September 26th, 2013 12:20 PM
Lessons learned from attempted break in last night.
So here are some lessons I learned from a real-life attempted break in.
My wife and I live in a nice neighborhood on a quiet street. A few days ago during the middle of the day (I'm a college student so I was at home that day doing homework) a lady knocked on the door. She said she was selling cleaning services for comission, and asked if she could come in. Me not being smart I said ok, she came in looked around, said the cleaners would be along shortly. I called my mom and told her about it, and she told me that it was probably someone looking for empty houses to break in to. So that kind of made me nervous, so I got my taurus tcp 380 and my AR-15 with 30 round mag in it, set them by me on the kitchen table and continued doing homework. I also put a sign on the front door saying I had to leave, seeing if there were actually cleaners there. No one ever showed up.
Last night at about 7:30pm I was doing homework, and my wife was reading at the kitchen table. The dogs start barking (one of them has pitt in her, but she is normally a big baby who licks people to death), and to me it sounded like it was someone walking their dog down the street which is a normal occurance. Then my pitt-mutt Messy started snarling, growling, like she was ready to attack someone. My wife leans around the wall to see what's going on and someone is jiggling the door handle, trying to force the door or see if it's unlocked. Luckily I lock my doors and deadbolt them in my house due to my mother's house being broken into by forcing the lock and not deadbolting the door. I tell my wife to run up stairs and get our nightstand pistol the taurus tcp 380, and I grabbed a kitchen knife which was the closest thing due to all my guns being in a safe. My wife is terrified, but I had my 380 in hand racked ready to go, and I honestly was ready to kill someone. I got an adrenaline rush that I hadn't said I was in Afghan, and I started yelling, "Who is that! I got a 380 right here ready to go!". I don't know why I said that, but in the USMC I was always taught to present an aggressive posture. Finally I looked outside the front window to see no one, and then I opened the door going out pistol first clearing left, right then left again. I tucked my 380 in my waistband (wearing basketball shorts) and walked up and down the block a short ways to see if anyone was there. Whoever it was had left. I then let the dogs out in the backyard to clear it, and went out a short ways. When it was all over, my adrenaline subsided, and I realized very key and critical mistakes I had made.
1. NEVER let a sales person in your house. If they are legitimate they don't need to come in.
2. If you have a two story house you should have a gun stashed down stairs. If someone was serious about breaking in I have no idea if my wife could have gotten that pistol fast enough.
3. Having big dogs will save your life. I was impressed that Messy my pup probably did the most to deter whoever it was, and was able to tell the difference from who should and shouldn't be there.
I'm not sure if the two incidents were connected, but having 3 dogs probably was key to keeping whoever it was out of my house. I also understand now that when seconds matter, weapon placement is key. This weekend I'm going to get a 12 gauge mossberg 500 8 shot or a Remington 870 Tactical 7 shot. I will be making a hidden rack that I will screw underneath the panel of our kitchen table that our shotgun can hang on, that way I can just putt it right out underneath the table. Anyways, just thought I'd share this experience, living in a good neighborhood does not exempt you from being a target, in fact I believe in some cases it increases. I learned my lesson.
Last edited by Linny; September 26th, 2013 at 02:14 PM.
Reason: removed language workaround
September 26th, 2013 12:23 PM
Glad nothing significant came of it. Having a safe downstairs is a must in a 2 story house. Idk if I would go outside, but as you said, lesson learned. Did you report the incident to the police with description of the woman?
"Better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt" ~ Mark Twain
September 26th, 2013 12:25 PM
No I didn't, I'm not sure if the two were related.
September 26th, 2013 12:29 PM
Glad you all came out of it all, OK. I had a friend who scared the hello out of me once. You yelling what you did reminded me of him and an incident.
We were going deer hunting early in the morning. He told me to just come into his place, and wake him up if I needed to. Of course, I needed to, so went in to wake him up.
Not knowing that it was me, he started yelling that he had (some kind of plenty big enough pistol), and was fixing to shoot me. I was getting out of there ASAP, all the while yelling who I was and why I was there, telling him not to shoot.
