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Dennis1209

The Criminal Has The Upper Hand...

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For the second time in ten years, I had another attempted break-in at 2:00 A.M. We stayed up late watching a movie and just settled into bed, when the wife and I both heard a series of louder unusual mechanical noises for lack of a better descriptive. Someone and not something was causing them. Living in the country it's very dark outside and last time someone tried to break in, it took the sheriff's deputy 45 minutes to find my house and get here. Had no idea from where this noise was coming from? If someone is out there they can see in, but I can't see out with the living room light on.

What to do? Well, naturally I had my bedside gun in hand and went down stairs. Should I call the sheriff and request a deputy? I'm not absolutely positive it's someone trying to break in, it just sounded like it. I really want to go outside and have a look-see, but if my suspicions are correct, and I make an encounter, most likely in this state it would be considered "hunting". Besides, I want to avoid any legal criminal / civil potentials at all costs. I have my burglar alarm on and I best wait for daylight, go back to bed and sleep lite.

Next morning sure enough; the basement door / frame was all messed up from working and prying the dead bolt and door lock. If broken into they or he had access to the upstairs house. No sense calling the sheriff's office and reporting it, what good would it do other than a report and waste my time. The following day I installed heavy duty chicken wire over every window in the basement and garage. Glass will have to be broken and the wire cut to enter through there. I installed a 2 x 4" with brackets on the basement and garage doors. As additional backup, I went to Lowe's and bought a few of those door stop bars you put under the door knob to floor that prevent the door from opening. I installed motion detector lighting outside for one side of the house. 

Here in Tennessee I suppose it's better to be passive and reactive, rather than proactive and on the offense, for legal justification reasons. It seems to me, someone trying to break into your home [home invasion], knowing someone is inside and you're home... They have to be dangerous, desperate and not rational with their intentions. The criminal has the upper hand of where, when and how he strikes. The criminal is on the offensive with their intent unknown, while the victim [even under the Castle law] for a better defense, best retreat and avoid confrontation, especially outside of the dwelling. 

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I have often wondered about wiring old camera flashes at the top of door frames and to a central console where you can set them off. Disorienting the attempted intruder and letting them know you are on to them might end the attempt with no ramifications. Would take a bit of work, but not be too hard based on your house setup. 

@dralarms Ever seen anything like that?

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As with other things, light is the enemy of darkness.  I'd put powerful motion lights around the house and on the typical approach routes. I've never seen one with a strobe function.  

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We live in the country 8 miles from town. It is fairly secluded and no houses are really within seeing distance from our home. More houses have been built since this happened,  but we are still kinds secluded as tree filled lots surround us. Back several years ago, we had 2 daughters that were car-hops at a Sonic drive-in when they were in high school. They often worked until 12 on weekends. One of my daughters came home after work and someone followed her home. She had brought a cheeseburger home and a drink and was eating while siting in my lazy boy chair. Whoever followed her home was looking in the side view window on our front door and on the front porch.  My wife had several flowers on the front porch and one was on an old mettle TV stand. The peeper hooked his tow under the stand and turned it over on the front porch waking everyone in the house. By the time I got my revolver and made it to the front door the peeper was exiting my driveway and alI I seen was taillights going out the end of our 300' driveway. 

It really upset my whole family and my wife went berserk. It really shook our since of safety and security so I had to do something to counter that. My wife and children had problems sleeping. 

I started researching and decided to make some changes. I set about hardening my entry doors and lighting up the outside of my home. I had lights installed on every corner of the home, and had the Electric Company install a security light on top of the pole where the main line comes to my home. Also put lights in behind the home, under the roof of the porch, and on the corners of my front porch. I installed tow flood lights installed where they would light the whole front of our home.  Also got a German Shephard dog and kept him outside for years. 

On hardening my doors, we have 5 entrance doors. I had deadbolts, that only open by key, on both sides, installed on all the solid wood doors. Now a days that is against codes, but codes don't live here.  I installed 3 additional locks, two of which can only be opened from inside.  I used 3 1/2" screws on all locks and hinges of the wooden doors. Went to Lowes and purchased 4 Larson Security Storm Doors (they still sell them 400.00 ea) that have a 3 point locking system on the side of the door that opens. The glass in the doors are double-pane with 3 M puncture proof plastic between the plate glass and are guaranteed break in proof.  The frames are heavier than normal with 3" screws that go into the house studding around the doors and screws in-between the door and frame that cannot be screwed out unless the doors are opened. These doors are great, but heavy!  They are kick-in proof. I talk to people through them and never open the door to strangers.   

Now I have posted this to say, I know determined burglars can get in, however they will be forced to make noise before that can get in.  My revolver and shotgun are within reach now, and loaded.  Hopefully, if someone try's to come in now, with us in the home, I will assume they are not coming for tea and crumpets. Hopefully they will make a lot of noise, and I will have time to get ready to greet them.  

At any rate it finally settled my family down, and they felt safe in our home once again, after tow or three months. It cost me some serious money, but we have been here for 35 years now, and no one has tried to come in while we were home. I do leave several lights on all night long inside and out. The outside of our home is well lit, and when I go to the restroom, at night, I can look out the window, and the way the lights are pointed both in front and back, If anyone is outside, in front or back, I can see their shadows on the grass outside. I see deer eating in the back yard under our bird feeders all the time. I do go and check to make sure though.  

