Car Break-in - After Action Report - Chance to Critique

Car Break-in - After Action Report - Chance to Critique

This is a discussion on Car Break-in - After Action Report - Chance to Critique within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; 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 ...

Results 1 to 14 of 14
Like Tree2Likes
  • 1 Post By TedBeau
  • 1 Post By Guantes

Thread: Car Break-in - After Action Report - Chance to Critique

  1. #1
    VIP Member
    Array ksholder's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    3,941

    Car Break-in - After Action Report - Chance to Critique

    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.

    My Response:

    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.

    My Analysis:

    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.

    Side Note:

    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.

    Your Turn:

    Have at it guys and gals. What could I have done better & what did I do right.
    It's the Land of Opportunity, not the Land of Entitlements - Vote America!!!

    "When governments fear the people there is liberty. When the people fear the government there is tyranny." Thomas Jefferson

    You are only paranoid until you are right - then you are a visionary.


  2. #2
    Member Array Snider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    192
    I have to say it sounds like you did a pretty thorough assessment of things looking back at it. If I had to offer any advice, it would be exactly what others here have given me; assuming an extremely strong defensive position and calling the police is rarely a bad idea. Walking into the situation yourself (ie, without a vest, without an armed partner) is a lot more dangerous.

    Assuming you could open the garage door from inside the house, from a defensive position, and observe the door was open and alarm still going off, I would say it would be smart to hunker down and call the police. My personal preference would be to get out there with my gun, clear the garage and shut off the alarm, but in the name of staying alive in the worst case scenarios, that might not be the best idea.

  3. #3
    Distinguished Member Array BadgerJ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Mid-Atlantic
    Posts
    1,479
    Somewhat dangerous to go outside 'hunting' and it would have been problematic to defend your actions if you had no choice but to shoot. It is natural to go look at your truck and you had SD options, unlike most people who would have gone out with a flashlight and, oh, a baseball bat. I would have hoped your SO (wife) would also have been able to be armed as a back up. Opening the garage door is a problem because it's a big space to defend. Your analysis was good, particularly the truck being too close to the house.

    Would have probably been more prudent to call 911, but that's problematic also, since LEOs are trained not to protect you, but to arrest someone and they start first looking at the victim, unfortunately. I've never had a LEO do anything of value during a call - once the LEO said he couldn't even file a report on my wife's car being vandalized unless -I- gave him my SS# (he lied). Another time the LEO just played with his walkie-talkie the whole time while the BG was on the other side of the apt building trying to break into some girl's apt.

  4. #4
    Distinguished Member Array claude clay's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    ct
    Posts
    1,942
    a question about the SUV--

    does it have a key fob that allows you to remotely open doors and the tail?
    is it possible that some one in the house handled the keys or did something causing the keys to be 'jingled' and possibly activating the release button?

    i ask cause my wife does this occasionally and the dog did it once also (go figure...)

    AAR--perhaps plan some additional outdoor lights that you can control from the inside as well as being motion activated.
    clearing your own home generally does not get two thumbs up even if you do 911 first.
    as this time alls well that ended well, it makes for a good learning experience.
    Arthritis sucks big-big
    -------------------
    Why do those elected to positions of power than work so hard
    to deny those same opportunities to the same people who empowered them

  5. #5
    VIP Member
    Array ksholder's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    3,941
    Quote Originally Posted by claude clay View Post
    a question about the SUV--

    does it have a key fob that allows you to remotely open doors and the tail?
    is it possible that some one in the house handled the keys or did something causing the keys to be 'jingled' and possibly activating the release button?

    i ask cause my wife does this occasionally and the dog did it once also (go figure...)

    AAR--perhaps plan some additional outdoor lights that you can control from the inside as well as being motion activated.
    clearing your own home generally does not get two thumbs up even if you do 911 first.
    as this time alls well that ended well, it makes for a good learning experience.
    The SUV has an aftermarket alarm system and key fob. The system does not provide for remote opening of the tail gate - unlocking, yes, but not opening. The only keys were 1) in my pocket and 2) in the safe. If the fob I had with me had unlocked the truck (all doors unlock at the same time), it would have disarmed the alarm first. I am at a loss to explain how the tail gate got opened without any obvious damage to the truck, but it did.

