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KyJim
June 7, 2006, 11:30 PM
I got a call at work today. My home had been broken into while my wife and I were at work. My two teenage daughters were at home. Here's how one local TV station reported it:

Man Admits To LEX 18 He's Responsible For Morning Home Invasion Robbery

A 25-year-old man admitted Wednesday that he broke into a Lexington home Wednesday morning, and he knows he gave two teenagers quite a scare. From behind bars, he talked to LEX 18 about why he did it.

The incident happened at a home . . . on the city's south side. . . . Police say two sisters, ages 17 and 14, heard a suspect break a back window. They locked themselves in a bedroom and called the police. Officers who happened to be about a block away were called to the home and a rookie officer who had only been on the job for a few weeks says he noticed Joshua Pemberton looking out a back window. So he went into the home and made the arrest.

In an interview with LEX 18 from the Fayette County Detention Center, Pemberton admitted he broke in to the home and said he never intended on hurting anyone.

"I was supposed to be looking for a job to make money," said Pemberton. "I ended up doing something I shouldn't have done."

Pemberton doesn't deny the crime, but says the charges of first-degree burglary are too stiff. He says he had no idea that one of the items he stole was a gun and he says he never intended on hurting anyone. "My intention was looking for drugs, looking for drugs only," he said "If I would have seen those girls or heard those girls, I would have left. I wouldn't have got the gun. I don't need a gun for nothing."

Pemberton knows the road ahead isn't going to be easy. "I've got to learn from my mistakes," he said.

Police are also looking to see if Pemberton is connected to any other crimes.


Up front, I want to thank the LEO involved, especially the rookie cop who was just 5 weeks out of academy and still riding with a training officer. We are writing a letter to the chief. The officer knew our kids were in there and actually had to kick down our back door to gain entry (so much for deadbolts).

The scumbag first knocked on the door, apparently to see if anybody was at home. This woke my kids (they are teenagers and sleep late). They had been trained not to open the door for strangers. When the oldest heard somebody in the back, she went to her sister's bedroom where the youngest still was. The bedroom is just across the hallway from our bedroom, where the guy chose his entry point. Because of this, they were unable to exit the bedroom. They called 911 with a cordless phone and the dispatcher stayed online until police had control of the situation. The burglar was apparently unaware they were in the house but their bedroom would probably have been the next one ransacked.

The guy used a pillowcase from our bed to stash his takings. One was a revolver I kept in the bedroom. It was in a holster and he had taken the revolver out of the holster and placed the handgun in his goodie bag. There's no way he was unaware he was taking a handgun. This is important because it raises the classification of the offense, making it punishable by 10 to 20 years (he apparently has prior convictions and may be charged as a persistent felony offender which would increase the possible sentence).

Questions:

1. Do you tell your kids not to answer the door to strangers? In this instance, the burglar probably would have gone to another house had they answered. However, we have always been concerned that even a locked storm door provided minimal protection against someone who actually wants to enter to commit bodily harm.

2. Until my kids were old enough to understand not to touch, I did not leave a loaded firearm in the house. Is leaving a loaded revolver near the bedside while I'm not at home a tactical mistake? Do others do this?

On question 2, it may be relevant that my wife has been anti-gun for many years since a friend was killed with an "unloaded" gun by a drunk who was playing with it. As a result, my daughters have not been taught to use firearms. I know I may get flamed about this but this was one of those differences that could have resulted in very serious marital problems and something we just agreed to disagree about.

BillCA
June 8, 2006, 12:55 AM
Zounds! I'm glad the girls are alright and the situation ended well. How are the girls reacting to it?

Scenarios for kids home alone...
Your kids are old enough to use some discretion about answering the door. Someone knocks at the door or rings the bell and one of them yells across the house "I'll get it, Dad." leading the visitor to think at least two people are home. Then use the eye-spy to check the visitor out before opening the door. The deadbolt and door chain should both be locked while kids are home alone. Talk to the visitor through the door if necessary. You can figure other tactics from here.

Bedroom gun...
Tactically, yes it's a mistake to leave a gun unsecured in the bedroom when you are away. This example shows why and how easily it could be stolen. Worse yet, if the guy had decided to assault your daughters he could have used your own gun. Not a pretty thought.

Now is the time to talk to your daughters and get their opinions on the situation. Involve your wife with the discussion too so she can hear first hand their reactions (undoubtedly this is on-going). Ask the girls what they think could have helped them feel more secure or at least less vulnerable. If they mention guns at all, let them argue with your wife about letting you show them how to shoot.

By the way, praise your daughters for keeping their heads and calling the cops. They were certainly very lucky the officers were close by.

chemist308
June 8, 2006, 01:07 AM
2. Until my kids were old enough to understand not to touch, I did not leave a loaded firearm in the house. Is leaving a loaded revolver near the bedside while I'm not at home a tactical mistake? Do others do this?

At 12 years old I had a 22 rifle and anywhere from 100 - 1000 rounds in my room. At 14 I knew where my dad's 357 and 22 pistols were stashed, though at that point I also had a 410 in my room. With today's environment I'm not advising you to make the same choices my parents made, but whether they admit it or not it's likely those kids made a very concious choice not to go for a firearm.

