Saturday, January 9, 2010

Home Invasion


I have been reading your blog for quite sometime. I worked at a gun shop in Southern Indiana and you are very well respected in Kentucky and the southern Indiana region. I suggested your blog to may people coming in asking for advice on security and SHTF scenarios.

My wife's family is from Argentina and immigrated to the US in the 60's. My mother in law went back to open a business after retiring. She lives in Sante Fe and my father in law used to work at the federal prison near the Beagle Canal at the southern tip of Argentina. I am writing to thank you for your blog and to let you know your reporting on home invasions led me to begin answering the door with a weapon. I have a cc permit and have carried for quite sometime. Whenever I came in I would take the gun off and put it in a cabinet and put it back on when I left. I began answering the door armed after reading a few home invasion accounts you gave and that is where the gratitude stems from.

New Years eve at 4:30 in the afternoon while I was in the basement on the computer surfing the web and my wife, cousin, and daughter were in the next room over doing the same there was a banging on the front door and my bird dog began barking. I ran upstairs and was half way to the door when I decided to tuck my gun in my belt. I thought it was my uncle picking up my cousin but instead it was a well dressed, middle aged black woman, with short hair, who bore a strong resemblence to Wanda Sykes, the comedian. She was at the door begging me to open it up, she said two men in a white truck had tried to rape her and that she had broke loose and needed my help. I was armed and began to open the door when something just didn't feel right. I told her I would be back and yelled downstairs for my wife to grab her gun and to call 911 and tell them a woman is on our porch claiming to have been raped. I went back to the door and noticed she was wearing a sling and had her other hand inside as if to keep warm. She again asked me to open up the door. I told the lady to hang tight. She then said she needed a ride. By this time my wife was asking for a description of the woman and the police were telling her that officers where on the way. I again, within ear shot ask my wife if she was armed and while looking down at the womans face through the door I began giving a very detailed description. She knew at that moment I was on with the police and took off. My wife was watching the back door (she had my back so to speak) while I was at the front and she was on with the police. The police pulled up, two cars, 2 minutes after she took off. They asked where she was and I told them which direction she headed and one of the officers told me she had just held a knife to a guys throat a block away and got his wallet. They took off in the direction I pointed. I found out later that another witness saw her get in a white truck with two black males. The attempt failed. I am assuming she was to get in and threaten me and the guys in the truck would have pulled up and came in behind her. If I would have opened the door and she would have attacked I am confident I would have killed her but I am equally confident I would have been cut in the process. This woman did not look like a thug. She looked like a school teacher. I have second guessed myself as some of my friends say they would have went outside and tried to hold her for police. All I knew was me, 5 shots of .38, and a door was all that was between my family and danger and I was not going to open that door on my own. What is still bothering me is how close I came to doing so. What if she would have been crying and a better actor? What if I would have noticed the sling right away and thought. "Oh my. She is hurt." and opened the door? What if I would have done that and not stopped on the way to my door and armed myself? I just wanted to share this story you. My wifes cousin is coming up from BS next month and that is good because my wife is running out of mat'e!


Clarksville, IN USA

Congratulations Richard! You handled that very well.

People sometimes concentrate too much on shooting and visualize that as the best self defense outcome, winning the gunfight. But no, avoiding the confrontation entirely is by far the best outcome you can hope for, and awareness discipline is something no shooting school teaches.

I know what you mean when you say you almost fell for her story, it happens to all of us. Some are very good actors, or have good stories and they know what buttons to push ( help the poor raped lady, use your good will and good nature against you) but the important thing is that you did everything as you were supposed to. You had your gun with you, called 911 and kept that door shut.

You were right about not opening the door.
You're not supposed to hold her for the police. Going out you risk ambush and confrontation. Never open the door until 100% sure. Just do what you did, call the cops and let them handle it, give them an accurate description and that's it. What I do when some crime incident occurs is tell my neighbors so that they are aware of the scam and prepared in case the same person tries it with them, or the same modus operandi.

Some may be asking themselves "What to do when there's no cops answering the call?". What I would do is stay inside also, call my neighbors and warn them, ask them to look through the windows in case they see them from some blind angle. Just letting them know and being ready in case they come back is the best thing to do.

Two very important things about your story:

1) Consistency is the key for home security. There's no holidays, no fever, no I'm too tired, there's no excuse for not being consistent about your security habits. The day you slip, the day you were too tired to and got careless, that's the day they get you.

2) The school teacher look. This woman brought that image to your mind. Look how well she must have been doing her number, looking so innocent.
No one opens the door to a maniac with a hockey mask holding an axe covered in blood. It's the school teacher type, the petite teen that looks like your daughter, the guy with the clean hair cut and suit... those are the ones much more likely to make you doubt and open the door.

3) If she was armed with a large knife, at such close range, even if you shoot her she's likely to stab you and knife wounds are statistically more deadly that gun shot wounds, so I'm extra glad you didn't open that door. For contact range, the knife is better than a gun.