    We have lights over the driveway and porch that we should have turned on. They are generally on when it is dark, but we had not done that yet last night. We tried the light sensors, but they either always leave the lights on or don't turn them on, so they were a waste. The back yard is covered by a motion activated light that works well.

    I did not clear my house, there was no break-in to the house which has an alarm system. I agree with you, clearing the house is a bad idea. I did clear the truck by shining the light in the front seats, back seats and cargo area, then opening the doors for those areas to be sure it was empty. I was armed at that time, but the weapon was holstered. The E2D LED Defender has a crenellated bezel that could be used as a less than lethal contact weapon if needed as well as a simply blinding light - especially at night. By the time I started clearing the truck, I was pretty sure it was empty.
    Last edited by ksholder; May 10th, 2011 at 01:17 PM.
    It's the Land of Opportunity, not the Land of Entitlements - Vote America!!!

    "When governments fear the people there is liberty. When the people fear the government there is tyranny." Thomas Jefferson

    You are only paranoid until you are right - then you are a visionary.

  6. #6
    VIP Member Array TedBeau's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Bay City
    Posts
    2,271
    Quote Originally Posted by BadgerJ View Post
    Somewhat dangerous to go outside 'hunting' and it would have been problematic to defend your actions if you had no choice but to shoot. It is natural to go look at your truck and you had SD options, unlike most people who would have gone out with a flashlight and, oh, a baseball bat. I would have hoped your SO (wife) would also have been able to be armed as a back up. Opening the garage door is a problem because it's a big space to defend. Your analysis was good, particularly the truck being too close to the house.

    Would have probably been more prudent to call 911, but that's problematic also, since LEOs are trained not to protect you, but to arrest someone and they start first looking at the victim, unfortunately. I've never had a LEO do anything of value during a call - once the LEO said he couldn't even file a report on my wife's car being vandalized unless -I- gave him my SS# (he lied). Another time the LEO just played with his walkie-talkie the whole time while the BG was on the other side of the apt building trying to break into some girl's apt.
    I agree tactically that going out to hunt the perps might not be as safe as hunkering down behind a makshift bunker in the basement, waiting for police to arrive, but come on, lets get real. The car alarm is going off, thats the whole point of having one. 99% of the time the thief is going to take off as soon as it goes off. The OP did not rush out into the open, he stayed back drew his weapon and light and cleared the area before proceeding. If we all start cowering in our basements when the alarm goes off we are just telling the thieves they can do as the want, take all the time they want, help themselves to anything on the ground floor and upstairs because we are going to play ostrich and stick our head in the sand in the basement

    As far as there being a problem if the OP had to shoot someone, they were in his yard stealing from his vehicle. If he confronts them and they come toward him he is being attacked and in fear for his life. Only a crazed killer would attack someone already displaying a gun. The fact that they came toward him, as he was in his garage, attached to his house shows they were attampting to enter his house. Castle Doctrine applies here.
    Harryball likes this.

  7. #7
    VIP Member Array Harryball's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Lansing Mi
    Posts
    7,275
    Quote Originally Posted by TedBeau View Post
    I agree tactically that going out to hunt the perps might not be as safe as hunkering down behind a makshift bunker in the basement, waiting for police to arrive, but come on, lets get real. The car alarm is going off, thats the whole point of having one. 99% of the time the thief is going to take off as soon as it goes off. The OP did not rush out into the open, he stayed back drew his weapon and light and cleared the area before proceeding. If we all start cowering in our basements when the alarm goes off we are just telling the thieves they can do as the want, take all the time they want, help themselves to anything on the ground floor and upstairs because we are going to play ostrich and stick our head in the sand in the basement

    As far as there being a problem if the OP had to shoot someone, they were in his yard stealing from his vehicle. If he confronts them and they come toward him he is being attacked and in fear for his life. Only a crazed killer would attack someone already displaying a gun. The fact that they came toward him, as he was in his garage, attached to his house shows they were attampting to enter his house. Castle Doctrine applies here.
    You are so right.

