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  #51  
Old 04-04-2018, 08:12 PM
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Evidently it's much too easy to get into your house. Call a reputable locksmith and have them install stronger locks.

Camera's and alarm systems are your SECOND line of defense.
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Old 04-04-2018, 08:29 PM
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... "criminal attorney"...
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Old 04-04-2018, 09:04 PM
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Sometimes calling 911 just does not work. Whatever happens where I live I know I will have to deal with it myself. In the past I saw a house being broke into so I called 911. Three hours later someone comes by to check. Called about a child out in very cold weather with no coat. No one every came by. Called about someone vandalizing my car. Police showed next day. So I always have a gun in reach 24/7 and am very careful about always locking up. I like living in a very small town but this the way it is
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Old 04-04-2018, 11:57 PM
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I concur with grover99. A few years ago I confronted (over a pistol barrel) a drug-crazed loon who was trying to pound his way into the family cabin. It turns out that he was trying to escape from a mob of other druggies who had just beaten him. I called 911 and stated that someone was trying to force his way into my house, that I was armed and that I was prepared to shoot the intruder. It took almost an hour before the only available LE officer, the local game warden, showed up.

I stumbled upon some teenagers burglarizing my father-in-law's home last fall. One ran, but I convinced the other to stay put. I called 911, and stayed on the line With the operator. The operator told me that officers were on scene and ended the call. I was relieved to see, out of my peripheral vision, someone quickly rounding the corner of the house. Imagine my surprise when I looked up to see a group of very angry bikers, the family of the teens, running toward me. I ended up drawing my pistol from my pocket and leveling at the first guy in the group, but they kept coming. The thought flashed through my mind that I could not afford to be disarmed since I was with my 11-year-old son. I picked out some object on the ground and told myself that I was going to fire if the first guy crossed that line. Thank god, the guy stopped just short of that line. There followed a few tense minutes of them shouting threats and me repeatedly telling them to "get back!" Eventually they did get back and had started to leave the property when police stopped the group at the head of the driveway. The second situation occurred in the city with plenty of officer resources. Although the response time was much faster in the city, it still wouldn't have saved my butt if those people had gotten ahold of me.
I have told my father-in-law that I am going to allow his house to be robbed next time. Honestly, if possible I will retreat and call 911 from a safe distance. There are too many things that could have gone wrong. I was physically sick over the knowledge that I could have shot one of the teen burglars and damn near shot an adult.
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Old 04-05-2018, 12:26 PM
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Excellent commentary and synopsis of your "incident", Mzuri! You have pointed out the fact that is very easy for any of us to fail to give this sort of thing it's proper significance. When the flag goes fly, when the adrenalin dumps, all bets are off, and the way we respond is really just a guess, especially if this is our first time in that kind of situation.

We think a great deal about what we will do but actually being there has a funny way of being real which affects everything about our plans and judgement. About all we can do is make sure we have our best chance to accomplish the task by having at hand that thing or things that will give us a fighting chance to survive. We just do not fully comprehend the affect that this kind of situation can have on us and how it can affect our judgement under stress.

I am glad you and your family survived the incident as well as you did. No doubt your demeanor had some effect on the outcome even though all you were armed with was strong words. I appreciate the reminder you have posted here based on actual experience! It's a sobering thought for all of us. Thank you!
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Old 04-05-2018, 11:00 PM
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I don’t know that I’ve ever known any Deputy Sheriff that didn’t have to work the night shift on a Sunday at some point in his/her career.
No kidding, I think that every officer starts out on nights, and weekends and holidays are "just another day".

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Glad you are OK! After a time in municipal LE, I was Chief of a campus department for many years. Every few years a drunk student would enter a home in the surrounding neighborhood totally oblivious to where they were. On one occasion a woman woke up in the morning to find one asleep on her couch in the front room. All cases i dealt with doors or windows were not locked.it

Good deadbolt locks are great but don't forget to lock up before going to bed.
Folks in my town think that it is still safe to never lock a door. Lots of valuable info in this thread. I teach the NRA Personal Protection In/Outside the Home courses and this thread just became required reading.
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Old 04-07-2018, 02:18 PM
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A light and a firearm are not options - returning for them is not even close to good. You learned that; good.

