Hi DC buddies,
Just wanted to let you know what happened to us yesterday. On Saturday I filled up the kids sandbox with new sand and painted the security gate at the back. I had the truck at the back with the sand and so on. My wife was going to leave early Sunday morning for her half marathon. She woke me up saying she heard noises in the garage thinking it may be a raccoon or something. I took my pistol and went towards the attached garage door to investigate. I was contemplating turning on the garage light and/or opening to investigate. I felt uneasy and decided to do neither. My wife and I looked out the front window and there was an unknown car parked in our driveway. I told my wife to immediately call 911 and get the Sheriff's department to come out quickly. I had left the garage door open by accident the previous evening by walking around to lock the side gate and then got distracted once inside. Now someone was in our garage.
Even though I've been trying to prepare myself mentally for things like this, I still almost couldn't believe it was happening at first. My wife stayed on the phone in the bedroom while I made sure the door to the garage was locked which it wasn't and I locked it slowly. He didn't seem to hear it. I stood guard from behind the counter pointing pistol towards garage making sure my line of fire didn't endanger family members while we waited for the deputies. I wasn't about to confront the BG unnecessarily while I could be waiting for backup. I wasn't sure how many persons were involved. I didn't know if he/they were armed. He/they didn't know we knew he was there. He wasn't yet threatening me or my family by stepping inside the main part of the house.
I think it took about 6-8 minutes for the first deputy sheriff to arrive, of which about 5-7 units responded, at which point I went to the bedroom as the dispatcher instructed and put away the pistol. The deputy sheriff took him into custody and asked me to open the garage door so they could come inside and check around all with guns drawn of course and my wife being the good mom she is reminded them we have two little ones still sleeping behind the closed doors.
This guy had packed up most of my tools into his Honda Accord had bicycles outside and was still busy returning for more when the deputy cornered him. I think he is a drug addict and was looking to get more money to support his habit and this was a crime of opportunity.
No-one got hurt, I didn't have to shoot anyone, we got our stuff back and he is in jail so we were blessed and protected by the Lord. I'm thankful for the way it ended. Our deputies did a superb job and were very professional.
I understand I was dumb to leave the garage open. Got it. I understand that I was getting complacent around the house. Got it. Never let your guard down at home. Got it.
I just wanted to share this with ya'll as a reminder to always be vigilant about safety. It's hard to keep up all the defensive rituals 24/7 but the moment you relax or forget to do something it'll bite ya.
One question I'm trying to resolve though (maybe aimed more at our LE folks and other knowledgeable persons). At the risk of this sounding like a dumb question to some, since he did not have to open the garage door to enter and start taking things, are you still protected under the FL castle doctrine law in that part of the house? If you left your door to the house unlocked are you still protected? Is it still considered breaking and entering if he didn't have to break something or even open something to gain access?
He did open one of the car's doors to take things out so I was told there would possibly be two counts of burglary and multiple counts of theft. I suppose I'm just unsure of the potential murkiness and the legalities involved when you did not lock up properly.
Ok I suppose it is time to rip into me.
Have at it.