Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Reply:"“Commando” robbery in a gated neighborhood in Monte Grande"

Anonymous said...
So how would you defend against an attack like this? If you had, say, 2 minutes advance warning that these guys were coming, what would you do?

Why would you have a 2 minute warning?

You wont have it. Even if you have cameras/scouts ( cameras are cheaper and a single guy on the command post can keep an eye on several) covering all the perimeter, you’re talking about a few seconds before they get through the wire fence.

It’s clear that the security they had was poor.
It’s also obvious that their poor security was much better than what most have today.

Serious, do YOU have a guy watching yor back as you read this?

I’ve said it a million times, you and a couple pals wont be enough for serious security.
In this case, apparently they just had two guys. Too little for a large area to cover.
For an area like the one that got hit ( small neighborhood) I’d go for at least 6 guys on the watch 24/7.(you’ll need to have shifts, even with horrific 12 hour shifts, you’re talking 12 dedicated guys for security. 3 shifts requiring 18 guys would be more like it.

I’d put 2 guys in the front gate, with a construction that would allow them to hold ground when/if attacked.

A foxhole would be ok for military operations, but in this case and being realistic I’d build an esthetically pleasing and functional construction that is more than just a hole in the ground, doubles as command post, and provides better DFP (defensive fighting position)

2 guys in the opposite end of the covered area and 1 guy on each flank walking the perimeter.

If the area was more than a couple blocks, I’d have 2 more guys. 2 in the front entrance, 2 in the back and two on each side walking the perimeter in pairs.
Safe positions on these flanks would be necessary too so as to take cover there when repelling the attacks.
The perimeter should be wired so as to get accurate locations of any breach attempts.
Without this you’ll need even more people.

The idea would be that with a properly secured perimeter, they’d have enough time and personal to respond.

Of course, proper weaponry, constant radio communication and spot lights would be needed.

For a smaller place such as a farm, and having less people available, stationary posts triangulating the area would have to do.

Less than that and you’ll be the only one to blame when they sneak in or hit you commando stile like they did with these guys.

That’s just me, if you guys have other ideas I’d love to hear them.

Just realize of the kind of money and people we are talking about already. And imagine how well you’d do when trying to “improvise” all this security.



DaSui said...

Hey FerFAL,

What do you think the chances are that the "commandos" had someone working on the inside? A gardener or maid giving them information about security and money. I think they had to collect intelligence somehow. My father's friend was carjacked in his gated community last year. I think that someone, probably a landscaping worker told the robbers when and where to find the expensive car. A place I eat at was robbed, a dishwasher was caught texting the robbers the best time to come in.

DocOutlands said...

Lots of bodies or lots of money or lots of "there's nothing to see here" is what it boils down to. That's why communities have police.

This got posted as I was making my comments on the original post. Suffice it to say, my comments there were made to work within the framework of the question. However, I tend to agree far more with this post here.

Two minutes is a LOT of warning. The bad guys could cover two MILES in that time. Think about how much territory that covers from your house.

Did, however, make for an interesting impromptu planning session for the family...

FerFAL said...

"What do you think the chances are that the "commandos" had someone working on the inside? "

Pretty big.
You’d be surprised by the levels of intelligence they sometimes reach.
Also, many of these groups have some police or military experience, unfortunately.
Not long ago 3 robbers where caught in Capital. They were active duty cops, robbing with their issued side arms.

There’s good cops here too, but it would be silly to not acknowledge this problem.


Don Williams said...

1) Modern radio-based police methods rely upon holding off robbers for only a few minutes --until an overwhelming relief force arrives. Including SWAT -- basically armed as light infantry.

2) If someone can take 40 minutes to conduct an armed robbery, you don't have a security problem -- you have a government-political problem.

3) In America, policing is largely done at the local government level. A wealthy enclave can incorporate into a small town or township and form its own police police force that is highly protective of its paymasters. Such police forces' use of deadly force is strongly protected by law and left to local judgement with a lot of leeway.

4) If suspicious people from a poor neighborhood wander into a wealthy neighborhood even in low-crime periods, they are rapidly accosted by the local police. Like within 5 minutes after someone makes a phone call.

