Masked men on the property (real situation)
This is a discussion on Masked men on the property (real situation) within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; First off, I have been lurking on these forums for several months now, and I have read some extremely valuable, thought-provoking threads. I have not ...
February 13th, 2012 10:57 PM
Masked men on the property (real situation)
First off, I have been lurking on these forums for several months now, and I have read some extremely valuable, thought-provoking threads. I have not had a reason to register until now, but a situation that occurred several nights ago on the property has me wanting some feedback.
I recently moved back from Montana to Washington to spend some time with family that I've missed out on in the last three years. They live in a more metropolitan area, so I automatically find myself on alert most of the time(my neighbors now live fifty feet away rather than five miles away). I have carried concealed 24/7 since I got my CCW at twenty-one, and done a fair bit of defensive handgun training on my own (no professional courses, though I plan to take one soon). This neighborhood has seen a major surge in breaking and entering, as well as burglaries in the last weeks. Also of note, nearby gangs have been recruiting heavily in the last months(information from a LEO friend of mine). There has been a heightened police presence in the area because of this, so they are able to respond rather quickly(three to eight minutes). Our neighbors house has been targeted recently, including what would have been a push-in home invasion had our neighbor opened the door to the bad guys. With these occurrences, I found it prudent to install wireless motion alarms around the property, adding them to the floodlights already installed around the property.
About one AM, four nights ago, the driveway wireless alarm sounded and it woke up my dog and I. Everyone else in the house are seriously heavy sleepers and did not stir. I brought my 1911 and my surefire to the kitchen with me and looked out on the driveway. There are windows viewing East to the driveway and North to the main road from where I stood in the kitchen. The driveway floodlights had not switched on, so I spotlighted around the vehicles in the driveway and yard with my surefire, thinking I'd find the neighbors cat stalking mice in the grass. An individual in all black clothes and a white hockey mask began running from the driveway to the West down the main road, stopped past the low hedgerow to the West of the property and pulled out a cell phone. Seconds later, a low-rider Red Nissan 2-door pickup sped down the road and pulled up onto the sidewalk. The driver got out (also wearing all black clothing and a hockey mask), the two individuals spoke for a bit, glancing up at the property often, got into the pickup and sped up the main road to the East. I called the police, let them know the situation was already over but I wanted to report the suspicious activity anyhow, and within four minutes a few cruisers came through. I had enough adrenaline coursing through my system after seeing the masked individual run from our property and decided I would not be getting back to sleep anytime soon. I alerted everyone else in the house(no simple task, getting some of my family out of dreamland) of the situation and for them to keep their pistols in easy reach. After starting a pot of coffee, I watched the main road from the living room.
A half-hour or so after the original incident, a white four-door Camry slowly cruised up the road to the East, loaded with what looked to be about five or six individuals, every one of them staring hard at the property(I could not obtain a license plate number or identify the people in the car). This got my Adrenaline going a second time. A half-hour later, the same car loaded with passengers cruised slowly to the West down the main road, all of them staring at the property again. For the next four hours the same car cruised by almost every half-hour on the dot, still loaded with passengers, still staring hard at the property. I ended up pulling an all-nighter, 1911 on my hip as usual, 12-gauge within reach. We have not had any more suspicious activity in the days following, but I wonder how serious these people are in their mischief.
In my mind, someone wears a hockey mask if they are planning to have a face to face confrontation. If they just wanted to steal one of our trucks, why wear a mask? What are your thoughts?
