Help...armed robbery right next door...advice???

Discussion in 'General Self Defense' started by Makalakumu, Apr 12, 2007.

  1. Makalakumu

    Makalakumu Gonzo Karate Apocalypse

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    True, but I've got to balance this with some safety. I've got two little kids and only one is superficially ready to start learning about firearms. Any suggestions on quick access that is also going to be family friendly?

    This wouldn't be as big of an issue if my kids (5 and 2) were older because I'd be able to teach them properly. Heck, I come from a family of five boys and my parents always had guns around the house. We grew up knowing what to do...
     
  2. Andy Moynihan

    Andy Moynihan Senior Master

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    Couple quick things you can do on the cheap and have in a matter of days:

    http://www.defensedevices.com/doorstopalarm.html

    http://budk.com/pull-string-alarm/p/XL109/c/2900/

    And the cheapest head lamp I could find that has a red lens filter, if you already don't have a SureFire or other tactical flashlight with your gun--guaranteed to make you look ridiculous, but also guaranteed to keep both hands free and preserve your night vision if the light's knocked out:
    http://www.actiongear.com/cgi-bin/t...adlamps, Lights&backto=/agcatalog/level3c.tam


    Could add to your existing perimeter, not too expensive and you can have em at your door relatively fast.
     
  3. Andy Moynihan

    Andy Moynihan Senior Master

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    http://dsafe.stores.yahoo.net/gvmi.html
     
  4. tellner

    tellner Senior Master

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    There are safes that can store a single gun but provide quick access via touchpad or key. The trick is keeping both away from the kids. If you try hiding the firearms from them in a "safe they'll never in a million years figure out where it is" place you can be guaranteed that they'll be playing with it by next week. :shrug: But there are alternatives. If you have kids you should probably have intruder drills the same way you have fire drills. For them it will mostly consist of "Get to the safe room and stay out of Ma and Da's fields of fire."
     
  5. Blotan Hunka

    Blotan Hunka Master Black Belt

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    True. And to be honest I have had periods where I have increased my access level to weapons due to events in the area and then later locked them away out of all reach. While there is an argument for always being prepared 24/7, I see no problem with changing your defensive posture as the situation demands.
     
  6. MJS

    MJS Administrator Staff Member

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    If someone wants to get in, the fact is, most likely they will. However, we can make it more difficult. A criminal will most likely want an easier time, compared to a difficult time. In other words...make sure the locks on the doors and windows are a good quality. An alarm system is a good option. Its something that will work not only when you're away, but also when you're home. Given the increase in activity, requesting additional patrols from the PD may not be a bad idea. Perhaps getting together with your neighbors and forming a watch group. I'm not saying you have to get radios and patrol the neighborhood, but watch each others houses. If someone happens to be looking out their window and spots a car driving slow thru the area that you've never seen before, pick up the phone and call the police. Try to get as much detail as possible, ie: description of driver and passenger(s), plate, make/model of the vehicle, etc. Not sure if they knew they were breaking into a house that was occupied, but when you're away, having your lights on timers may be a good idea as well.

    Mike
     
  7. Drac

    Drac Sr. Grandmaster

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    Well said MJS...A plate and direction of travel HELPS...If you cannot tell the make and model of a vehicle don't worry, the COLOR and type helps too..Big SUV, smaller SUV, 2 door, 4 door, Van, Pickup etc...etc...
     
  8. Last Fearner

    Last Fearner 2nd Black Belt

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    Lots of good advice given, but it is easy to get lost in the many suggestions, and not prioritize. Law Enforcement Officers know their business (especially if they work in high crime districts), so heed their warnings. This happens to be my field of expertise (former LEO, plus specialist in security industry and executive protection).

    First Option: If at all possible, I would consider moving from such a neighborhood, especially since you have young children to protect as well.

    If moving is not an option, much of what you are going to do will depend on your budget. Some suggestions seem to have you remodeling your house, and turning it into Fort Knox (fine if you have the money).

    The first thing you want to consider is the deterrent factor. As others have said, if you can make your home a harder target, criminals will likely move on. To this end, consider the following:

    Priority 1: Alarm system. (I use the ADT system) A professionally installed and monitored alarm system comes before any other defense because a good system will cover all bases, and is virtually impossible to defeat (especially for the dope crazed attic looking for drug money). It works when you are asleep, awake, or away from home. Contact sensors on every door and window (upper and lower floors), and area motion sensors in every room.