Alarms and dogs are good. Not all dogs are as good - there are breeds that are better for this kind of purpose. Since you are even closer than we are and we've made the trip twice to rottsoffriends in Woodland CA, you can easily do that. Their facebook page is more current than their website. Renee is a no BS retired cop/K9 handler. Not gentle with the delicate, but sharp; we like and respect her. Consider "Rhino" - we tried to adopt him and he was not good with our female, which is a shame. He seems good with people, but I'd bet a lot that a 125 or so pound rott/boerboel cross once bonded with you would be a real handful for an offender. (I'm biased - I hate to see him live there the rest of his life; he needs people, a home, and a couch.) She also has some nice rotties and a recent influx of GSDs.

Make sure every means of entrance is secured - you can't make a place entry proof without a platoon of SOCOM tough guys and a lot of gear, but you can't make it far more of a sweaty unpleasant job than most will do.

Oh - for those who don't understand this about LE: "Dayshift" is French for "grievance". Darned few real cops willingly work day shift. It sucks. The only exception to that is if they have kids and have to work around the reality of parenthood. Taking legal advice from cops about use of force is sub-optimal, most of the time, but the same is true of lawyers. There are only about 1000 lawyers in the US, if that many, who actually have enough knowledge about use of force to be justified in opening their mouths. The cops may, however, have a better idea about tactics of encounter if they have been well trained, and may also know that no one will care if you shoot a burglar. (If you get into a physical conflict with a person such as is described by the OP, you are probably an idiot unless you are very fit martial artist. When impaired like that, a person needs a LOT of damage to get them under control.)
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Old 04-07-2018, 09:16 PM
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Oh - for those who don't understand this about LE: "Dayshift" is French for "grievance". Darned few real cops willingly work day shift.
I agree with most of what you said except for that part of real cops not wanting to work the day shift. In my experience, just the opposite is true and dayshift is sought after, especially by veteran officers.

I don't believe that you have to spend your entire career doing the most dangerous possible assignments and under the worst possible conditions, in order to consider yourself a "real cop". If working days improves everyday living for you and your family, as well as your chances of going home safe and still making a positive contribution to law enforcement, then that's a good thing in my book.
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Old 04-07-2018, 09:58 PM
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About three months ago my house was broken into while I was present. It was an eye-opening experience. Despite having tried to plan out what I would do in such a situation, when the time came I did none of the things I thought I would do. Most of these plans were built around the use of firearms. My assumption was that were someone to break into my house, my dogs would give me enough warning for me get to the loaded pistol in the gun safe. However, when actually faced with someone in the house I found myself with little warning and no access to a gun. I then proceeded to make a series of astonishingly bad decisions, each of which could have made the situation much worse.

I got lucky. No one was hurt and I got my property back, but I have fundamentally rethought my home security situation.


The Events:

It was about 9:45 on a Monday night. My wife had just gone to bed. I was in the family room reading. My dogs were with me in the family room, which is adjacent to our back door/mudroom.

I heard the flap on the outside dog door move. Because there is a lot of dog traffic through that door, I thought nothing of it. But my rat terrier knew better. She looked up, did a quick check around the room and realized that all the dogs were accounted for. She made the chuffing sound that outraged rat terriers make and went crashing through the inner dog door and into the dark mudroom. I followed as far the door to the mudroom.

I looked through the glass in the mudroom door and saw a dark shape on the floor, which I concluded was a raccoon or an opossum. Then the shape stood up and I was forced to abandon the raccoon hypothesis. At this point my brain seems to have been trying mightily to come up with a “normal” explanation of what was going on. Thus I found myself wondering, “Why did my adult son just come through the dog door? Did he loose his key?”

After a fraction of a second I stopped clutching at that straw and reluctantly conceded that there was someone in my house who was not supposed to be there.

At that point I probably should have locked the door between the family room and the mudroom and retreated to the bedroom, the phone, and the gun safe. I also should have hit the lights in the mudroom and backyard.

Instead, I started yelling in a voice that I did not know I had. It was deep and guttural and in retrospect I recognize it as the voice that high school football players use when they are trying to convince their opponents (and themselves) that they are tough guys.

The intruder reached for a shelf and grabbed a set of car keys. Then he turned away from me, hunched over, and spun back to face me while pantomiming pushing out a gun.

Something in my subconscious told me he did not have a gun, so I continued to stand there and yell at him through the glass door.