I was lucky not to have been shot that morning. But his verbal warning was plenty enough for me, and Im sure it would have been for anyone who was really breaking in.
Btw, yes I know better, now. That was the last time I ever did anything like that. Needless to say, we did not end up going hunting that morning, or any other.
September 26th, 2013 12:35 PM
Glad things worked out for you. Just a little food for thought. If you dont have a weapon on you at home or in arms reach a serious boogie man will kick the door down in about half a second and be on you before you have time to get one from upstairs or even under a kitchen table.
If they are armed your dogs are simply one shot each of being useless once they are in. And most dogs not used to gun fire yours or anyone elses will make tracks at the first shot. But they are good warning devices.
As I say this is all personal choice. But you might consider keeping a more serious side arm on you at home all the time and in arms reach when you sleep. Most home invasions dont start with jiggling a door knob but instead kicking the thing off the hinges.
Any gun you have AR shot gun etc that is in a safe you may as well not own if you need it at a moments notice.
As I said food for thought. YMMV. Glad nothing really bad came out of this and you both are safe.
" It is sad governments are chief'ed by the double tongues." quote Ten Bears Movie Outlaw Josie Wales
September 26th, 2013 12:37 PM
"The Oldest Alliance". For 10,000 years we've been integrally allied with a cohabitating species, the canine. It's almost like they were put here, slippery genes and all, for us.
Having big dogs will save your life. I was impressed that Messy my pup probably did the most to deter whoever it was, and was able to tell the difference from who should and shouldn't be there.
I have a Cattle Dog who is also as sweet as a puppy, and she was so submissive and affectionate that I too was nervous about her guard dog abilities. One night I came home late with a buddy and probably woke her up. He went in the door first, and she was at the top of the stairs barking. When he advanced toward the stairs, saying her name, she came flying down them making the meanest, guttural dog growls and noises I've ever heard. There is no question she was attacking and ready to fight to the death. Only when I started YELLING her name and she saw me did she snap out of it. It was like flipping a switch, and she was wagging her tail and begging for attention immediately. She certainly knew my buddy, but he wasn't me, and he wasn't supposed to be coming in the door at midnight.
I cannot imagine not having a dog. Just think about how many hundreds of thousands or even millions of times they've saved their best friend's lives in the cave, around the campfire, or in a home, into the dark of unrecorded history.
“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive." C.S. Lewis
September 26th, 2013 12:48 PM
Dogs are great and my two are definitely my early warning system, but +1 on keeping something on ya or easily accessible.....
September 26th, 2013 12:50 PM
A video system would at least catch her face, perhaps a neighbor got her? A good excuse to meet your nieghbors and find out.
You never know who will turn up at your door. I had a knock on the door yesterday at lunch time, a guy interested in one of my old trucks. He turned out the be the Police Commissioner for a city on the East side of San Francisco bay. Conversation turned to 2A, he's for ccw, but it's not his department's right to issue them. He has a cabin near here, and had no idea we have a quarry range nearby. +1 on dogs, mine let me know when someone is out front, ususlly before the gas station bell rings.
I don't always have nothing to say, but when I do, I post it on Facebook.
September 26th, 2013 01:06 PM
One other mistake... going outside.
You had a safe position from where you could observe and react. Seeing someone trying to get in is time to call support, CAS or 911 whichever is available
By leaving your safe zone you exposed yourself to a possible ambush; there was no way of knowing if it was one or more potential intruders. It worked out so no problem but if there is a encore performance, arm yourself and put your tax dollars to work getting to know your local PD.
Sell not virtue to purchase wealth, nor liberty to purchase power.
September 26th, 2013 01:10 PM
Couple of things:
Originally Posted by Linny
- You allowed a complete stranger into the home, someone who targeted you, not someone who you sought out for services. Easy to be "interviewed" and targeted, in such circumstances, once they've determined your place is worth invading. Realize, as well, what a stranger moseying around in your home might really be looking for ... stuff like motion sensors, sensors on the front door, the layout of the home, identifying any "good" stuff, the size of the dogs, your situational demeanor/awareness, and so on.