    Control panels with panic buttons should be installed at each entrance, and in the Master Bedroom (a panel in your safe room if you create one). The alarm system would have a loud siren at your residence, and call the monitoring company who will dispatch the police (or you can pay for an armed security service to respond in addition to police in case the police are busy).

    Priority 2: Signs. In addition to the alarm itself, one of the best deterrents are the yard signs, and window stickers. Place them in every yard facing all directions, and in every ground floor window. A potential criminal who sees these indicators will likely move on to the next house. No criminal wants a noisy alarm going off as they are attempting to break in, nor do they want the police summoned by a monitored alarm system.

    Priority 3: Noise. Besides an alarm, a dog is an excellent deterrent because they hear things better than people. Criminals do not like barking dogs drawing attention to their activities, and they don't like the idea of getting bitten by a big dog. However, when you are not at home, your dog can be taken out of the equation without anyone knowing. Another option, especially if you have a safe room, install a P.A. system with speakers on the outside of your house. If you hear someone breaking in, or is already in your house, a loud booming voice shouting at them to "get out! The police are on the way!" will usually send them running. Neighbors can hear it, which assists the neighborhood watch concept.

    Priority 4: Visibility. Most criminals do not like to be seen approaching a house, or while breaking in. Keeping your property clear of objects, and shrubs where criminals can hide is essential (especially shrubs near the house). Lighting all dark areas at night (motion sensor lights work wonders - I have them all around my house - but a front and rear porch light could stay on all night). Interior lights on timers, and motion sensors help as well.

    Priority 5: Additional Patrols. This is a very effective method of making a target undesirable. The more often a squad car passes an area at random times, criminals are reluctant to act in that neighborhood or choose that target. However, police are often tied up with other calls, so another option is to have a professional security patrol drive by at various times. This costs more money, but can be worth the investment to protect your family and property. Perhaps a group of neighbors would be willing to share the cost.

    Moving Past Deterrence to Prevention

    Priority 6. Preventing Entry. While deterring a criminal works in most cases, and the better you deter them, the less likely they will try, there are those that will attempt entry no matter what alarms go off, what signs you post, or how well lit your house is. These criminals will pose as delivery people, mail carriers, meter readers, phone repair, or just casually stroll up to your door and kick it in hoping that no one notices at that moment (an alarm siren sounding at this point will usually scare them off).

    However, preventing entry involves locks, gates on doors and windows, and even security shutters which hinge and lock, or roll up and down. It depends on how far you want to go, and how much you have to invest. Basement windows are best to be secured with bars that are very difficult to cut or remove quickly. Again, if you can slow them down in gaining access, while an alarm goes off, and police are on the way, they might give up and flee. Make it difficult for criminals to gain access to second stories by not providing objects near your house (ladders, trash cans, cars, antenna towers, etc) that they can climb. Make second story windows secure, and use contact sensors with an alarm.

    In addition to the good advice about not opening the door to anyone you don't know, be careful that there is not someone with a gun behind the person you do know. Be sure there is not someone hiding around the corner or walking up behind you while you are unlocking your door to come home. If repairman (electric, phone or gas company) come to your door, have a way they can show you their ID without you opening the door (remember that most of those security chains can be forced and broken relatively easily. Don't rely on them.) Call the utility company to verify any workman before letting them in.

    Priority 7. Defense upon entry. If someone gains access to your home when you are away, try to have ways to identify this before you enter the house in case they are still there. If criminals break in while you are there, self defense skills are important, and weapons can be useful, but the first priority should be to either flee out a back door, or go to a completely secure "safe room." Protect yourself and your family first (get out), call police secondly, fight criminals as a last resort. Keeping firearms safe from children is highly important. You might never need them for a break-in, but it is not worth the risk if a child is killed because of them not being secure.

