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Old 01-03-2013, 12:22   #1
Dubble-Tapper
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Failed Burglary Attempt

It was around midnight when i decided to go to bed. It was one of those sleepless nights so I was lying there in bed on my i4 just browsing news, GT, FB, etc. At some point I passed out.

I am a fairly light sleeper. My GSD mix sleeps at the foot of our bed, and pretty much sleeps all night. Last night, on the other hand, I awoke to the sound of a low growl. He was facing the door to our room, and although it was dark, I could see all the hair on his back standing straight up. He has done this occasionally as we have deer, yotes, and other creatures pass through our property often. This was different.

I slowly got out of bed and listened for whatever he may have heard. We have an older house that was build it '55, so it is sometimes slightly noisy when its windy. I suspected that was what he had heard, as the Gorge is always windy. I then heard what I believed to be someone quietly persuading my basement door to open. The door is an old sticky one, so i knew the sound. I was admittedly shocked. I thought, "Holy ****, is this actually happening?"

I will not lie, I was shook. I grabbed my shotgun and opened my bedroom door. As soon as i opened the door, my dog bolted for the stairs snarling and barking. I was immediately thinking some tweaker was gonna stab my dog or something, so i racked a round and headed for the basement stairs. I told my GF to lock the door and not come out. As I was headed down, I yelled "I AM ARMED AND WILL SHOOT, LEAVE MY PROPERTY NOW"

As I got to the basement, I felt the cold winter air hit me. I could see the door was open. I flipped the light switch on which lit most of the basement. The only spot someone could hide was the laundry room, so I 'cleared' that small room and headed towards the door. I was afraid for my dog, as he ran out the door before i could grab his collar. I stepped out the door, scanned the area, just as my dog ran back the house. I looked him over in the light and it didnt look like he fought with anything/anyone. no cuts, etc. I took him back upstairs and and put him in my bedroom.

I headed back down stairs. The basement door ( old, not very sturdy, ****ty locks) had been shouldered in after messing with the latch with a prybar or something. It almost seemed like they had seen the door before, and knew what it would take to open it short of just booting it in.

i put boots on and took a walk around the property (about 1 acre) with my s90 and 8 rounds of 00buck. The snow had melted mostly so there wasnt any visible prints, and it was too grassy to be very muddy. There is a thick stand of trees behind my house where the basement door is, and beyond the trees is a fairly busy road.

I didnt sleep, the dog and I sat on the couch and watched tv til morning. I am filing a police report.

This was the first time I had ever picked up a weapon in SD, and I was in fact frightened. I now am going to replace the door and locks, as well as getting motion lights around the whole house. I am thankful that my dog is a light sleeper. He was loyal and rushed to defend his/mine against an unknown threat. I love him even more for this, but he is staying in the bedroom if this ever happens again. He is an alarm, not an attack dog. I couldnt live with myself if he was injured defending me.

I am pondering many things this morning.

1.) Was this random? Does the suspect know me? Know what I own? There was nothing of tweaker-value downstairs small enough to steal, and anyone that has been to my house knows this.

2.) How did the dude outrun my dog? I assume he heard us and took off before we even got to the stairs.

3.) What can I do to prepare myself for another situation like this?


anyways, sorry for the long post, theres just so many things running through my head as of now.
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Old 01-03-2013, 12:27   #2
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I don't think you did anything wrong. Might want to look into investing in some sort of electronic alarm system. Even the do it yourself home kits can be pretty handy in alerting you to possible bad guy activity.
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Old 01-03-2013, 12:28   #3
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Crazy adrenaline rush, isn't it? You can hear your heart in your ears. Everything goes bionic and starts to move in slow motion. At least when that happened to me my ears were the first thing that hit turbo and went on alert mode as I made my way to the sound. Ya done good.
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Old 01-03-2013, 12:32   #4
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I might have called the police before I went looking for the burglar(s).
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Old 01-03-2013, 12:35   #5
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I might have called the police before I went looking for the burglar(s).
and wait 15-30 min? no thanks. I can see how this would be a wise choice for some situations. I wasnt about to wait for the guy to make his way upstairs.
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Old 01-03-2013, 12:37   #6
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Crazy adrenaline rush, isn't it? You can hear your heart in your ears. Everything goes bionic and starts to move in slow motion. At least when that happened to me my ears were the first thing that hit turbo and went on alert mode as I made my way to the sound. Ya done good.
yes it was. i could hear my blood flow. i know that sounds weird.
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Old 01-03-2013, 12:40   #7
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and wait 15-30 min? no thanks. I can see how this would be a wise choice for some situations. I wasnt about to wait for the guy to make his way upstairs.
Nope... so that in the event you have to engage you have law enforcement on the way. Also it sends a message that the area is no longer safe to play in.
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Old 01-03-2013, 12:44   #8
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OP, I'm glad things worked out for you. tom.
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Old 01-03-2013, 12:44   #9
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Nope... so that in the event you have to engage you have law enforcement on the way. Also it sends a message that the area is no longer safe to play in.
makes sense for sure. just didnt occur to me at the time.

you know what they say about hindsight.
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Old 01-03-2013, 12:50   #10
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Call the law and keep them on the line. The recordings are evidence to support you in court in the event you are forced to defend yourself. Had you shot someone, the first question the police, the attorney's, and the mopes family is going to ask is "why didn't you call the police??"

