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Thread: CA - Home Defence Almost Goes Bad

  1. #1
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    This isn’t specifically a carry story, but thought you might find it interesting.

    A few years ago I was awakened in the middle of the night by the doorbell ringing. As I was waking up, I heard male voices that sounded like they were in the house. My kids were asleep at the other end of the house and I wanted to quickly get between them and the intruders. Quietly told my wife to hold the dog and call 911, completely forgetting about the emergency button on the alarm system next to the bed.

    Wearing only underwear (don't visualize that, please), I grabbed my S&W .357 mag, loaded with Black Talons and FMJ’s and then quietly opened my bedroom door. Adrenaline pumping, I heard male voices and saw flashlight beams downstairs. At this point I was standing on the upstairs landing, hidden from the door, gun cocked, finger outside the guard, but ready to fire if anything moved. Believe it or not, I thought about line of fire and where my children were in their bedrooms, fully ready to pull the trigger on some thieving scumbag if anyone suddenly appeared. Tried to say something, but my voice didn’t work. Too much adrenaline. I finally managed to croak out "Who's there?” There was an immediate reply: "LAPD. Your front door was open.”


    Holy crap! I peeked around the wall and sure enough, there were a bunch of uniformed officers outside my open door!

    As soon as I realized that the LEOs and I had been seconds away from being a headline in the newspaper under “Tragic Accident”, I started shaking all over. I said something like “Oh s**t! I’ll be right down”, locked the gun away, put some clothes on and went to see what was going on. Turns out my wife had come home late at night with a load from Costco, brought an armful in the front door, leaving the car and garage open, and asked the kids to finish unloading. They either didn’t unload the car or didn’t close everything up and no one made sure the front door was shut. During the night the front door blew open and a cruiser noticed the open garage door, open tailgate on the SUV, and open front door and assumed someone was burglarizing my house.

    So, I learned a few things:
    1. 1. It may be sad to hear this, but I’m very pleased that LAPD even stopped to investigate the “burglary in progress”.
      2. The LEOs handled this very well. Through experience or policy, they did not enter the house, even though they might have had probable cause to do so. That made all the difference in this case.
      3. You don’t want to ever stop thinking. I feel that somehow I picked up cues from the situation and that’s what prevented me from sneaking down the stairs or drawing down on the intruders from the landing.
      4. I’m not sure I would have done anything differently. The “Who’s there?” was a spur of the moment, but would have worked to clarify the situation even if it WAS a burglar.
      5. I have a greater appreciation for the ambiguities of a tactical situation. I don’t think you’ll find me criticizing anyone who draws a gun in self-defense.
    Oh yeah, once the police were gone, I was fairly pissed at my family, seeing as how I almost got killed and all. We had a 3 AM meeting about locking the $#@! doors every night and haven’t had a problem since.

  2. #2
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    I found it very interesting. I'm glad you were able to think about everything and finally got your voice to work. It's almost like a bad dream where you're trying to yell but you can't. This strange physiological reaction has happened to me as well. Anyway, sounds like it turned out well and I see nothing wrong with anything you did. I'm sure afterwards everyone realized how dangerous the situation had been and I'm sure none of you will ever make that mistake again!

    It's completely possible to forget to shut the door fully and lock it so I can see this happening to anyone. It will certainly make me check even more than I already do that the doors are locked. I actually had to go check after reading this.

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    If you can call 9-1-1..... do it and forget about hitting the panic button on the alarm.

    The panic alarm gets your alarm company to call the police for you and the police do not get to hear the details you know first hand.

    Alarm calls are also a low priority where your 9-1-1 call would have been a top priority based on what you could see at your door.

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    LEO 229 wrote:
    If you can call 9-1-1..... do it and forget about hitting the panic button on the alarm.

    The panic alarm gets your alarm company to call the police for you and the police do not get to hear the details you know first hand.

    Alarm calls are also a low priority where your 9-1-1 call would have been a top priority based on what you could see at your door.
    I have to ask a question about this encounter.