    Have your most deadly weapons locked in a case, the case stored in a locked cabinet, and the ammo stored separately. Besides trigger locks, guns can be purchased with a variety of safety features, including a digital combination to operate it. Easy for owners to use, difficult for children, or if an intruder gets your gun. For your primary defense, use less lethal weapons that are not likely to kill children if they get a hold of them. In most cases, you should have time to gather your children to a safe place, and barricade yourself in before going for your firearms, unless you have quick and safe access to your gun. There are a variety of non-lethal weapons that can be grabbed and used for quick defense in the mean time, and are less dangerous around kids.

    Priority 8: Recovery of stolen property. Property can be replaced, lives can not! It is best not to resist unless absolutely necessary, but be prepared to fight with full lethal force. If your children are safe, and you have the means to repel an unlawful entry, the do so from the start, but if you are caught with no weapons (except your body) and there is risk of loss of life, let the criminals take your valuables and go. Right now, today, everyone should take inventory of all items of value in their house and car. Make a list, copy it, and keep copies in safe places inside and outside your home (safe deposit box, or relatives house). All expensive items should be engraved and marked for identification, and recorded accordingly.

    Additional note and reminder to everyone: If you haven't already done this in the past few months, make sure there is a working smoke detector in each main room of your house, and one near each bedroom. Check the batteries today - right now! If you don't have enough smoke detectors, get them today. Keep a fire extinguisher in your kitchen for small fires. Nothing robs you of your property and lives like an undetected fire. Also, if you have an attached garage, get a carbon monoxide detector today! Prevent the silent killer! Make a note to ask your friends, neighbors, and relatives about these as well!

    Last Fearner
     
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  9. RBaddorf

    RBaddorf Green Belt

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    If you get an alarm, make sure it has a duress code that you can set. This is a code you put in that makes it look like the alarm is deactivated, but really sends a silent alarm. This is in case you get jumped in your garage getting out of the car, or jumped as you are going in the door and the bad guys force up to "turn off" the alarm. Also make sure it has a "night mode", this turns off the motion detectors like in "stay" mode, but sounds the alarm instantly when any door or window is opened. The "stay" mode sounds the alarm after a 30 second delay. This delay can make the difference of you being awake and armed, or still asleep when Mr. Bad Guy makes it into your bedroom.
     
  10. Last Fearner

    Last Fearner 2nd Black Belt

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    This is very good advice! There are many other options and features with different alarm systems and monitoring companies. Whether you buy an inexpensive model (like from Radio Shack) or hire professionals to install them, shop around, and ask the pros what are the options. Learn what is out there, and what is best for your price range.


    Actually, the "stay" mode will usually sound an alarm for entry/exit, perimeter doors and windows instantly (no delay). When you are at home, or asleep, you want to be alerted immediately if someone breaks in, not give them 30 seconds before the alarm sounds. The 30 second delay (sometimes longer) is used for your primary entry/exit doors when in the "away" mode (provided your alarm pad for disarming the alarm is inside the residence or business. Some key pads or key locks are on the outside of the building to disarm the alarm before entry).

    The delayed alarm allows you time to set the alarm, and exit your front or back door before the system arms itself. Once you return home, the alarm will trigger when the door is opened (usually with a beeping sound), but will give you a 30 second delay to enter the code and disarm the system before the full alarm sounds and a message is sent to the monitoring company.

    You can choose between hard-wired, or radio controlled key pads and sensors (door, window, motion, etc). radio activated sensors might be a little bit more expensive, but they prevent the possibility of tampering with wires to open or close the loop. Again, check with the professionals for all the options available (interior motion sensors are among the best because they can cover an entire room or hallway, and do not rely on the opening of a door or window. Some burglars break windows and crawl in without opening the frame, thus you would need sensors on the glass, or sound sensors to detect loud noises, but the motion sensor covers the whole room (especially the 360 degree ceiling model). The more sensors you install, the better the protection, but the higher the cost. Usually, sensors on all ground floor doors, and area motion sensors in key locations is minimal.

    CM D.J. Eisenhart
     
  11. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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    It's just a personal thing, but I consider moving to be an option of last resort, unless the neighborhood is so bad that there is no other real option. I simply don't believe in ceding ground to the scum. But I'm not saying that there's not a time to do so, either.

