Here is the Scenario:
You are at home in a middle class neighborhood where the houses are 15-20 feet apart (side to side) on 1/3 acre lots. Your vehicle (large SUV - 8 seater) is parked in the driveway backed up to the garage door, but not so close that the rear door cannot be opened.
At about 21:50 hrs, you are talking in the kitchen with your wife when hear a car alarm going off. You think, that sounds like my truck. The only way you could visually verify it is your truck, wihtout opening the garage door, would be to go to a large picture window on the first floor or a bedroom window on the second floor.
I went to the garage and opened the door. We have 2 cars in the garage, so there is reasonable cover, if needed. It was when the garage door opened that I noticed that the rear door of the SUV was wide open (up).
While I was still in front of one of the cars in the garage, I pulled out my Surefire E2D LED Defender and began sweeping the area, including inside the truck from what I could see from a distance. I also unholstered my .45 and held it at low ready behind my right leg, safety still on, but thumb on it. NOTE: the gun was not drawn to protect the truck, but to protect me if the garage got rushed.
I proceed, slowly, toward the truck and when I get near the end of the garage, my neighbor directly across the street - good guy - who was working in his garage tells me he did not see anybody. At the time, we had not turned on the outdoor light, so it is quite possible that whoever broke into the truck (rear door near the garage door) took off around the house over to the next street.
After completing my scan of the yard, truck (including under the truck) and street as best I could from the garage, I reholstered my .45. I then shut the rear SUV door and turned its alarm off. I proceeded to clear the truck, first by shining the light in and looking then by opening the doors and being sure it was clear.
I then cleared the side yards and made sure nobody was on the roof. After all was determined to be clear, my wife came out and flipped on the outside light. She also made a very good observation that my truck was too close to the house and somebody could climb on top and get on the roof which would give them access to the second floor windows.
We did not have the outdoor light on - failure.
The truck was parked too close to the house providing unnecessary access to the roof and second floor - failure.
We have good neighbors that are willing to talk - positive.
The truck alarm appears to have scared the perp off - positive.
I could have gone to a second floor bedroom window to see that it was my truck making noise, but I did not. The front picture window is too exposed and no window would have provided a view that the rear door of the truck was open. This would have taken an extra 30-45 seconds and could possibly have let me know if there were multiple perps had they stuck around after the alarm went off. At best, the upstairs window allows you to see the front half of the truck. I am rating this one neutral because going upstairs would have taken me off the first floor leaving my family there. While facing determined perps in the garage is not a task I would look forward to, fighting my way down to my family if the perps just broke in is less favorable.
I did not do a complete search of the truck in the dark. After determining that it held no perp and all windows were intact, I locked it up and went back into the house saving the search for morning. The morning's search did not turn up any obvious missing items. About the only things of value in the truck were my binoculars, range finder and turkey calls and they were still there in the morning.
I did call the cops admin line to find out if there have been other car break-ins in the area and they were not aware of any patterns on my street or neighborhood. I did not file a formal report as there was no real damages.
Have at it guys and gals. What could I have done better & what did I do right.