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Old 01-03-2013, 12:54   #11
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You're safe, good job.

MMQB notes - GF should be armed, holed up in the bedroom, with the popo on the line. "I" would have stayed in the bedroom, gives me the ability to put the front sight on the door and fire if the knob moves. However, nobody knows your house better then you. Walking down dark stairs to turn on the lights seems sketchy.
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Old 01-03-2013, 12:55   #12
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Quote:
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I might have called the police before I went looking for the burglar(s).
You should have a phone available in the bedroom. Your gf could have been calling while you checked out the house.
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Old 01-03-2013, 12:57   #13
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Thank goodness the dog heard the sound and was able to wake you up. What if the burglar was just quiet enough to not wake the dog up? Scary stuff.

I always set my home alarm before I go to sleep, instant on mode. My dog is very alert to noises outside but I wouldn't trust him to hear everything.

My plan will be for the wife to be on the phone with the police, locked in the bedroom. Depending on their entry point, I will be positioned inside ready for them. There will be no slide racks or verbal warnings for risk of giving my position away. That is your largest advantage.

Last edited by Fear Night; 01-03-2013 at 13:13..
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Old 01-03-2013, 12:59   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dubble-Tapper View Post
makes sense for sure. just didnt occur to me at the time.

you know what they say about hindsight.
I guess you could call the police first, but IMOH that could be valuable time wasted while trying to make sure someone doesn't close the distance between the exterior of the house to your location. You could alert them via cell phone while you investigate, but fumbling a cell phone, a flashlight and a shotgun while trying to retrieve your dog and look for a bad guy doesn't sound like a good idea either. Plus you tell the police that you have a burglary in progress and they probably won't be so friendly to you when they show up and you are patrolling the property with a gun. You probably won't get shot, but it could very well be a scary situation.

I'd say you handled it correctly. If you didn't call the police immediately afterward, that would be the only thing I would change. If they came out, I would think that they would do some sort of canvas of the immediate neighborhood.
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Old 01-03-2013, 12:59   #15
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Originally Posted by Kadetklapp View Post
Call the law and keep them on the line. The recordings are evidence to support you in court in the event you are forced to defend yourself. Had you shot someone, the first question the police, the attorney's, and the mopes family is going to ask is "why didn't you call the police??"

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after some research, ive realized this is a good idea.

at the time, i feared for myself, my family, and my property. It didnt occur to me to grab my phone and hold it to my ear while holding a shotgun. I realize i was unprepared for such an encounter.

I now realize that if this happens again, Ill likely stay in my bedroom armed, call the police, and wait to see if the suspect comes upstairs.

It just seems weird that i cannot go justly defend my own property and life as I see fit without fear of legal repercussions..
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Old 01-03-2013, 13:03   #16
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makes sense for sure. just didnt occur to me at the time.

you know what they say about hindsight.
We practice property/home invasion scenarios at home fairly regularly, I will go through the motions of obtaining weapons and initiating my search pattern(s), the woman focuses on getting the family into their safe zone with a phone from which the police and medical services will be called. To help with her muscle memory we have a dummy phone that she can actually push buttons on so as to get into the habit of dialing the number. She also has a "cheat" sheet that contains all the important information that will need to be passed to law enforcement.

We do this for house fire, forest fire and earthquakes as well as plane crashes as we are sometimes in the flight path of planes coming into the local airport.

It took a while to get things ironed out and to get the family on board. But after several events (nothing significant, they just validated that having a plan, having things stored in the same place allows for rapid response) and knowing it by doing it they came aboard and willingly participate in my practice/training sessions. Overboard? I don't think so.

One thing my military experience taught me, practice how you will fight, train how you will respond and if and when the real rubber hits the road you will perform efficiently and without the need for upper level of thinking. It's all about muscle memory.