I hope people are reading this and taking note. These are the things we live with in Argentina on daily basis; women, very young kids, even very old ladies that look totally harmless committing crimes.

Thanks for your email Richard. Hope you had a good Christmas and New Year, and take care.



EN said...

Well now, that's an eye opener. I'm aware, but quite sure I'd have given her entry in that situation. This is very helpful.

Anonymous said...

FERFAL u forgot to tell him- buy a Glock!


Anonymous said...

Glad it worked out for you.

Sad to say, it may have been better she ended up filled with lead. She's a thug and will continue to threaten others.

Hopefully her next prey will be equally awake and aware.


Anonymous said...

The latest scam in my neighborhood is, "My car's broken down." Three breakdowns in front of my house? Nice try. I work in law enforcement, and raise German Shepherds and train them in Schutzhund. And I wear my gun and extra ammo at all times.

You'll understand if I don't sign my name.

parabarbarian said...

I have carried a gun at home for several years now. My wife and daughter used to look at me funny until they read a few accounts of home invasions. Like you said it is not the obvious threat you need to worry most about, it is the stranded motorist, the UPS guy, even that nicely dressed young missionary could be a point man for a home invasion gang. There was a report just last week of a home invasion in Nevada County, California by two males in "police type uniforms".

Because of the stupid transport laws here I usually lock the gun up when I leave and retrieve it immediately when I get home. I live in a neighborhood still considered "good" but I'm looking for a way to hide a gun in my car to narrow the window of opportunity for someone to force his way in.

Anonymous said...

God works in mysterious ways. I was the Texan that sent in the home invasion post on 12/23 that helped kick off that discussion. I am stunned without adequate words. God Bless and stay safe.

FerFAL said...

Great comments guys, thanks.

The cop disguise is a classic and one of the most effective ways in because good guys dont want to have trouble with cops.
Best thing to do is still, be extra cautious.

If that gut feeling tells you something isn't right, if there's no real reason for them to be at your door, just tell him "you know what, I'll call 911 and check just in case". The call costs you nothing, not being cautious may cost you dearly.


Lamb said...

There have been many home invasions in the town I live in within the past year. I had two attempts made here, but in one case, slamming the door and locking up scared them off, the second time I actually had to fight the person physically. My damn good dog helped on that, too. I will never be without a good dog again!
After that, I started answering the door with my gun. It is the best way.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the kind words. It set us on edge for days. DaShui. I have a glock 19. I traded a beretta tomcat and a jericho 941 for it two days after the incident! I also got a tlr-3 light and a factory 33 round to go wih it. The reason we have j frame smiths for our home defense/carry weapons is my wife. That is the weapon she can shoot and is comfortable with. While having the Glock would have been nice, having a spouse that I was able out of the blue to say "get your gun and call 911" and within 30 seconds of the first contact knowing she had the back door covered and was on the phone with the police was comforting. Ferfal can back me up on this. Argentine women can be very strong willed, and she wants nothing that involves racking back a slide. To Texas we both say "Amen" and offer our gratitude. God Bless and be safe.

Don Williams said...

I would note that you don't have to answer the door if you have a two-story house. Leave the door locked --open an upstairs window, lean out and ask the person at the door what they want.

You have the high ground --kinda like s castle guard.

You can do the same thing with a one story house by installing a TV camera and a speaker --lets you inspect and converse with someone at the front door without unlocking it.

recon said...

I don't think anyone wants to shoot a woman. Following her out into the street to hold her for police is just asking for trouble; that's not your job. And I wouldn't be surprised if it could get you in legal trouble as well.

I think this guy acted perfectly.

Anonymous said...

In some cities, the houses have ornamental iron cages around the front door. Maybe some of us need to look into ornamental iron.

Anonymous said...

Home invasion:

Julia said...

How much training does one need to use a knife? I recall you saying your wife carries one when out.

I've always thought a knife fight would involve some level of skill. Something like 'if you don't know how to use it someone can take it away from you and use it on you'. They say that about guns, but I wouldn't let anyone disarm me.

I'd like to consider a knife, but I'm bit nervous. What type of knife would be good for a woman?

K-Tek Wheat Grinder said...

This is such a scary topic... I've been having the conversation with my wife about this - there's really no reason to ever open a door to a stranger. Even if they're not out to get you, they're going to try and sell you something. Best to avoid it either way.

Anonymous said...

The Lord works in mysterious ways.

Yeah, so?

The Good Lord does not send home invaders to people's homes to harass, maim, kill or steal, period.

That is a LACK of God. Neither God nor Jesus approve, I'm sure. However, after reading the Koran (spell it as you will) spreading Allah's word (by overpopulation or force) perhaps you could say that Allah works in mysterious ways including Homeland Invasions.

What you've been given (by nature and/or by God) are a body and a mind to train, to keep yourself, your family and your friends/countrymen safe.

Sorry to sound callous.

Peace out and may it never come to violence for any of you.