    Again -- personal opinion only. But I've not been particularly impressed by either the response times or the professionalism of the small number of armed response companies I've come across in my area. They don't have the authority to run hot to an alarm in VA; I do, if I can articulate why. Like, say, an alarm call, followed by an actual call from the residence... Which we have received. (And should follow any unexplained alarm activation when you're home!)

    On the topic of monitored alarms -- there are two side points I want to make. First -- make 110% certain that the company has the CORRECT number for the police (and fire department, if you have monitored fire alarms) in your jurisdiction. It's beyond annoying, and it needlessly delays response if they insist on calling the wrong people. Second -- realize that there is a delay between the alarm sounding at your house, the company recieving the signal, and calling the cops. This delay can be as much as 5 or 10 minutes sometimes! If you're home, and your alarm sounds without an explanation -- call the cops yourself, too! Not only does this get a second call (possibly faster!) -- but you'll know if this is one of the rare cases where a burglar has cut the phone wires. And you'll know it's time to grab a cell phone and call it in!

    Finally, on alarms -- each company offers a different package, with different features. Get the salesperson AND the installation techs to explain them to you, and make sure you know how YOUR alarm works. And make sure they'll service it as part of the monitoring contract. Nothing is more useless than an alarm that nobody turns on because it gives too many false alarms, or that doesn't work when it is turned on! And many jurisdictions now are putting false alarm reduction ordinances in place; some of these mean that the cops won't respond after a certain number of false alarms in a given time frame (like 3 in a year), and others start fining the property owner...


    Criminals are like cockroaches... They hate lights! I encourage a combination of motion sensors and lights that stay on. And make sure your lovely landscaping efforts don't create shadows and places for crooks to hide and make entry!

    Neighborhood watches are a great tool. Even simply taking your cell phone with you when you walk the dog or go for a run is a good, proactive, "neighborly" approach; you become an informal neighborhood watch that way, especially since some communities today find it hard to muster enough people willing to formally become a neighborhood watch due to the time commitments required..

    Let me share a simple observation about "extra patrol." The sad truth is that most cops are probably not going to do a lot of "extra patrol" unless directed to do so by a supervisor, or there's a MAJOR problem in the area. They've got other things to do... and a cop often won't see a good cost/benefit relationship unless they can target the patrol very effectively.
     
  12. still learning

    still learning Senior Master

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    Hello, About guns? A man shot and kill his own daughter when he got home, thinking a burgler was in the hallway closet, (his daughter was suppose to be at a friends house). When she jump out to say Happy birthday! He shot and kill her with his gun.

    Most people who own guns? when the time comes to shoot someone in your house? Cannot shoot the gun and it gets taken away by the bad guys who ends up shooting them back. BE SURE you will have the guts to to KILL a person no matter the age? could be in the dark too!

    Best advice is to search professionals on home protections. It may take more than one thing. Example : better locks, alarms, camera's, a big dog,bars on lower windows, neighbor hood watch, Jet Li,,more lights, 24 guards, and all the advice from above!

    Learn to verbal defense too! .... (We offer verbal protection for as little as "free" or get the book Verbal JUDO.)

    ...Aloha - can mean BYE to the bad guy, or hello this is my, gun...Aaa-lo-ha......pow!,pow! pow! (just kidding)
     
  13. tellner

    tellner Senior Master

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    And I heard that someone tried to dry a poodle in the microwave which made it explode. We have a pretty good idea of the rate of accidental shootings and the rate of accidental deaths due to gunfire. They are both extremely low, on the order of dying by being struck by lightning. The actual numbers, let alone the rate, have been falling since we first started gathering the statistics in 1903.

    Have you got anything even remotely resembling evidence for this? I mean other than "My friend the cop said" or "It's just gotta be this way". We have enough really good research on the subject to say pretty definitively that that's not how it works. NIJ estimates are that the defender is disarmed in less than 1/10000th of 1% of DGUs. That's as close as a statistician can get to saying "It ain't in the cards." Kleck's research is top flight. It's pretty unequivocal on ths subject. So is everything that's followed.

    Here's how it goes...