- You identified your firepower, in calling out your weapon. Bad juju, to let that sort of detail out. Nobody needs to know that. If you absolutely feel you must say anything, just say you've got guns in hand and the police have been called.
- Kudos on recognizing the lack of utility of a gun that's stored somewhere elsewhere, as opposed to one that's on you or immediately accessible. Think through the scenario in terms of just how bad it could be, had someone given zero warning and kicked in the door, as to how quick-access your weaponry really ought to be.
- You also exited the home. Had the assailant(s) been a bit more enterprising, you might well have been toast. With a clear attempt to enter, you've got plenty of reason not to exit the home, particularly when your most valuable possessions (your loved ones) are getting farther from you with each step you take.
- Good opportunity to rethink the strength of the hardening on the doors and windows ... such as steel storm/security doors, hardened framing, pick-resistant locks, deadbolts, security film on windows, motion-activated lighting and warning mechanisms (ie, in case your dogs aren't there or aren't picking up on the intrusion), etc.
- Kudos on recognizing living in a "good" neighborhood is no protection. If anything, to the right felon it can be a draw to those looking for the "good stuff."
Good lesson for everyone on the value of circumspection, preparations.
Last edited by ccw9mm; September 26th, 2013 at 11:31 PM.
Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
self defense (A.O.J.).
How does disarming
the number of victims?
Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos)
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September 26th, 2013 01:13 PM
i dont have a safe yet because a only have a few guns and cant afford one at this time but even if i did i would always have 3 guns ready to go. my two glocks our always ready to go in the room and downstairs with me on my person or tucked in the couch. it would be smart to start keeping a gun on your person or pretty close. people always let their guard down at home and i dont ever let it down especially at home. i am always paranoid and ready so that my gf and daughter can relax and not havto worry like i do the thing i really hate is i live in a 4plex and cant have dogs so i havto be even more alert. but ya atleast your safe and nothing happen to your home or your family.
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September 26th, 2013 01:13 PM
Maybe it's because I'm a woman or because the scout was a woman (oh yeah, she was)....but I cannot believe the OP allowed this. Esp. one who has already thought thru the decision to keep and carry a gun. Geez.
Fortune favors the bold.
Freedom doesn't mean safe, it means free.
The thing about "defense" is that it has practically nothing to do with guns. (As passed on by CCW9MM)
September 26th, 2013 01:21 PM
Thank you for sharing your story and glad you and you wife are unharmed. It is useful for other such as myself because it give me more food for thought. Reading in hindsight, it is easy to realize the salesman was an obvious scammer, but in real time, I could make the same judgment you did. Sadly, in today's world, one always has to be skeptical and alert, even in the confines of one's home. Thanks again for sharing, it reinforced some good lessons for me.
Kahr CW380, Kahr P9, Walther P99AS
September 26th, 2013 01:47 PM
Since all of the other main lessons have been touched upon I'll just add this one. Please never do the above again! I want you to maintain the ability to have children should you and your wife so choose.
Originally Posted by Linny
Thank you for sharing this with us. Each story like this can be used as new insight or valuable reminder to the rest of us!
”One loves to possess arms, though they hope never to have occasion for them.”
"Carry your gun - it's a lighter burden than regret."
September 26th, 2013 02:03 PM
I echo ccw9mm's sentiments, especially items 2 and 4. Remember that you are the "ensconced defender" until you stepped outside.
A couple of other thoughts to ponder: did you have a good, current-technology (= bright) flashlight with you? And when you stepped outside armed, who was looking after Mrs. Linny's safety if you had the only firearm? You said "you were ready to kill someone" - I hope that's just conversational rhetoric and not your actual mindset. You absolutely want to be ready to defend your home and your loved ones, but that's also the kind of statement you don't want the wrong people to hear.
I certainly like the idea of a shotgun as part of the defensive armory, but I would reconsider mounting it in what sounds like an awkward location. Assuming no kids or unauthorized persons in the house, I'd probably just lean it up in a corner close you where you do your homework, hopefully away from an exterior door.
Glad it ended well.
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