My windows are wood frames, and I drilled holes and put small nails in both sides of the frames where they will not be able to be opened without removing the nails by hand while inside of the home. Cost nothing really. I know they can break the glass, but there again, they will make noise. Also one would need a ladder to enter the windows from the outside.  

Dennis, I would do something similar in your situation. I mean you need to light up the whole outside of you home BIG TIME. Fix the doors and windows where they are harder to get into.  I even have electric eyes on my outside lights so the lights will come on at sundown and go off in the mornings when we are not home.  I have 5 lights, 3 in the front, and 2 in the back plus the security light, and it lights the outside of my home completely. I never really noticed a large increase in my electric bill, but considered it necessary expense rather than being forced to deal with a very unpleasant situation.  I do not want to shoot someone over a 10.00 a month electric bill and 500.00 worth of lights, or take a beating, or even worse.  

Your choice Dennis, but you do have a serious problem. Someone intent on entering your home, with you in it, is not coming to exchange pleasantries friend!  Time for you to take defensive actions. 

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I'm known locally as the guy that will hold you at gun point until the cops get here and won't let you smoke a cigarette.  The pillbillies shop elsewhere now.

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32 minutes ago, pop pop said:

Someone intent on entering your home, with you in it, is not coming to exchange pleasantries friend!  Time for you to take defensive actions. 

This is exactly right! Lights and cameras would be helpful additions to the measures you have already taken. 

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You are lighting the way for them with all your lights inside and outside. The first thing to do when you realize someone's trying to gain entry is to black out your house. This might not give you an advantage but I'm betting you know your way around your house in the dark better than a stranger does. Never go outside let them come to you. Find a place you can easily defend or clear if you have too like a hallway or the top of the stairs. Sunfish    

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2 hours ago, Ronald_55 said:

I have often wondered about wiring old camera flashes at the top of door frames and to a central console where you can set them off. Disorienting the attempted intruder and letting them know you are on to them might end the attempt with no ramifications. Would take a bit of work, but not be too hard based on your house setup. 

@dralarms Ever seen anything like that?

Something silmlar. Used some fire alarm strobe horns hooked up to timers so they flash at different times and set to 110 candella. It is very disorienting. 

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1 hour ago, Sunfish said:

You are lighting the way for them with all your lights inside and outside. The first thing to do when you realize someone's trying to gain entry is to black out your house. This might not give you an advantage but I'm betting you know your way around your house in the dark better than a stranger does. Never go outside let them come to you. Find a place you can easily defend or clear if you have too like a hallway or the top of the stairs. Sunfish    

I would say that it would put you at a disadvantage. It takes about 20 minutes for your eyes to adjust to the dark. You would know your way around but not see :poop: including the intruder.

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Only one light is on in our home. That is a florescent 18" tube light which is mounted over the sink and under the cabinet and does not shine down the hall way. The kitchen is on one end and we sleep at the opposite end of a 45' hallway. The light is 70' from where we are and provides indirect lighting. Our home is 100' long so the kitchen light does not illuminate the end of the home where we are. I can see if anyone is in the house, however they can not see me unless they have a flashlight.  Sorry for not making that more clear.

Dennis you can get lots of advice. Lights, security doors, securing windows, good locks, and dogs were my precautions.  It has worked for us, however all of this was done knowing if a dedicated burglar comes, they can defeat almost anything, but my plan was to  try and set a scene where they must make noise to gain entry. Hopefully we can react in time. 

My intention was to make it as hard to get in as possible, although knowing nothing is perfect on a working man's budget. 

I have considered some type of alarm system, however there recently are horror stories with hacking some systems attached to your phone and with internet involved.  Not against burglar alarm systems just haven't researched any thoroughly yet.  I know monitored systems have drawbacks and are expensive. Would consider some type of early warning system if I had a pressing need. Barky dogs are an option, but they are not perfect. I got one now that just barks sometimes. 

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I've got small children, I'll be damned if I'm waiting for someone to get inside my house. I wouldn't shoot someone in my yard, but if you're busting windows or doors then you get what you get. 

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39 minutes ago, John75 said:

I've got small children, I'll be damned if I'm waiting for someone to get inside my house. I wouldn't shoot someone in my yard, but if you're busting windows or doors then you get what you get. 

As well you should,  if they are breaking into your home while you are there it my understanding that the law “presumes they are there to do you harm”. 

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On 12/28/2019 at 6:06 AM, Sunfish said:

Would you go into a dark house with Ray Charles sitting in a rocking chair with an Automatic shotgun?   

Are you Ray Charles? People have shot their own family members in the dark.

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If you are clearing a house, you do not have the upper hand, especially if you are doing it alone.

If I really thought someone was in my house; I’m not going hunting. When you aren’t sure…..wait.

But I have a dog; so, I don’t have to. :)

The biggest mistake I have personally seen people make in engaging an armed intruder is underestimating the enemy. Too many people think they will scare off an intruder. And most of the time they are right; sometimes they aren’t, and they die.

I have also seen when the burglar kicked in a door thinking the homeowners were gone. The bad guy was on the floor at the door dying when I got there.

Have a plan.

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