    OP it appears to me that you did what was needed. Staying behind the cars while the garage door was going up was a good call. As for an SD shot, he would have been in the garage, making it part of his home. Castle Doctrine applies.
    Don"t let stupid be your skill set....

    Never be ashamed of a scar. It simply means, that you were stronger than whatever tried to hurt you......

  8. #8
    VIP Member
    Array ksholder's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    3,941
    Snider, BadgerJ, TedBeau & Harryball – thanks for responding. It looks like we are evenly split. I hear what each of you has said and there is much to each of your points. In general, I was pleased with my actions and we learned a few things to further enhance our home security. I am even thinking of cameras to supplement our lights.

    Snider – you are right. If this was a ruse by 3 or 4 armed perps to get the garage door opened as a method to enter the house, my actions could have been problematic. That having been said, they would have had to come through the funnel of death (see my note to BadgerJ) to get there and I could have dropped behind the engine of my wife’s car which would have acted almost as well as body armor, although my head, shoulders and arms would still be exposed. This would have evened the odds, but that is still not all that good. The probability of an event of this sort is low, but the severity could be high.

    BadgerJ – I disagree with your comment on the garage. Of course, I have the advantage of knowing my garage layout and you don’t. You are right that in some garages there is much empty space that could cause issues. In my garage, a small 2 car, there are cars very near both side walls. One is backed in and the other pulled in forward. This leaves a relatively small “L” shaped aisle between the cars and then in front of my wife’s car to get from the outside garage door to the door from the garage to the kitchen. As noted above, this would act as a funnel for perps trying to get into the house this way and they would have to be single file.

    TedBeau & Harryball – I am in general agreement with you guys. Maybe it is the way I was raised, but I don’t expect the government to handle all my problems. This problem seemed to be relatively minor, however, as noted in my comments above, there was a small chance this could have been a much larger issue. Had the garage been rushed by armed perps, I agree with your castle doctrine assessment. Who would have survived such an encounter is anybody’s guess and I am glad it did not come to that, but life has risks. We mitigate them as best we can, but in my view to live in a bubble is not to live at all.
    It's the Land of Opportunity, not the Land of Entitlements - Vote America!!!

    "When governments fear the people there is liberty. When the people fear the government there is tyranny." Thomas Jefferson

    You are only paranoid until you are right - then you are a visionary.

  9. #9
    VIP Member Array paramedic70002's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Franklin, VA
    Posts
    5,135
    Try better motion sensors, or timers.

    Is it possible the SUV was left unlocked?

    Any neighbors or kids ticked at you or aware of any 'prizes' you might have had in the SUV?

    If the perps had defeated you in the garage, they then had access to your home and family.

    Could have been another remote system keyed to your code.
    "Each worker carried his sword strapped to his side." Nehemiah 4:18

    Guns Save Lives. Paramedics Save Lives. But...
    Paramedics With Guns Scare People!

  10. #10
    VIP Member
    Array ksholder's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    3,941
    Quote Originally Posted by paramedic70002 View Post
    Try better motion sensors, or timers.
    This is a good suggestion, I am looking at such as we speek, Thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by paramedic70002 View Post
    Is it possible the SUV was left unlocked?
    No. If the door was unlocked, the alarm would not have been set. I only lock and unlock with the remote.

    Quote Originally Posted by paramedic70002 View Post
    Any neighbors or kids ticked at you or aware of any 'prizes' you might have had in the SUV?
    Not that I know of. Generally, nothing of value is kept in the truck.

    Quote Originally Posted by paramedic70002 View Post
    If the perps had defeated you in the garage, they then had access to your home and family.
    No. I told my wife to lock the deadbolt on the garage-kitchen door and set the alarm when I went out. That door has a high security deadbolt with 3" screws into the studs on the lock and hinge sides.

    Quote Originally Posted by paramedic70002 View Post
    Could have been another remote system keyed to your code.
    That is a possibility. If a factory remote were to open the liftgate, the aftermarket alarm would still go off. This has never happened before and I am not aware of any new cars of my brand on the street, but this could be an issue.
    It's the Land of Opportunity, not the Land of Entitlements - Vote America!!!

