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DA: Home invaders' ruse involved Obama, health care

September 14, 2009 By JENNIFER SINCO KELLEHER [email protected]

Prosecutors say Vance Jackson, 46, of Yonkers, shot a man in the neck during a violent home invasion.

They were well-dressed when they knocked on the door of a Huntington home last month and said they had information about President Barack Obama's health care plan.

That's how they got inside to commit a violent home invasion on Aug. 29, a Suffolk prosecutor said Monday.

Benjamin Thompson had a stethoscope around his neck and Natalie Desir carried a clipboard with pamphlets, Assistant District Attorney Glenn Kurtzrock said after their arraignments in Riverhead.

A woman who lives at the house answered the door and said she would take one of the pamphlets. That's when Thompson, 31, of Brooklyn and Desir, 26, of Nyack forced their way inside, Kurtzrock said.

He gave the following account:

Another man, Vance Jackson, had been hiding outside and also forced his way into the home. Jackson, 46, of Yonkers took the woman's boyfriend upstairs and shot him in the neck, chased him downstairs and shot him several more times.

Thompson shot the female resident in the foot while she was sitting next to her 2-year-old daughter and also pistol-whipped the woman's mother, injuring her head.

The three fled with about $4,000 in cash in a getaway car driven by Theodore Briggs, 40, of the Bronx. A fifth suspect who was outside is still at large.

Jackson, Thompson, Briggs and Desir pleaded not guilty Monday to robbery and assault charges.

Thompson, whose previous convictions include attempted robbery and rape, and Jackson, whose convictions include robbery and criminal possession of a weapon, met in prison, Kurtzrock said.

He said the two hatched the home invasion plan while waiting to meet with their parole officers in the Bronx.

Because of their previous convictions, they face potential life sentences, Kurtzrock said.

All of the money was later found in Jackson's and Thompson's pockets, he said.
 

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Just another form of a knock and crash. Whatever it takes to get someone to open the door.
 

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Hey, your home is your castle, you expect to be safe in your castle.

However, throughout history, castles have been invaded and Kings slain inside their own fortresses.

Nothing wrong with feeling rather safe at home. That's where we relax and are comfortable being in condition White!

However, when the wolves are outside the door, you must be ready to defend your castle on a moments notice.

It is very important that you have a plan against forced entries and home invasions. That plan should include the capability of employing deadly force as needed. For me, that means having a gun within arms reach whenever I am at home, if not already holstered on my person.

To answer your door to a stranger without a gun immediately accessible is flirting with disaster! To be sitting on the sofa watching TV when all of a sudden the back door splinters into pieces as someone kicks it in, and having your gun locked in your safe is poor way to respond, and you'll be lucky if you survive.

Yes, it's OK to feel safe and be in condition White while at home. But you must be able to thwart an attack on a moments notice or suffer the consequences.

This kind of story happens more than most people would care to believe. While the ruse used in the OP's example is kind of unique, it is still a common way people use to gain entry.
 

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I'm in agreement with you, Bark'n. Before I had kids, guns around the house was no problem. However, keeping a loaded gun within easy reach that is safe from the kids is quite the paradox. Whadya think, is this question worth a new thread?
 

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How about The Life Jacket gun lock. Able to store any gun fully loaded and ready for immediate access yet safe. Wraps around the entire action of the gun, Models for semi-auto pistols, revolvers, shotguns and rifles like the AR-15. Very cheap and reliable.

Perfect if you have kids at home, especially when neighbors kids come to play.
 

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How about The Life Jacket gun lock. Able to store any gun fully loaded and ready for immediate access yet safe. Wraps around the entire action of the gun, Models for semi-auto pistols, revolvers, shotguns and rifles like the AR-15. Very cheap and reliable.

Perfect if you have kids at home, especially when neighbors kids come to play.
It looks like a great idea if you have kids in the house, but I don't think it would have helped the people in the story above. They had some nice, professional looking people appear at their door so they simply opened the door and let them in. Once the invasion was underway, it was too late.

Of course, if they had been more cautious about the strangers at the door, then yeah, a quick flick of the key would have had them prepared.
 

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It looks like a great idea if you have kids in the house, but I don't think it would have helped the people in the story above. They had some nice, professional looking people appear at their door so they simply opened the door and let them in. Once the invasion was underway, it was too late.

Of course, if they had been more cautious about the strangers at the door, then yeah, a quick flick of the key would have had them prepared.

I understand. And for that reason, I don't invite unknown solicitors into my house. I have a gun handy either in my hand or in my holster when I answer the door.

I don't care what they look like or how well dressed they are. If they are unannounced, they are uninvited and do not come inside.

If I feel what they want has merit, I'll schedule an appointment to where I can meet them at their office or at a restaurant for coffee. (I have done this several times including recently about a month or so ago.)

Bottom line, no one who knocks at my door unexpectedly is coming inside!

I'm not necessarily unfriendly to these people although I have had to get that way before, but if I'm really interested in what their issue is, I'll schedule an appointment away from my home. That also gives me an opportunity to research who they are and check out their legitimacy.
 

