A few nights ago, when we were coming home, I noticed a guy loitering around the lift lobby. My children and I did not think much of it and happily went over to press the lift button and waited for the lift. When I turned back and looked at the guy, he quickly took out his handphone and started making a call.
When the lift arrived, the guy stopped talking on the phone and followed my family into the lift. He pressed one level above the level we pressed. When we got out of the lift, my children happily filed towards the door and were chatting among themselves.
I told them to keep quiet so that I can listen for any foot steps coming from upstairs. I was suspicious of the guy that followed us into the lift. We just moved to this block and may not have met all the neighbours but I was very sure I had never met the guy. This got my children alerted and they also started to pay attention. After close to a minute, I did not hear any sound coming from the stairs, then I started to unlock our door and during the whole time, my family was keeping a watch at the stairs.
I quickly unlocked and opened the door and got my children inside the house and quickly locked up again. Once in the relative safety of our house, I gathered my children and explained to them what just happened. It was a common ploy for a house robber to follow someone into the lift and then pressed a level above. Then the robber would quickly run down the stairs and catch the person when he just open his house door. He can then easily get into the house and rob the house.
I don't know whether it is fortunate or unfortunate that our children are brought up in such a safe society. Our society is so safe that children are no longer taught to be careful of strangers. Our children are so happy now that they no longer pay attention to their surroundings, they can live in their own world. Their world is now the world of electronic devices like iPhones and smart phones. They will be looking at these devices as they walk, as they are waiting for their parents to pick them up. They no longer know what is happening around them.
I think this incident may be a false alarm but it is still a good learning experience for my children, at least for the short time when they still remember this incident, they will pay more attention to their surroundings. But most likely, they will forget about this incident very fast because Singapore is such a safe society and they never expect any bad thing to happen.