Two legged critter in the garage...

This is a discussion on Two legged critter in the garage... within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; 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 ...

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Thread: Two legged critter in the garage...

  1. #1
    Member Array TheSaiga308's Avatar
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    Post Two legged critter in the garage...

    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.
    "Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the people's liberty teeth keystone... more than 99% of them by their silence indicate that they are in safe and sane hands. The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference."

  2. #2
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    I don't know Florida's CD law, but in Utah, you're still covered. If they enter "by stealth" which this BG did, you are covered. (again, in Utah)
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."
    Thomas Jefferson

  3. #3
    Array Coder's Avatar
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    Hard to think about how it could have turned out better for you. Fast LEO response too! Nice work.

    The garage thing is something I'm always harping on. We've had issues with that in our area as well. The family is pretty good about it now.
    We're all in favor of reducing violent crime. It's just that pro-gunners have a method that is proven effective. Anti-gunners don't.
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  4. #4
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    Thumbs up

    'Not a leo, and not gonna rip into you. On the contrary, given the situation, I commend you on how you handled that and not "Rambo'ing" into your garage with gun drawn. You kept you and your family safe, while arranging for the dirt-bag to get picked up. Mission accomplished.
    'Clinging to my guns and religion

  5. #5
    Distinguished Member Array C9H13NO3's Avatar
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    I think you handled it very well. You stood your ground to defend your family. You had no idea who was on the other side of that door or what he may be armed with. Had you gone in and ended up shot, you wouldn't be able to defend your wife and kids.

    All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

  6. #6
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    Sounds very well handled. I doubt I'd have the self-control to not go in there.

    WE keep our garage door up almost all the time when we are not sleeping, unless the weather is nasty.
    Because of this we keep motion detectors and cameras on in the garage.

    It is pretty nervy to go into the garage of an occupied house. Here, once they step across the threshold of the garage entrance it is considered burglary of a habitation-- 20 years in daytime; up to 99 at night. I don't know with certainty if our "castle" doctrine" would apply, but here for sure, if the act were at night lethal force could be used to stop it.

    I think the great take home lesson you provided is to have the patience to stay locked in safety, prepared in case they tried to enter, and wait for the troops.

  7. #7
    GM is offline
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    Glad that everything ended well! I might be wrong about this, but I was always told that if my door is not locked the BG is just trespassing and not breaking; I can kick him out, but I am not allowed to use lethal force. However, if the door was locked then I am protected under the FL castle doctrine. I have been thinking for a long time about contacting an attorney and asking about this matter, but I have not done it yet (). I always lock my door
    "The Second Amendment: America's Original Homeland Security"

  8. #8
    Member Array jerzsubbie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GM View Post
    Glad that everything ended well! I might be wrong about this, but I was always told that if my door is not locked the BG is just trespassing and not breaking; I can kick him out, but I am not allowed to use lethal force. However, if the door was locked then I am protected under the FL castle doctrine. I have been thinking for a long time about contacting an attorney and asking about this matter, but I have not done it yet (). I always lock my door
    +1 I've heard the same and it makes sense. Unfortunately we don't yet have a CD in NC.

    As Hopyard said, I'm not sure I'd have the self-control to not confront him with a "big evil black rifle" after calling police and surveying the surrounding area for accomplices.

    Glad everything turned out well and kudos to the wife for hearing the commotion!

  9. #9
    VIP Member Array ctsketch's Avatar
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    All things considering I think you handled it well. smart that you didn't try and confront, You have no idea what is on the other side of that door, just called for help and protected your home and family. glad LEOs got there soon enough to catch em
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  10. #10
    Ex Member Array azchevy's Avatar
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    you did good. Considering response time where I am at is upwards of 45 minutes I would have grabbed the AK, let the dogs in the garage, and defended my home.

  11. #11
    VIP Member Array PAcanis's Avatar
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    That's a good question. I never have anything locked and have some goodies in an open pole barn. Plus farm implements just sitting outside. My neighbor's a cop. I should ask him what the laws are around here just to know myself.

    And good job!

  12. #12
    VIP Member Array Old School's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    You did the right thing. Good job. If you did not invite (and we know you didnot) him into your home, once he broke the plane of the garage doorway he committed burglary of a residence. You leave your car unlocked and do not invite someone to enter your vehicle and they enter then that person has committed auto burglary. There was intent to enter to commit a crime (theft) . Now if he had knocked on your inside garage door to tell you that you had forgotten to close your door and was legitament in this regard then no crime was committed as he was acting in good faith. Glad it all worked out well for you and your family.
    "Violence is seldom the answer, but when it is the answer it is the only answer".

    "A nation of sheep breeds a government of wolves".

  13. #13
    Ex Member Array JOHNSMITH's Avatar
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    An attached garage is considered part of the house.

    AS far as your question about whether entering through an unlocked door is kosher under FL Castle Doctrine (I mean, it isn't really "forcible" entry, and I'm sure we have a "stealth entry" clause), I do not know. I have wondered about that myself.

    Scary situation - glad you were ok and that the LEOs got there on time. I bet that wait felt like forever, huh? I'm glad they also appreciated the opportunity to actually stop a crime in progress, rather than always getting there after the action occurred.

  14. #14
    Ex Member Array EB31's Avatar
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    A-Z you handled it perfectly. From quietly locking the garage door to block further access into the house, to having the wife call 911 from a safer distance to positioning yourself behind the counter with gun aimed at the door....GREAT JOB!

    Best part...imho...

    "I felt uneasy..." That was your gut instinct talking and you listened. Just as everyone should.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Array Bubbiesdad's Avatar
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    No rips here either, no one was hurt and you learned from the experience.
    Always remember that others may hate you but those who hate you don't win unless you hate them. And then you destroy yourself.
    Richard M Nixon
    Owning a handgun doesn't make you armed any more than owning a guitar makes you a musician.
    Jeff Cooper

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