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Old 01-03-2013, 13:05   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kadetklapp View Post
Call the law and keep them on the line. The recordings are evidence to support you in court in the event you are forced to defend yourself. Had you shot someone, the first question the police, the attorney's, and the mopes family is going to ask is "why didn't you call the police??"
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You should have a phone available in the bedroom. Your gf could have been calling while you checked out the house.
Both also good ideas. Lots of options, but in the end you need to do what is instinctual or change your cognitive process in that type of situation. I wouldn't think that you would want to be second guessing your every move... Just let it flow, recollect the events and train accordingly.
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Old 01-03-2013, 13:05   #18
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Glad it worked out. Just keep in mind, from what you described you had the advantage and gave it up. You entered a 'fatal funnel' alone to do your search that is compounded even more due to the stairs. When you descended a stairwell into a darkened room it is an easy ambush which can give even the highest trained SWAT guys problems with one just intruder. Add a couple more and a lone searcher is a sitting duck.

I know its hard to not go confront something when the adrenaline kicks in but you are the last line of defense between that person and your girl. Sometimes it is better to call 9-1-1, hunker down and use the advantage you have to hold your ground.

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Old 01-03-2013, 13:12   #19
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Glad it worked out. Just keep in mind, from what you described you had the advantage and gave it up. You entered a 'fatal funnel' alone to do your search that is compounded even more due to the stairs. When you descended a stairwell into a darkened room it is an easy ambush which can give even the highest trained SWAT guys problems with one intruder. Add a couple more and a lone searcher is a sitting duck.

I know its hard to not go confront something when the adrenaline kicks in but you are the last line of defense between that person and your girl. Sometimes it is better to call 9-1-1, hunker down and use the advantage you have to hold your ground.
good advice. all makes sense. I know i made many mistakes, and honestly, it sounds stupid, but I thought my 88lb GSD mix was going to make contact, and i didnt feel comforted by the fact that the dude could have hurt my dog. I assumed he would see and smell the guy if he was inside, and was going to bite his ass.

tactics and trained people would say this was not wise, but it didnt occur to me to stay put while someone was about to rummage through my house.

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Old 01-03-2013, 13:19   #20
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We put a DVR camera system on our home, with a 1TB hard drive. All entry points are covered by the cameras, and all the cameras are redundant, if one gets disabled, the badguy is already on another. The system also has an audible alarm built into it, with the cameras motion sensors set to pick up anything from the parkway, up to the house itself. Step off the street towards the house, or come over the backyard fence, we'll know it if we're home. If we aint home, I will get an email that the cams have been tripped, and I can log in, and view them live from my smartphone. Well worth the $1000.
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Old 01-03-2013, 13:31   #21
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*You did what You needed to do at the moment defending Your house....concidering all the *circumstances .
I am glad you ...Dog...and GF are all ok...
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Old 01-03-2013, 13:35   #22
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good advice. all makes sense. I know i made many mistakes, and honestly, it sounds stupid, but I thought my 88lb GSD mix was going to make contact, and i didnt feel comforted by the fact that the dude could have hurt my dog. I assumed he would see and smell the guy if he was inside, and was going to bite his ass.

tactics and trained people would say this was not wise, but it didnt occur to me to stay put while someone was about to rummage through my house.
Don't beat yourself up over it. You did fine. Now you can start thinking about different scenarios for if it ever happens again, and do practice runs.

I think the dog would make a great tool in this scenario. He could be a deterrent without you giving away your position. He would also be able to indicate when the burglar is on the other side of an entry door (I'm assuming you have another door between the basement stairs and the upstairs). This entry point would be where you would want to be ready to guard.
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Old 01-03-2013, 14:01   #23
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I understand not calling the cops if you arn't sure what's happening. I have often walked downstairs gun in hand to find nothing. Just the dog barking at some rabbit or something. Once I figured out the place was broken into I'd have had the girl call the cops while I checked it out.

I know I should stay holed up in my bedroom but I don't want my stuff stolen.
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Old 01-03-2013, 14:01   #24
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It's what the dog was bred for, they are your first line of defense and sometimes they will sacrifice themselves for you. But that is their job, their duty and what they are bred to do. My dogs are my first line of defense, they are my alarms as well. When they go off I get moving, if they are hurt or killed protecting my family then that is their sacrifice, one that I would be saddened by but understand fully and accept. But my children and woman come first and their safety is further ensured by our dogs.
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Old 01-03-2013, 14:10   #25
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We've had someone rob our garage with us at home, and like you said, it scares you. My wife and I talked about it and the subject was covered in some courses we took. We decided that if something happened like that in the middle of the night. My wife would get her pistol and cell phone and go to a certain part of our bedroom. I would get my pistol and clear the hall way from inside our bedroom. She would be calling 911 and we would stay put until the police arrived. If anything else happened in this senario, we would defend ourselves from the bedroom. What do you think?
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