    Shouldn't the officers loudly announce themselves as soon as the enter the premise in order to help avoid a uncomfortable situation? Would not it have been much better for them to continue to annouce that they were the police and for the homeowner(s) to wake up and acknowledge their entry?

    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

    America First!

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    SouthernBoy wrote:
    LEO 229 wrote:
    If you can call 9-1-1..... do it and forget about hitting the panic button on the alarm.

    The panic alarm gets your alarm company to call the police for you and the police do not get to hear the details you know first hand.

    Alarm calls are also a low priority where your 9-1-1 call would have been a top priority based on what you could see at your door.
    I have to ask a question about this encounter.

    Shouldn't the officers loudly announce themselves as soon as the enter the premise in order to help avoid a uncomfortable situation? Would not it have been much better for them to continue to annouce that they were the police and for the homeowner(s) to wake up and acknowledge their entry?
    When I find an open door.... I look for damage and push it open so I can hear more of what is going on inside.

    The door is ALREADY open so there is no harm in opening it a little more. This gives you a chance to hear what is going on inside. Quiet is the opposite of drawers being pulled out and rooms being searched by a burglar.

    Before you step foot inside you announce "POLICE DEPARTMENT!" and you continue to do it as you move through the house.

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    Mechanic, that's a heck of an event to go through. Glad everything turned out the best way possible.

    I'm going to relate this eventto my household to reinforce the nightly lock up before bed routine



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    SouthernBoy wrote:
    LEO 229 wrote:
    If you can call 9-1-1..... do it and forget about hitting the panic button on the alarm.

    The panic alarm gets your alarm company to call the police for you and the police do not get to hear the details you know first hand.

    Alarm calls are also a low priority where your 9-1-1 call would have been a top priority based on what you could see at your door.
    I have to ask a question about this encounter.

    Shouldn't the officers loudly announce themselves as soon as the enter the premise in order to help avoid a uncomfortable situation? Would not it have been much better for them to continue to annouce that they were the police and for the homeowner(s) to wake up and acknowledge their entry?
    While working with a Police Dept. in Southern California, I know that we would have waited outside the door as dispatch would have done a reverse lookup for that homes phone number and called them to let them know the police were outside. Maybe dispatch was in the process of doing that when the homeowner woke up to hear voices. I know I would have woke up before they had a chance to call!

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    xd.40 wrote:
    SouthernBoy wrote:
    LEO 229 wrote:
    If you can call 9-1-1..... do it and forget about hitting the panic button on the alarm.

    The panic alarm gets your alarm company to call the police for you and the police do not get to hear the details you know first hand.

    Alarm calls are also a low priority where your 9-1-1 call would have been a top priority based on what you could see at your door.
    I have to ask a question about this encounter.

    Shouldn't the officers loudly announce themselves as soon as the enter the premise in order to help avoid a uncomfortable situation? Would not it have been much better for them to continue to annouce that they were the police and for the homeowner(s) to wake up and acknowledge their entry?
    While working with a Police Dept. in Southern California, I know that we would have waited outside the door as dispatch would have done a reverse lookup for that homes phone number and called them to let them know the police were outside. Maybe dispatch was in the process of doing that when the homeowner woke up to hear voices. I know I would have woke up before they had a chance to call!
    If they were doing that then they forgot the all important "WAITING OUTSIDE" portion of the equation.

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    I was under the impression the OP stated that he saw them waiting outside the door and that they hadn't entered.

    2. The LEOs handled this very well. Through experience or policy, they did not enter the house, even though they might have had probable cause to do so. That made all the difference in this case.

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    xd.40 wrote:
    I was under the impression the OP stated that he saw them waiting outside the door and that they hadn't entered.

    2. The LEOs handled this very well. Through experience or policy, they did not enter the house, even though they might have had probable cause to do so. That made all the difference in this case.
    I heard male voices that sounded like they were in the house.

  11. #11
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    Oh - I see where that can get confusing...