After another second or so he got tired of my yelling and the terrier biting his ankles and he bolted out the back door with the dog in hot pursuit.

Once again, I could have retreated to the bedroom. Instead, probably because I did not want to be shown up by a twelve-pound dog, I charged out the door (leaving it wide open) and into the backyard. It was so dark that I could not see a thing, so I went back into the house, turned on the outside lights and headed out again. I came out just in time to see him fleeing across the driveway.

Thinking it would encourage him to keep going, I started yelling at him. To my surprise, it had the opposite effect. He turned around and came toward me. He ran to within about ten feet of me, reached for his waistband and again pantomimed drawing a gun. At this point it did cross my mind that he might have picked up a gun he had stashed outside, but for whatever reason, I stood my ground and kept yelling. This did not discourage him. He came towards me and began to climb over the low fence of the dog pen that separated us.

We were nearly nose-to-nose when my wife appeared in the doorway holding her phone in both hands. She was trying to call the police, but I think he saw an object held in both hands, read it as a gun, and took off like a scalded dog.

My wife then said something to the effect of “Get back in the house you idiot!”

So I did.

We locked up the house and called the police. The intruder went off and broke into another house a couple of blocks away, where he assaulted the homeowner in his kitchen and then hid under a bed for a while before running off again. The police caught him around midnight and I got my car keys back a couple of days later.


What I Learned:

First, a gun in the gun safe, even a loaded gun in the gun safe, is pretty much the same as no gun at all. I had always thought the concept of home carry was absurd, but I no longer feel that way. I was so focused on my intruder that I doubt that I would have taken my eyes off him long enough to even reach into an unlocked drawer for a gun, much less mess around with the safe. I have also realized that I would not want to be in race to the gun safe and have someone catch up just as I opened the safe. I now have a .380 on me virtually all the time. It’s no more inconvenient than a wallet or a phone and as a bonus I don’t have to make a conscious decision to take it with me when I leave the house.

Second, an actual intruder in your house is totally different than training at the range. That may sound blindingly obvious, but I now realize just how different it is. There is a decision making process that occurs in an actual event that is entirely absent at the range. We would all know exactly what to do if our opponent appeared before us wearing an IDPA target and a shot timer went off. But the process of figuring out what’s going on, filtering out the bizarre explanations your brain offers you (raccoons, etc.), and then deciding what to do about it is far more complex than what happens on a range. I can only imagine that the decision making process is even more protracted and difficult if you are half asleep.

Third, you can make plans, but people are too unpredictable for you to imagine every possible boneheaded thing they might do. My guy decided to break into a house with the interior lights on and several cars in the driveway at a time of night when most people are still awake. He entered through a dog door. You would think that someone might expect to find humans in a house with lights on and cars in the drive and dogs in a house with a dog door. People don’t get into the house breaking business because they are geniuses, which makes it difficult to game out the types of choices they will make and to guard against them.

Fourth, I used to be pretty cavalier about gun hygiene. Once my wife got me back in the house I went straight to the gun safe. Then I realized that I could not remember if I had cleaned the GLOCK that been a little balky about going into battery after I put some dirty handloads though it. I selected a revolver instead, but I had to waste time thinking about it. I now make sure that any gun that might play a defensive role is not just loaded, but clean.

Fifth, dogs are not as dependable a source of warning when someone breaks in or support once a threat is identified as I had expected. Of my five dogs, only the rat terrier noticed that something was wrong and took action. The other (much bigger dogs) could not be bothered to get out of their beds to investigate. When the cops came and knocked at the door, all five of them went crazy. I was ready to react to the familiar sound of the shot timer; the dogs were ready for the familiar sound of knocking, but less inclined to react to the sound of the sound of the dog door.

Sixth, I have rethought what I consider a good home defense gun. My default gun was always a GLOCK 22. But I was far closer to my intruder than I would have thought possible. I was easily in contact shot and struggle-for-control-of-the-gun range. I am increasingly thinking that a K-, L- or N-frame snub-nosed revolver might be the best choice (at least for a single intruder). It won’t go out of battery if it’s in contact with the target, the short barrel does not offer much for another person to hold on to, and a three-pound, steel revolver makes a better club than a polymer pistol. But any gun you have with you is better than the perfect gun in the safe.