My mind has been busy with scenarios and "what ifs" the past couple days. There is a good chance they aren't getting past the threshold of the front door without buckshot and a snarling dog flying their way, but what if the five or six people in the white car are connected to the original incident? Were they planning a home invasion? I'm not eager to face five or six fellows piling through our front door. We have moved all of our long guns to a safe location not in this house (if guns are their target) and the self defense pistols and shotguns stay at easy reach or leave with us when we leave the house unoccupied (in case they break and enter when we are out). My family seems to think it is an over-the-top precaution, but I don't think it's that crazy. I don't want our guns to fall into bad hands. The neighbors have been informed and are prepared. I pray that the bad guys decide it's just not worth it, but I am ready for them if they try any funny business again. Some of my family believe it is not that important to carry their pistol on them in the house, and that these bad guys are not going to try anything again, but I do not feel as safe as they do. Am I being paranoid about this and am I taking too much caution? Should I be doing more to convince my family to be more prepared for a dangerous situation? How would any of you have reacted to a situation like this? The only thing I know for sure from all this is I am ready to get out of the city and back to the country as soon as I can. Thanks for any insight or feedback.
February 13th, 2012 11:25 PM
You're not being paranoid. That is a weird situation. Find out if the police can provide any additional security in your neighborhood. Be prepared to defend yourself.
No one would be eager for a truck full of dudes to invade one's house. Unfortunately, you can't stop living your life. Keep your wits about you though.
February 13th, 2012 11:27 PM
Did you contact the police about the repeated drive by's of the second car?
February 13th, 2012 11:32 PM
Sounds like you are doing the right thing by preparing the ways that you have. Better safe then dead. For the time being I think that everyone in the house should have so sort of weapon close to hand, you can't be every where at once and they should be prepared to help you if the time comes. Stay safe!
February 13th, 2012 11:32 PM
Set up a game camera close enough to get a license plate number. You should have gone down to get that (with backup) after the first drive by, imo. I'd be freaked for sure. Might want to fortify your doors and windows (use 3M covering on windows). Good luck. Let us know how it works out. I must say I've never heard anything this crazy. Are you sure you don't have some high value target in the domicile? If so, move it out (such as black guns, ARs).
February 13th, 2012 11:39 PM
Set up some video, I want to see the finale on Youtube, after the judge says you did good.
February 13th, 2012 11:42 PM
My first thought - did "Jason" move into your neighborhood? <== perverse sense of humor at work.
On the serious side - I doubt that what you saw was simply random neighborhood behavior. Your property was likely targeted as ripe for picking, and who knows what's behind the hockey mask - maybe someone knows or suspects you have video cameras. What I can't fathom is the crew coming around for a couple more passes after the cops came by. Maybe it's the same thinking that makes people speed up after they've passed a radar trap?
I don't think you're going 'over the top' with precautions, in fact, I think you're right on the money. I hope the rest of your family at least humors you rather than disregards your heightened awareness. You get bonus points for calling the gendarmes and not going outside the "clear" your yard.
Oh, by the way - welcome to the forum! Greetings from the AZ desert.
AZCDL Life Member
NRA Patron Member
NROI Chief Range Officer
February 13th, 2012 11:44 PM
Originally Posted by Speculator
Assuming things are as stated by the OP, keep making police reports and pay attention to the part in bold.
Let them do whatever the heck they want to outside; you can call 911 by phone from inside. Just make sure
doors and windows are sufficiently hardened to give you time to react.
And if legal where you are, maybe get a couple of vests.
If the Union is once severed, the line of separation will grow wider and wider, and the controversies which are now debated and settled in the halls of legislation will then be tried in fields of battle and determined by the sword.
February 13th, 2012 11:44 PM
Uh, I would have someone with the shotgun, and I'ld keep the AR handy with extra mags. I would not treat this lightly at all. As you said, "masks" are for close encounters. I think they were watching house lights, etc.... and assessing how dangerous it might or might not be to do a home invasion. They are probably also looking for cameras, where lights are located, etc.
They will watch house lights and patterns if they are serious about it. Watch out for strange cars, get tag #'s, and hope you reported all of this to the police. Sounds like you should have about the 2nd time they drove by.
They'll be back at some point. Right when they think you will relax about things. My .02 cents.
I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts. --- Will Rogers ---
Chief Justice John Roberts : "I don't see how you can read Heller and not take away from it the notion that the Second Amendment...was extremely important to the framers in their view of what liberty meant."