This depends upon local residents being able to distinguish potentially hostile strangers from themselves and visiting friends. This usually is based upon apparent signs of wealth --cars, clothes, personal grooming,etc.

5) The downside to this, of course, is that the poor neighborhoods are left on their own and with poor police protection. Even in our large cities -- where law enforcement is done for the city as a whole -- police resources are directed more toward protecting wealthy neighborhoods than toward protecting poor neighborhoods. Our mayors depend on campaign donations in order to run for office -- and poor people can't donate much.

Don Williams said...

According to Wiki, Monte Grande is a city of 109,644 people (2001) and is capital of the Esteban Echeverria Partition of Buenos Aires Province. Population density of Esteban Echeverria is 2,033 people per square kilometer. Which is extremely dense urban population

So why didn't Monte Grande have 1000 or so cops swarming over the houses being robbed within
10 minutes after robbery started?

Could the local police have been bought off? Didn't they get a call for help?
(One land line can be cut. But not dozens. Nor can cell phones.
Neighborhood can have a plan -- every house has loud marine airhorn. If anyone sounds their horn, entire neighborhood comes to their defense and also calls the police. )

FerFAL said...

"2) If someone can take 40 minutes to conduct an armed robbery, you don't have a security problem -- you have a government-political problem."

Our presdnt K says this is normal and happens everywhere and I believe her.:)

3) Is an excellent point and so true.

That would be a realistic way to handle the medium scale security problem and its legal implications.


FerFAL said...

Even worse Don.
Montegrande is part of what we call Gran Buenos Aires.
It's PART of the city of Buenos Aires, it's a southern suburb and rather close from where I live.

The problem is that most parts of the city suburbs are "zonas liberadas". Zones where the police have aldready kind of gave up. They do what they can but know its not enough. SO mostly they do damage control and what little prevention the few funds allow.

Man, its a parallel dimension.

I mean, over a decade ago my mother's car was robbed in Lomas de Zamora. Also a souther suburb.
Since she saw them take off she hurried to the folice station and told them aobut it.
Given the kind of traffic they could have cought them if tehy had hurried just a bit.

" Well ma'am , we dont have any gas for our patrol cars. If you come along with us and pay for our gas well help you"

She actually did that. Went with the cops, paid for their gas, and went looking.

Ofcourse, it was a little too late.

The car showed up a few days later in Monte Grande.
The car was automatic ( not common here) ant the robbers busted it trying to use it as manual.

Someone in the Monte Grande Police department even took the time to change the new wheels my mom's car had for their old ones...


Anonymous said...

Greatly appreciate the topic and insights. It confirms that my planning is on the right track. I'll make improvements mentioned in the post.

Out here in a rural area the problem could be more difficult and also less difficult, yet the basics covered in the example still apply. In a remote area, an attack can be more brutal. Fortunately I believe we'll have the experience and technology to help. Night vision can come into play as well as wireless sensors that can warn of an approach up to a 1/2+ mile away and of sections or likely routes not visible, giving one at least a few precious seconds. Technology can be a force multiplier, especially needed if one's security lightly manned.

Numbers are important. The best way to win a fight (defend against an attack) is to avoid the fight. If the target appears formidable (us), potential attackers May chose an easier target. This assumes they don't want what they Think you have. Numbers can be a deterrent. No one with any sense would wish to walk into a beehive. Some military planners believe the normal ratio of attackers to defenders is three to one. I'd make it difficult for them to round up enough buddies to feel comfortable or allow them to increase the odds of success in their favor.

Determination is also key as our children's lives could be at stake.
Stories from South Africa are also enough to motivate one to take the problem very seriously.

A non Y mous

DocOutlands said...

"Sinn Fein"

Pity the IRA and their ilk took the saying and associated it with terrorism.

"Ourselves Alone" - pretty well sums up where we are or seem to be heading.

Norcal said...

I saw an article in SMALL FARMERS JOURNAL.