And finally, I have learned never to underestimate my rat terrier. She is one badass little dog.
Consider arming your Rat Terrier and you stay inside your house
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Old 04-07-2018, 11:56 PM
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Others have mentioned this but a really good watch dog is a great first line of defense. Right now I have the perfect watch dog. He sleeps in the house near the door. He barks like crazy at any strange humans near the house. He has never bitten anyone but certainly threatens to do that. He is extremely fast so that no human can touch him if he doesn't want to be touched. And he hesitates about taking food from people. A dog like that will put an intruder on the defensive very quick. The only way to shut him up would be to shoot him. And that would give me plenty of time to be armed and ready for whatever the situation might be.

I have my safe zone to retreat to and a kill zone that has nothing but a basement wall behind it and a hillside with no houses for a mile or so beyond that. A good plan of defense will negate most threats. I will be hiding behind a washer, a dryer, a hot water heater and a refrigerator. It should be safe enough in that corner with my dog, which once chased two black bears up the hill after they had killed my cat, covering for me. BTW that dog follows my wife every step she takes outside. He seems to sense I don't need that kind of protection. But he sure takes over as guard dog when the time arrives.

I have another safe zone near the back door. I would be hiding behind my safe (lengthwise) covering the back door which is steel. A plan is a good thing.

Last edited by C J; 04-07-2018 at 11:59 PM.
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Old 04-18-2018, 04:00 PM
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Glad you are Ok. Things to think about: Do I need to secure house more? Should I have left my bedroom at all? Should I have grabbed my weapon immediately? Did I call 911 fast enough? Should I have gone outside before the police arrived? Just MO. Again glad it turned out OK. Jim
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Old 04-18-2018, 04:28 PM
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...I think about Herb Clutter every time I lock up at night...
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Old 04-18-2018, 06:04 PM
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2 years ago there was an old pickup outside my garage..it was midnight and storming..i have a long drive and very private...i knew he was up to no good...grabbed a gun and hit the garage opener as the truck was right outside it. rushed the truck and pointed my gun at the drivers head...SURPRISE....there were 2 of them. the other was hooking up my new trailer to the old truck..didn't see the second one out the front door window...I did absolutely EVERYTHING WRONG!....the only thing i did right was not to shoot. You guys with light triggers and no safeties are asking for trouble if it happens to you. The truck peeled out of my driveway with the second guy barely inside the truck. He must have seen my gun. lucky i didn't get shot first. I didn't think, i was just mad. THEN i called 911. That was really stupid not to call right away. Should have let them drive off with my trailer and follow. They were eventually caught in another home burglary. Things sure don't go as planned during a home invasion or burglary. By the way, our bassett hound caught them coming down the driveway with lights off as i was already sleeping. Dogs are very good security systems.
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Old 04-19-2018, 11:37 AM
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Don't rely on just dogs. I've been to several burglaries where dogs were present and didn't do anything and didn't deter the burglars. They were just running around barking or just hid and didn't stop anyone.
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Old 04-19-2018, 12:18 PM
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Got to love the parole system. Burglary In My House Sunday Night
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Old 04-19-2018, 12:21 PM
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Don't rely on just dogs. I've been to several burglaries where dogs were present and didn't do anything and didn't deter the burglars. They were just running around barking or just hid and didn't stop anyone.
No kidding. My late Parents owned 2 such dogs. They were great "watch" dogs. They would have either sat around watching or lapped the perp to death!


So point is well taken. Know your dogs and what they are capable of.
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Old 04-19-2018, 01:21 PM
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You and yours came out of it unhurt. Thats called a win.
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Old 04-19-2018, 01:35 PM
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I refuse to Monday morning quarterback. Job well done. Great ending!
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Old 04-19-2018, 03:48 PM
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Got to love the parole system. Burglary In My House Sunday Night
They gotta come out at some point . . .
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Old 04-19-2018, 04:20 PM
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Consider arming your Rat Terrier and you stay inside your house
She has tiny little paws and no thumbs, so even an I-frame is probably out of the question.
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Old 04-19-2018, 11:29 PM
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As a retired LEO with 39 years experience I can tell you for a fact that we are very hesitant to give deadly force advice to civilians. Now that we have " The Castle Doctrine" in Texas it makes it some what easy, you have right to defend yourself and your family in your home, auto and place of business. Always, always keep in mind that every round that you discharge has a lawyer attached to it.
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