February 13th, 2012 11:46 PM
Certainly sounds to me like the "sons of anarchy" are casing a potential home invasion. Stay on major alert pilgrim, and make sure everyone in the family is well aware of the potential danger and fully prepared to deal with it.
Please make sure that everyone in the household is well advised against making any panic decisions or knee-jerk reactions because it's scenarios like this which can easily end up in a tragedy from shooting through doors or at shadow figures before there's a positive identification of "friend or foe" - even with a stranger who may be a meter-reader, a LEO or some other innocent party.
February 13th, 2012 11:46 PM
I have little doubt you definitely caught a prowler in the act of prowling and growling around your property. I have little doubt, they were at least attempting to do some serious recon and surveillance on your property. It definitely pays to have some sort of early alert system. That is a plus. However, the early alert system must be able to alert the occupants of the house or it is of little good. Thank goodness you are a light sleeper. Does your home/property stand out as a richer target to burglars then any other home on the block?
Whether or not the subsequent visitors were part of the crew of the first visitors is going to be speculation. However, it is all considered pretty suspicious activity. In the middle of winter, ski-masks at night is not an uncommon sight in the colder regions of the country, but "hockey masks" is something worthy of raising your concern that they were up to no good! Don't discount that. You're not being paranoid. Hockey masks are more intimidating and used as a tool for invaders... But also hockey masks are not as hot and sweaty to wear during a home invasion where people plan to spend some time on the inside of a heated home. They also cost more than a cheap ski mask, so they are at least thugs who are willing to spend a little more for their tools of the trade. More than likely they've done this sort of thing before, and are more skilled at what they are doing than some common crack-head.
At this point, it's best if you can get the police increased night patrols in your neighborhood. Depending on how well you know your neighbors, you can canvas the neighborhood and see if anyone else has noticed any prowler activity. At least with your immediate neighbors and on your block, and maybe the next block over. Certainly alert them to what has happened at your place so they too can be more vigilant.
At this point, you should do your best to get the rest of the household understanding the seriousness of the potential threat in your neighborhood. Hopefully there is someone at home during the daytime as well. If there is, especially if they stay home alone during the day, make sure they have the wherewithal to be alert during the day and make sure all doors and windows are locked at all times, day and night. Especially if someone is home alone during the day, they should be armed and prepared. The weapon ideally would be carried on their person. You can't go running down a hall to a back bedroom and fumbling around in a nightstand drawer for a pistol once someone is already on the inside.
It sounds like you are not the only person in the home who is armed. That is good. You may want to stress that people keep a weapon close at hand at all times, even in the home. If you are a victim of a home invasion, it's always going to be hard pressed to retrieve a weapon once they have already gained entry.
My wife and I each carry a Ruger LCP .380 in our pockets all day, everyday, and I am almost always with my main primary weapon holstered on my person, even when at home inside the house. The LCP is so small, and so light weight, it's just silly not to have it on our person at all times.
I also have a choice of any number of handguns at anytime and my Mossberg shotgun and/or AR-15 is either kept in the living room during the day, and the bedroom at night. The shotgun has 8 rounds of 00 buck in the tube, 6 slugs mounted in the side saddle on the receiver, and another 6 rounds of 00 buck in a buttstock pouch. That's 20 rounds of 12 ga. buck and slugs mounted in and on the gun. A very formidable weapon platform in and of itself. My AR-15 has a 30 round mag of Hornady TAP defense rounds plus two spare 30 round mags of the TAP loads.
It's not hard to bring the shotgun or AR-15 out to the living room and tuck it out of the way and take it back to the bedroom at night. Everything is tucked away and out of sight and no one would know we were heavily armed except if they see my primary pistol holstered on my hip. But that is almost always concealed, even at home. I'm not a fan of open carry, although I don't have a problem with people who do open carry. I had the furnace man over twice last week to replace a gas valve on the furnace and he never saw any of our weapons, although some heavy armament was immediately accessible at all times.