It was about how a young couple had flown up to northern (I mean northern) Saskatchewan and "homesteaded"

They had a complete farm, all started by flying everything up there. Of course they have a very harsh climate. But they had ingeniously adapted to the climate, were growing a garden, raising animals etc They seemed very happy and successful..

I wondered at the time, why would someone do that? Now, we know!

Anonymous said...

why dont people build huge walls around their neighborhoods, like the old city states used to.....?

micah said...

why dont the small towns or neighborhoods just build tall walls around the whole place, like the old city states used to....with one gate to guard.

Don Williams said...

1) I think high crime is a political problem --not just a security problem. Mayors here in the USA claim that budget problems mean enough police can't be deployed --but that's usually because the political class is taking too big of a cut for themselves, in my opinion.

2) If the economy is depressed, then lower taxes are collected --but that also means there are plenty of people willing to work as policemen for moderate wages. Plus there is always the militia --aka the posse aka the police auxiliary. Armed Citizens with basic training in lawful use of force and working under the direction of policemen can be called upon to help the police in emergencies. That is how towns have been protected for thousands of years -- but it means the political class is not so corrupt that it fears citizens owning arms.

3) I think policing is more difficult in overcrowded urban areas --although not impossible. As Ferfal has noted, solitary rural dwellings are very vulnerable.

I think the best solution was developed after the fall of the Greek and --later--Roman Empires. Walled city states like medieval Florence. Hilltop villages that are fortified. People work in the fields and trade outside --and not just everyone is allowed through the gates and given the freedom of the town. Small enough that social cohesion imposes discipline.

Anonymous said...

"If the target appears formidable (us), potential attackers May chose an easier target."

Or choose to attack in a place not defended. For instance, if you take your kids into town for something. "He who prepares everywhere is weak everywhere." And attack is easier than defense despite common military wisdom, because the attacker chooses the time and place of the fight and concentrates force, while the defender is stuck being constantly vigilant.

Sounds like Buenos Aires needs Batman ;)

Don Williams said...

1) If a parasite grows too strong, it will kill its host and then die itself.

2) The rise of "gated communities " throughout the developed world -- although perhaps not gated enough heh heh -- is a sign of incipent decline from centralized government back into a form of feudalism.

3) Real aristocrats --unlike the selfish billionaires we have in the USA at present -- feel a sense of duty and responsibility for the communities they rule.

Don Williams said...

Sorry Micah for my duplicate comment. I had not seen your post when I submitted mine.

CapnRick said...


When I read the articles FerFal provided, I saw that the thugs cut the fence in the rear of the community and took control of the security guards when they responded to the intrusion.

I stand by my previous post... neighborhood sirens and a good plan is my choice for a more dangerous confrontation, but a more satisfying result... bad guys down or in jail... and, the criminal community put on notice.

The community sirens alone may have been enough to run off the bad guys. A witness said that the owner of one home they were trying to enter turned on his alarm and they ran away. You never know.

Suerte -Rick

CapnRick said...

Sorry, guys... this post got lost. It is the "previous post" to which I referred in the above.