    "When governments fear the people there is liberty. When the people fear the government there is tyranny." Thomas Jefferson

    You are only paranoid until you are right - then you are a visionary.

  11. #11
    Member Array Snider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    192
    Quote Originally Posted by ksholder View Post
    Snider – you are right. If this was a ruse by 3 or 4 armed perps to get the garage door opened as a method to enter the house, my actions could have been problematic. That having been said, they would have had to come through the funnel of death (see my note to BadgerJ) to get there and I could have dropped behind the engine of my wife’s car which would have acted almost as well as body armor, although my head, shoulders and arms would still be exposed. This would have evened the odds, but that is still not all that good. The probability of an event of this sort is low, but the severity could be high.
    I have to say, I didn't realize the garage was attached to the house. Mine is detached, so mentality is far different there.

    One thing worth saying, is this felt like a "bump in the night" scenario to me, not a bonafide "repel the borders" moment. Clearing your garage in response to a car alarm isn't something that an average home owner should have to dial 911 for every time, and I think you handled it sharply. The moment I think I might have retreated and called 911 was when you saw the back of the vehicle was open, unless you were pretty much knee deep into the situation already.

    I used to clear our outbuildings regularly when I was younger and we had concerns that vagrants or vandals were roaming the local farm outbuildings looking for tools and making a general mess of stuff. I also went out with a shotgun on an almost weekly basis to check out why the animals were all making a racket (killed no small number of coons, possums, wild dogs, etc). We didn't have the option to call 911 where we lived, as it was over an hour wait to get any response, so any marginal concern that human beings might be in the mix was far outweighed by the desire to save the chickens from being slaughtered by wild animals.

    So, to make a long story short, I would probably handle things just the way you did but if I had to give advice to any city dweller, it would be to default to calling the police any time a reasonable expectation of human involvement is present. People are way more trouble than varmints back home on the farm, hehe.

  12. #12
    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    5,272
    Outside of the couple minor glitches you mentioned, it sounds like you did fine.

    You have every right to check on your possessions on your own property. If attacked in the process, do what you have to do.
    mr.stuart likes this.
    "I do what I do." Cpl 'coach' Bowden, "Southern Comfort".

  13. #13
    Senior Member Array Spidey2011's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    887
    Quote Originally Posted by paramedic70002 View Post
    Could have been another remote system keyed to your code.
    I'm betting this is what it was. I've done that on several occasions, even to vehicles of different makes and models. I finally stopped using FOB's for that very reason. lol.

  14. #14
    Distinguished Member Array kelcarry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    charleston, SC
    Posts
    1,876
    Varied answers on your actions. IMO, "stuff" is insured and not worth my life--as Dirty Harry once said--"man must know his limitations" and going outside with my firearm waiting to do battle is not my thing--they may be better armed and better shooters than me. This goes for inside my home, as well. I lock my bedroom door and that is the "line in the sand" (no children so no one in other parts of house). "Stuff" in the house, just like my car or its contents is insured and is not worth my life. Try and defeat the door to bedroom and you die--I have already called 911, activated the car alarm, and have placed myself in a position with my 12g that will ensure my survival and that of my wife. In SC we have Castle Doctrine and a citizens arrest law (at night) that have both been validated in state courts thru to the state supreme court--if you are a perp and enter someone's home forceably or poke around outside someone's house (at night) and are confronted and told to stand still for LEOs and then try to escape, you can be shot to death--period/end of story. As I said, this is not "my thing" but SC will back you up including freedom from any civil suits.

Links

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Search tags for this page

do i need to report car break in
,

filing a police report for car break in

,
filing an auto break in report
,
how long do i have to report a break in
,
how to report a break in
,

how to report a car break in

,
how to report car break in
,
police after action report
,
should i report a car break in
,

what to do after a car break in

,
what to do after a car breakin
,

what to do after car break in

Click on a term to search for related topics.

» Log in

User Name:

Password:

Not a member yet?
Register Now!

» DefensiveCarry Sponsors