Had a break in last night...

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Had a break in last night...

Post by Toma-kun on Wed 27 Jan 2010 - 15:08

First off, we lived in one of the rougher parts of Oakland for nearly 10 years and we've never had a break in. We've lived in a nice, modern, quiet neighborhood in San Leandro for a little over 6 years and we get a break in.

The worst part? It happened in a window of about 40 minutes. There are 7 people living in our house, 5 of us left for church at 7PM leaving my sister-in-law and her two month old daughter home alone. Sometime between 7PM when we left and 7:45PM when we got back, two people managed to get inside the house with no one noticing. From what the police could gather, one of the living room windows must have been unlocked and was worked open, then they went straight up to the master bedroom and proceeded to ransack it for all it was worth. We live next to a walking trail, so it's very possible that they hopped the fence; it's pretty high, but there's no barbed wire on it or anything like that.

I guess at some point one of the thugs noticed that there was one closed door in the whole house... my sister-in-law's room, which had no lock and she had no idea who was in the house. She called my brother (her husband) right as we were leaving the chapel and she sounded distraught; she reported hearing noises and thought that maybe we were home, but we weren't. She then started to worry even more because her door opened and she was greeted with a flashlight and the intruder. God must have been watching out for us because I guess they got spooked when they found out there was someone home and they took off with whatever little things they managed to dig up in my parents' room. My brother took off running when he could hear the terror in her voice over the phone; I'm actually really surprised how well she handled the whole situation.

The freaky part? The bastards went out the front door and as we were about to pull up to our driveway, we saw two suspicious people with what looked like bags over their shoulders walking down the street. We didn't read too much into it because there's no solid evidence they were doing anything wrong, but in all likelihood, that was them. We drove around the neighborhood after calling the cops, but they must have gone while we were still finding out what happened. They took a bunch of my parents' stuff; all of my mom's jewelry, some cash, my dad's laptops, various credit cards, and the plasma TV was on the floor ready to be transported. I'm guessing they were planning a MUCH larger heist, but they didn't count on someone being home so they panicked and just cut bait with whatever they had in the bags. I had my laptops and handhelds LAYING around everywhere in the house and none of them were taken!

I have a very strong feeling that this WILL happen again; the neighborhood is very quiet and so it instills a very false sense of safety and security; unlike in Oakland where you have to sleep with one eye open. Plus, these fuckers now know what we have in the house so they'll be tempted for a second shot. We have an alarm, but since my sister-in-law started living with us and staying at home most nights, we don't turn the alarm on; which as it turns out was a critical error. So we'll start turning on the perimeter alarm so if any of the doors or windows are jimmied, at least the alarm will sound and alert everybody. I'm also going to install some motion sensing flood lights in the back yard, which I'm hoping is enough to scare the average thief from sticking around. And lastly, I'm going to get a strap. I've been meaning to stockpile weapons for a while now and if this isn't a sign to get off my ass, I don't know what it is. They won't do much good if they get in while we're not around, but these guys are likely to get bolder and might resort to breaking in when people are asleep, so I want to be ready for them should they make such a terrible decision.

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Re: Had a break in last night...

Post by maverick375 on Wed 27 Jan 2010 - 16:28

I have a somewhat limited knowledge of California weapons laws, but you really need to study them carefully, as they are insanely restrictive depending on the locality, especially firearms. Also, know your defensive use of force laws.
Living in Ohio, I would doubt that those people would have walked out of this home, had they caught anyone here in your sister's position. The law backs us under our state's castle doctrine, though many states refuse to pass such laws because of the "political" weight of such laws. Those complaints are not brought by people that have ever been in your position, that is, victims of an at-home invasion.

In my personal opinion, if someone is going to break into a home for the purpose of theft, they should be treated as if they are there with intent to commit murder. There is no way to determine their intent safely, so you have to assume the worst.

If you go the firearm route, make sure everyone is trained up on them, including consistent practice time. The only thing worse than not having a gun is to have it taken from you by someone who is now really ticked off from being on the business end of it. The local or state chapters of the NRA have good info and classes availiable, and also have the ladies check out http://www.corneredcat.com
It's a site by a woman who does a pretty good job explaining firearms and their usage in a lady-friendly format.

On the less-aggressive front, you've got the basics covered. Vigilance in the basics, like locking windows, is the least you should do.

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Re: Had a break in last night...

Post by TTIO on Wed 27 Jan 2010 - 16:34

Man, that's terrible :/
At least it was only stuff that was taken though - and now you'll be able to make sure they can't get back...

I've heard of a tracking device for laptops - that is, you can get something that'll break into wifi and report it's location based on nearby networks. Don't know how realistic such an idea is though.

Hope they can't get in again <_<

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Re: Had a break in last night...

Post by theprodigalson on Wed 27 Jan 2010 - 19:07

I don't know how you feel about pets, especially with that many people in the house, but I have always felt the right dog is the perfect home security system.

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Re: Had a break in last night...

Post by ElfenMagix on Wed 27 Jan 2010 - 22:04

This is somebody you know, or at least somebody that knows you, your family and your house. This was too specific in the timing and items taken. Also the speed of the crime is another factor.

Thank god no one was hurt. Most burglars are cowards when confronted. They dont want a death sentence if they get into that situation and would rather run than fight. But there are a tiny few percent that are killers. Most of the stuff is recoverable. Hope that it is recovered.

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Re: Had a break in last night...

Post by Guest on Thu 25 Feb 2010 - 17:39

I had a friend that just lost everything he owned. Games, large screen TV, money. You name it, they took it. The problem is that it was someone he knew. They go rid of everything long before he could do anything.

AS far as being straped, unless your very proficient with such things I would leave them alone. A base ball bat or a good squirt gun filled with something nasty that will not do permeate damage is a better approach. I like my 8lb sledgehammer when push comes to shove.

Dale

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Re: Had a break in last night...

Post by Toma-kun on Fri 26 Feb 2010 - 15:47

Too late, we're strapped to the gills now! My younger brother got a XD-9, I got a Glock 29, and my dad got a Glock 21SF. I'm not going to lie, I'd rather not kill or maim someone in my home, but when you need it and don't have it, you sing a different tune. An elderly couple got it really bad with a home invasion here in the Bay Area and I don't even want to imagine that happening to us.

On a more positive note, we go to the range at least twice a month now and I've found that it's a really good bonding activity, particularly with my dad who used to be a cop in the Philippines. We share very little hobbies with him so it's good to see him enjoying himself and reliving his youth. Very Happy

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Re: Had a break in last night...

Post by Guest on Fri 26 Feb 2010 - 17:30

Humm, the law is a strange thing. You might see it as defending your home and others might not. Here in NY the key phrase to say after a discharge that hits someone is: "I was in fear for my life."

The down side to a gun is that once the trigger is pulled you can't take it back.

But nice choice of tools.

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Re: Had a break in last night...

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