obviously). However, now they ask for my name and date of birth, and the last time they asked for my driver's license which one of them took inside the cruiser. I suspect they are checking to see if there are any warrants on me which I find to be objectionable. They're there for the purpose of helping me, not trying to jail me. In the past giving my name was sufficient. Can I refuse to provide my date of birth?
    The police regularly ask for ID (name, date of birth, and sometimes address) on almost anyone they contact. It's a matter of course. They do it all the time - it's what they do. They do NOT always run a warrants check on everyone they contact ... that could be time consuming and pointless in many places. For false alarm calls, the officer generally wants to identify the person they contacted, verify their right to be there, and then clear. But, there is no law that prohibits the police from running a records check on pretty much anyone they wish - whether present or not - provided it is for legitimate law enforcement purposes.

    If you refuse to ID yourself, you may find yourself a suspect and detained further (assuming you are standing in a place that could make you appear as a suspect). If you live in a municipality that requires you to register alarm systems, you may also be subject to fines for false alarms, and maybe for not IDing yourself. If you do not live in a jurisdiction that requires registration or other details, then you can either refuse to ID yourself and potentially delay their departure, or, you can ID yourself and the police will be on their way. Your call.
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

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    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

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