Say, FerFal: I hope you agree... that security company did not have their stuff together. The correct way to defend an attack of this sort in a community with only one gate can be handled by only two men ONLY if security cameras are monitored from a secure location. One guy on the gate, and another one on the secure console is not the BEST plan... but, it is about the best you can do with only two guys. Had the security company management done a full security audit, they probably would have done more “what if... ?” thinking and insisted upon the following:
. Klaxon alarms throughout the gated community set off by one of the two guards at a secure console area upon viewing the attack at the access control point. Not too expensive, I would hope.
. A series of training seminars so that each household is trained in how to secure things in the event of such an alarm. Some test runs involving security firm management should be scheduled to make certain everyone... including the clients and their household staff... knows what to do in an alarm condition.
. Right after the alarm is set off by the hidden security officer, a call list function should begin... the closest police station, security HQ, etc. There should be no 40 minute fun time for the thugs. Although, the two backup vehicles outside the perimeter probably means they were prepared to take on the local police. It takes a long time to dispatch SWAT with heavy weapons. The security company management should always involve the local police station commander in any community protection plan. THIS IS ALSO WISE because it tells the local cops... who may be casing the community for just such an assault... that the sensible course might be to pick a less well prepared community to assault.
Sounds like a bunch of thugs with at least one ex-cop (or, an off-duty one) or military. This stuff happens every day in Mexico, and ALL the cartels there use military and police to do the assaults. A check with the local Gang Intelligence officer may bring results in the Monte Grande case.
Bottom line... this sounds like a well planned and well executed assault on an inadequately prepared gated community. I'd always rather be assaulted by a bunch of pros... they want quick access and a trouble free egress with all the goodies they came for. They aren't going to Cowboy up on you and try to rape and kill... not cost effective activities.
The smoothness of the assault, the results, the backup vehicles, the radio comms all point to well informed, well prepared pros who executed a carefully prepared plan flawlessly. Sad, ain't it... that the security company and community leaders did not exhibit the same level of study, planning and preparation. Professionalism costs a bit more, but it is the only way to effectively defend against such an attack.
On the OTHER hand, a truly professional defense could have meant that the thugs would have been run off... but, it is fairly certain that some innocent citizens might have been killed or seriously injured in the ensuing confrontation with police/security defenders. That leads to tough questions. But, how do you know the assault is not going to be a bunch of pilled up street thugs who are full of hate, a strong desire to hurt people, seeking to making themselves feel powerful by dominating a bunch of more vulnerable, more civilized, more wealthy citizens?
My personal feeling is that it is best to prepare for the professionals, and the street thugs can be defended against by the same plan... because you can never know in advance what threats a community will face.
Suerte -Rick

CapnRick said...

Quote "Here in Buenos Aires, a kidnapping is reported every 36 hours." This is a quotation from the Washington Post http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A47139-2003Jan26.html

The article says the murder rate in BsAs has almost doubled over a year's time.

I get tired of hearing folks saying that we are overstating the crime here. Just because they weren't robbed in the lobby of the Hilton doesn't mean that there is no crime.

Anonymous said...

Anon Y mous said( that's me): "If the target appears formidable (us), potential attackers May chose an easier target."

Another Anonymous said: Or choose to attack in a place not defended. For instance, if you take your kids into town for something. "He who prepares everywhere is weak everywhere." And attack is easier than defense despite common military wisdom, because the attacker chooses the time and place of the fight and concentrates force, while the defender is stuck being constantly vigilant.

Sounds like Buenos Aires needs Batman ;)

My response:

Like that quote. "He who prepares everywhere is weak everywhere."
If things are very very bad, nobody leaves. Being vigilant 24/7 would be tough indeed. I'll try my best and learn what I can here, and elsewhere what our weakness are. The local hunters around here are often excellent long range shots. 300 yards is no problem. That and other threats need to be explored. We can do only the best we can and I doubt it will be optimal, but we will be tougher than most other 'targets'.

If things are a bad as Argentina experiences, we'll have to continue life as normally as possible and that adds to the challenge. Myself and others will not have a regular job and can function as security. Many family members have worked security jobs, high level private, military, and typical law enforcement. "Only the Paranoid Survive".

About taking the kids to town. In our area 'open carry' is allowed, and guys routinely run around with rifles in the back window of their pickup trucks. "An armed society is a polite society". That said, I'll have vest on. Unfortunately in this area, .44 Mag,.45 Long Colt and other high powered handguns used defend against Grizzly when hunting, are relatively common. Looks like a level III or better vest is needed. For a period, it could resemble the Wild, Wild West in these parts. Outsiders will fortunately find themselves unwelcome. I believe the small community here will come together after a awhile, and the bad guys will find themselves isolated.

Argentina is an excellent example, yet the culture and gun laws in this part of the U.S. can make a difference. An usually high percentage of the population here are prepared or are preparing to some level. Gardening, farms, hunting, techniques and trades of the 19th century are still practiced or remembered. The community regularly comes together to help the less fortunate, and will come together to hunt down and prosecute the unlawful.
These folks define 'rugged individualism' and the 'pioneer spirit'.