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True, it wouldn't have. However I am still trying to learn from this situation. Twice in the last two years, I've answered the door at night - while not expecting anyone, and was unarmed as I did (cussing myself as I did it). Fortunately both visitors had innocent intentions. However I wouldn't likely be typing tonight if they were the BG's described by the OP.

Bark'n has a good suggestion, in that it's a lot better than using a traditional gun lock, as the "Life Jacket" appears to allow you to leave the weapon loaded, locked and cocked. I'm still left fumbling with a lock and key if the BG kicks the door in, but it's quicker than running to a gun safe to do the same.

I think for now, I'm going to install an intercom (as previously suggested) and ask my unexpected visitor to please wait (while I retrieve and conceal my weapon). I'm also working on some covert weapons placement in the house that nobody, not even my wife (she's not a gun-chick anyway) will know about.

I'm by no means content with this approach, but it's the best I have for the moment...
 

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If your intentions are bad, and you come knockin'...:ticking:
My light goes to orange, and I'll be Glockin':comeandgetsome:

Why people open doors to strangers...at night...is beyond me.:gah:
 

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I typically wear mine in the holster after I come home from work. If I sit down on the couch (after the little one has gone to bed), I'll pull it out and put it on the end table.

It's amazing how you adapt to a holster on your hip over the course a few months. You definitely know its there (as you should), but you get used to it.
 

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Guys there is no law saying you MUST answer your door. If I hear a knock I IMMEDIATLEY look out the window to see who it is. If it is not someone I recognize I simply wait for them to leave. This is ESPECIALLY so after dark.

Does anyone remember the Florida case in West Palm Beach where the gang of teenagers broke in gang raped the mother and made her at gunpoint perform oral sex on her son? Know how that got started? She opened the door for someone asking for help and they all rushed in....

Keep your freakin' door shut. If you must communicate with them do it with door shut. If they want to use the phone, offer to make the call for them or better yet tell them you'll call the cops for them. Most times mention of the cops will get people to remember they had somewhere else to be.

And if at all possible ARM yourself. Do not answer the door empty handed. If they kick the door in and all you can do is beg for your life than that is realy going to suck to be you. But most home invaders that start taking casualties tend to remember they had somehwere else they needed to be. We had a student who had his door kicked in and 2 armed guys rushed in. But because he wears a gun EVEN IN THE HOUSE, he was able to defend himself and emerged unscaithed.They were not so lucky....

The big thing is keeping them outside. If they get in no one will hear you scream....and they probably won't even hear the gunshots. Remember the home invasion in Connecticut where they held the family hostage for several hoursd and set the house on fire???????

Just some things to consider.
 

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Why people open doors to strangers...at night...is beyond me.:gah:
Heck, it's getting to the point now that opening to strangers during the day is foolish. I just had a situation about a week ago when my wife answered the door to some guy with a clip board doing a survey for the cable company. My wife asked for some ID and he said the name on his shirt was all the ID he needed. I told her not to answer the door any more unless I am at home unless you are expecting somebody. I think she may have dodged a potential problem. Of course, she's a :sheep: that I'm working on.
 

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I think the local culture may have something to do with the door-knockers... What I mean is that I've lived east coast/west coast/Hawaii/many places and nobody ever knocked on my door that I wasn't expecting. Three years ago, I move to podunk SC, and the locals here go around showing up, un-announced on each others doorstep all the time. At first, I didn't want to offend my new neighbors. However, now I'm done with the unexpected drop-in's.

I agree with Cruel Hand. There's no law saying that you have to open your door, if you're not prepared to receive visitors.
 

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where my .45 or 9mm are.......in the console on the way TO work, in the console while I'm at work, on the hip before I LEAVE work, on the hip at home until I go to bed, on the floor next to the bed, on the floor next to the couch after moving there due to my snoring, on the floor in the bathroom under a t-shirt or shorts (to keep the humidity off) in the morning while I shower, in the holster and hand when I walk out in the morning to go to work......EVERY DAY. it's become routine.....oh, and when I go outside to the truck in the a.m. I always check left and right and give myself a wide berth around anything that somebody could hide behind. I guess you could say that my S.A. has evolved to a point where it's part of me now.

A week ago I was almost out of gas so I pulled into a station in a not so good part of town south of ATL. A fidgety dude kept circling the pumps where I was. I positioned myself so that I knew he'd see my .45 OC'd. He did and promptly headed down the road. Was he up to no good? Don't know. Didn't care to find out.
 

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I'm in agreement with you, Bark'n. Before I had kids, guns around the house was no problem. However, keeping a loaded gun within easy reach that is safe from the kids is quite the paradox. Whadya think, is this question worth a new thread?
Answer in one word: SmartCarry
 

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If your intentions are bad, and you come knockin'...:ticking:
My light goes to orange, and I'll be Glockin'
:comeandgetsome:

Why people open doors to strangers...at night...is beyond me.:gah:
:haha: That's good. Need that on a No Solicitors sign. Then again...I guess that would be a big fat red target of a here's a house with guns sign too...:rolleyes:
 
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