As far as your situation is concerned, sleep light, keep your house locked up tight, and be aware there are some prowlers in the area. Make sure the police step up some night patrols in the area and if you catch anymore repeat drive-by's try and get a license plate number... Without going outside and exposing yourself. You may want to keep a pair of binoculars handy by a couple different windows to grab quickly.
Good luck. Stay armed, and make sure the rest of your family is sufficiently alerted and keeping a close eye out for suspicious activity.
"The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."
February 13th, 2012 11:58 PM
There is nothing better for riot control than shotguns loaded
with buck shot,,,,, I would keep a few handy. I carry at home
all the time,,,,, if you do not ,,,, you should start ,,,, in your
position I would have one on each side for a couple of weeks
or more. Keep security lighting on for a few weeks,,,, BG do not
like bright lights. Hope you scared them off,,,, ?
February 14th, 2012 12:22 AM
The police have been a fairly heavy presence in the neighborhood lately, because of the surge in crime. They were able to respond within about four minutes to the neighbors almost push-in home invasion, and within four minutes to the first incident. I'd say that's about as good as my neighbors and I can ask for. The neighbors and I are all on alert, and I plan to alert the police and neighbors of any more suspicious activity.
I did not call a second time about the white car, though in hindsight I certainly should have(it may have deterred any further drive by, especially if they could have staked out somewhere nearby. I also should have definitely gotten a camera to try and get a license number, but getting view of a license plate can be difficult from our property because the main road runs perpendicular to any of our windows that look out, and I don't really want to lift a blinking, flashing camera up to the window when BGs are driving by, alerting them to my location. I have exchanged phone numbers with our surrounding neighbors, so that if there is more suspicious activity, they can be notified and increase our chance of identifying a vehicle or individuals from their lookout points. There is a definite chance my family was noticed loading our guns up when heading for the range in the past months. The BGs might not know what we have, but they certainly might know that we have a lot of guns.
I carry 24/7 and I've been encouraging everyone else to holster up when they are in the house or on the property, but they don't always cotton to the idea (desire comfort when lounging, don't want to carry when playing frisbee with the dog, and further such excuses). With your suggestions, I think I will be further pushing that we all arm up. I've also been keep the AR and shotguns close at hand in the living room during the day and in the bedroom at night. Bark'n, I definitely will be adding more buck to saddle and receiver of the shotguns, and we do have Hornady TAP loaded in our AR. Right now, the biggest issue has been getting my family to realize we aren't as safe as they'd like to believe. Bullet, I've only been carrying my 1911, but I think I will throw another sidearm on my other side. Chances are, if they know we have lots of guns, they will be coming in hot.
I am going to be installing more motion alarms on the property to cover more ground. I have been actively looking for the right kind of material to fortify our entrances, and seriously thought about the 3M covering for our windows (it is not cheap, and money is definitely tight right now). A game camera mounted outside would be a great idea. I will have to covertly install one, because the bad guys won't avoid a camera they don't know is there. I also will probably have a good friend of mine come out here and stay for a while. He's got a big German Shepherd, and he's a light sleeper as well. It can't hurt to have at least another backup shooter, because I imagine a situation would be over before my family wakes up to gunfire and comes to address the situation.
And Arborigine, I'll see what I can do about installing cameras, though I pray that none of my family, friends or I have to kill someone to defend our lives.
I appreciate all the feedback and insight, everyone. Thanks.
February 14th, 2012 12:38 AM
#1 You're not being paranoid. They were definitely up to no good.
#2 Why didn't you call the police back when they continued to cruise up and down your street? I certainly would have called them back the first time i saw that white Camry driving slow by the house.
February 14th, 2012 12:48 AM
i like the police but they only react to wut happens. their basically the clean up crew. that being said ur doin the right thing by cc'ing 24/7. i wouldnt worry about 5 or 6 guys comin in because once u shoot the first and second one the rest will run like hell. i agree with these guys n get some security cams and link em to ur smartphone so u can monitor 24/7(they have apps that connect security feeds to ur iphone). or maybe fence in ur whole property or lot or house and have multiple big dogs in ur yard! keep us up to date if they come back! GL
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