    Most of the time a gun is drawn in self defense the defender feels pretty darned frightened. He or she draws and presents. Most of the time the bad guy decides that whatever he wanted wasn't worth getting shot over. "Most of" as in "over 90% according to the best data we have". That is pretty much how it happened every time I've used a firearm in self defense. No shots fired, in more than one case the gun didn't even have to be drawn. The bad people understood that I was frightened enough of being hurt that I was willing to kill them.

    That doesn't even address the fact that an awful lot of people have guns for purposes other than self defense. There are hunters, historical recreators and people in the shooting sports.

    Now, there is a pearl of wisdom in your mass of blind assertions. Don't carry a gun thinking that it will magically protect you. It will not jump out of its box and stand between you and danger. Only carry if you are psychologically prepared to use it and if you have the training and practice to do so efficiently.

    How nice it must be to be really rich and be able to hire people to take care of you all the time. Alas, I am not. A lot of the stuff you are talking about is a waste of time and money. And a lot more of it only helps with certain sorts of violent crime and not the most likely ones. Besides, it neglects one very important fact, perhaps the only important one.

    You are responsible for your own life and safety

    Nobody else is. Other people may take your money and give you help. In the end it's you.

    And a "Hoo! Ha! Chop Sockey!" to you to :shrug:
     
  14. Bodhisattva

    Bodhisattva Blue Belt

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    Yes, this is the problem with the "war on drugs." It makes drugs far far far more dangerous than they would otherwise be.
     
  15. Cruentus

    Cruentus Grandmaster

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    At an OP in view of your house...
    Upnorth,

    I was out of town on 'business' when this went down so I never responded to this thread.

    Out of curiosity, what have you done since the incident to secure your home and family?
     
  16. Makalakumu

    Makalakumu Gonzo Karate Apocalypse

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    1. Got the dog.
    2. Got the alarm system.
    3. Got the 357 in the quickbox, both wife and I have gone to classes.
    4. Got to know the neighbors, most are elderly, so we are now on kid, grandkid, great grandkid level.

    I don't know what else I could do other then chop off some methheads and put them on pikes around my house...;)

    Seriously, I don't want to get to crazy because the neighborhood has been quiet. I want to think that our increase vigilance is a factor, but I don't want to get my hopes up...
     
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  17. Cruentus

    Cruentus Grandmaster

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    Wow dude! That's great that you were serious about this, and you took protective measures. You covered all the main things that anyone could do. With elderly neighbors, you are put in a position to be their 1st line of response if anything were to happen to them (even if that just means calling 9-11 for them). So encourage them to have good locks on their doors and windows, and a monitored alarm system as well as an early warning device. This will not only help them, but it'll help you because the more secure your street is, the safer it is for you.

    Great job though! :)
     
  18. chinto

    chinto Senior Master

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    ok, get good quality heavy duty security strikes and medco double key dead bolts on the doors, the dog is good and all but make sure that the alarm is installed by good people and armed when you are not there! also make up your mind if you do confront a methmonster in your home are you ready to take its life? there is a thing called amphetamine psychosis. this makes them parinoid and extremely dangerous! I would consider such an encounter a deadly force one.. in my state if they enter in such a way ( unauthorized and with intent to commit a crime its burglary and black letter law says its a deadly force encounter.) myself I will do what ever I have to to stop them. If you are wondering I live in a meth heavy aria... they make a lot of the meth that is made in the USA here in this aria... what is not is mainly made in Mexico from what I hear... so if you end up in that situation and the alarm is going off and here is bozo number one.. and number two.. shoot the idiots .. and DO NOT SHOOT TO WOUND! its for keeps if a fire arm is involved!! the law and the attacker will both look at it that way!
     
  19. sgtmac_46

    sgtmac_46 Senior Master

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    Strong doors, keep them locked, a nice loud yipping dog, a security alarm, and a loaded 12 gauge shotgun with which to repell boarders!
     
  20. kwaichang

    kwaichang Purple Belt

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    I must agree with the monitored alarm system. We too have ADT and have two signs (house sits back several hundred feet) and all windows decaled. True the Sheriff's deputies have too large an area to respond quickly, however, the alarm will notify and most criminals don't want to "guess how long" the response will take.
    As for false alarms, ADT calls and asks for a password if it isn't given, they notify.
    It isn't perfect but it's sure better than nothing.
    We also have good locks, solid doors and extra ammo inside.
     

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