  12. #12
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    Appreciate all the comemnts and ideas.

    Regarding the alarm system per Weak 9mm and LEO 229. The alarm has a panic button, which is supposed to send a special panic message to the alarm company. Hopefully that would receive a priority from dispatch when received. My after-the-fact observation was really geared towards the fact that the button also sets off the siren. It seems that tripping the siren might have driven a potential burglar out of the house and would have alerted the neighbors outside, too. Might have helped had it been a burglar, but then again, it would have driven the kids out of their bedroom, made it harder to hear what's going on downstairs, and complicated any potential home defense situation. I guess I'm thinking that the siren probably wouldn't have helped here.

    Thanks for listening!


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    SouthernBoy wrote:
    Shouldn't the officers loudly announce themselves as soon as the enter the premise in order to help avoid a uncomfortable situation? Would not it have been much better for them to continue to annouce that they were the police and for the homeowner(s) to wake up and acknowledge their entry?


    Correct, BUT they never entered the house

  14. #14
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    Regarding the alarm system per Weak 9mm and LEO 229.
    Just as a btw, I didn't mention the alarm. But I do agree that the panic button may help to confuse and frighten the burglar away if in fact it is a burglar. Either way, I think it turned out just fine.

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    Mechanic wrote:
    Appreciate all the comemnts and ideas.

    Regarding the alarm system per Weak 9mm and LEO 229. The alarm has a panic button, which is supposed to send a special panic message to the alarm company. Hopefully that would receive a priority from dispatch when received. My after-the-fact observation was really geared towards the fact that the button also sets off the siren. It seems that tripping the siren might have driven a potential burglar out of the house and would have alerted the neighbors outside, too. Might have helped had it been a burglar, but then again, it would have driven the kids out of their bedroom, made it harder to hear what's going on downstairs, and complicated any potential home defense situation. I guess I'm thinking that the siren probably wouldn't have helped here.

    Thanks for listening!
    It does.... and the panic alarm is handled in the same way any other alarm is handled.

    the only difference is that the home or business is called once the officer arrives on scene and asked to step outside.

    Because so many people have false alarms...alarm callsare not the high priority you might think. Some locations are known to activate every day like clockwork!! Many places have false alarms weekly. Some locations have faulty alarms that are known to go off.

    So calling 911 yourself is going to guarantee you get a faster response.

    I cannot tell you how many times I have laughed watching the alarm company commercials! "This is brinks security. We have received an alarm activation from your home. Is everything OK? You say a man just kicked in your front door? Ma'am, we are calling the police for you right now!!"

    Oh Please!!!!! Call 9-1-1 yourself and in the time it would take for the alarm company to finally hang up with you.. the cops will be at your door!!

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    I've always wondered, why put a middle man in between you and the police? Especially when you have a wife/girlfriend/room mate to call 911 while you "investigate" the problem.

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    Mechanic wrote:
    no one made sure the front door was shut. During the night the front door blew open and a cruiser noticed the open garage door, open tailgate on the SUV, and open front door and assumed someone was burglarizing my house.
    personally, I have a personal routine which I go through EVERY NIGHT before I turn in for the night. first thing is, I walk outside and visually check my front yard, and my side yard. I go back in, turn on my porch light and then I lock the door. next, I do the same thing in the back yard, and check the back door. finally, as I go into teh bedroom, I check the condition of my nightstand pistol and remove it from teh drawer and place it on top of the nightstand, along with my flashlight and my extra ammo. lastly, I check to make sure that my steel toed harness boots are beside my bed ( no lacing, just stick your feet in and go) are beside the bed.

    I personally do this EVERY night, in order to be sure that it is done.

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    Since I work in the electronic security field...

    Panic alarms are not a low priority for police. They actually go right to the top. I would make mine silent, with no premise call in as not to alert the intruder of a panic pull. This will get the police to respond the fastest.

    Also look for a panic switch that can not be reset without a key of some sort.

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    *

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    testing

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    Dustin wrote:
    testing
    Tested SAT.

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