I'm really glad everybody is okay.

threefivesevenmag
June 8, 2006, 01:10 AM
KyJim,

I am glad nobody was hurt. That must have been some scare. I can relate closely to your situation, I am from Kentucky and it's a great state, but bad things happen anywhere.

I don't have kids, but my girlfriend and I will never answer the door unless we are expecting company. We have packages delivered to an alternative address when at all possible. If I had kids, I would surely have a no-strangers rule, even deliveries unless totally expected.

The loaded gun is dangerous when not secured, not usually from family who understand rules, but thieves and outsiders who might gain access to it. I would invest in an electronic safe that can be bolted in a drawer or specific area and still accessed in an emergency. That way, you or family members could get to it (if possible) and more than likely nobody else.

That must be a scary situation, that the robber had a loaded gun, but luckily unaware of the presence of your daughters. I think it brings up a valid point for CCWers to carry or at least have quick access to a firearm incase of a home invasion like this truly was.

I hope he gets the maximum sentence. Hope you are doing well in this stressful time, it all ended with nobody hurt and lessons to be thought over.

hawken50
June 8, 2006, 01:30 AM
1. Do you tell your kids not to answer the door to strangers? In this instance, the burglar probably would have gone to another house had they answered.
or so he says. he also said he had no idea your gun was a gun.

although i wish this scum had gotten what was coming to him, i'm glad your children didn't have to be the ones to give it to him.

i'm glad your family is ok, and internet gun forum opinions aside, what you teach your kids about firearms is between you and your wife.

HK_P7
June 8, 2006, 01:58 AM
Sorry to hear about the break-in, good thing nobody got hurt.

I am not a parent, but I don't even bother to open the door for strangers when I'm at home alone during the day. I give the same advice to my GF when I'm not around, you never know what could happen.

As for the handgun issue, I suggest a key-coded safe with a door that springs open, if you plan to leave a firearm loaded. Bolt it down to something (ie Bedframe, closet shelf etc) in a hidden area and keep the code to yourself. A firearm loaded that is easily accessible is a trouble waiting to happen. Worst of all, you may be held responsible.

For your Daughter's, how about something less lethal to protect themselves, like pepperspray? I have a LE friend who got peppersprayed and he told me he was completely disoriented for about 5-10 minutes. Enough time to get out of the house and notify the authorities.

choochboost
June 8, 2006, 02:02 AM
If you had a security system he wouldn't have gained entry. You could be at work with the peace of mind knowing the house is protected along with your sleeping teenage girls.

Glad everyone is ok.

VeT|Us
June 8, 2006, 02:31 AM
Have you considered getting a rottweiler?

Blackwater OPS
June 8, 2006, 04:32 AM
The best thing in this case would be a steel security door. You(or your daughters) can open the primary door and see who is there but still have that steel between you and the out side, plus it's hard to see in. A monitered alarm system is also a good idea.

Also my advice is to take the kids to the range, they did the right thing 100% but worst case senario they should have a means of armed defence. If you can't do that then get a quick access(gun vault) type safe for the bed side so at least your gun will not be used against them while you are away.

Hopefully this incident will be a wakeup call for your wife that your kids need to be able to protect themselves, especially now that they are older. The next nutcase that breaks in could be an armed rapist(G*d forbid).

Duxman
June 8, 2006, 06:57 AM
Glad you and your kids are OK.

Aside from the great suggestions already posted - a dog is a great deterrent. I have a 60 pound bulldog that when he is ****** - has a really deep growl that even scares me sometimes.

This is enough to discourage the would be robber from entering my home when I am not around. And it only costs dog food and a regular walk. (Poop pick up as well....:D )

Mikeyboy
June 8, 2006, 07:21 AM
I'm glad everything is OK, and your kids did a great job. I hope my kids do the same if god forbid it happened in my home.

However you touched on a big pet peeve of mine.
The guy used a pillowcase from our bed to stash his takings. One was a revolver I kept in the bedroom. It was in a holster and he had taken the revolver out of the holster and placed the handgun in his goodie bag. There's no way he was unaware he was taking a handgun.

It could have gotten real ugly if he knew he had a loaded firearm. For your kids, for the responding officers. When they are not in your control, KEEP YOUR GUNS LOCKED UP. A cheap keypad lockbox, a trigger lock, cable lock, ANYTHING is better that having a loaded gun laying around to be used by some scumbag to murder or rape someone in your family, or to use against responding police.

Musketeer
June 8, 2006, 09:51 AM
Glad your kids are alright and give them a big pat on the back for keeping their heads!

Your guns should be secured when you are not in control of them. I have an unlocked handgun in the top drawer of my dresser next to my bed only when I am sleeping there. All other times it is on my person or locked.

Security systems are nice but I put my faith in my 110# Rhodesian Ridgeback.

PythonGuy
June 8, 2006, 10:46 AM
Glad your girl's are safe, that's the main thing. I'd get an alarm, dog if possible, and the finger keyed safe for the bedroom gun. There are more preditors lurking about these days waiting to steal or worse, the situation doesn't always lend itself to protection by firearms. Your #1 weapon should always be your brain, and although 100% safety can't always be attained, you can get the odds much more in your favor. I have a 17 year old and a 9 year old that are home together when my wife and I go out. I got the best doors and locks possible, a dog that barks at strangers. I have grilled the children on security, but kids will be kids. Giving a kid a gun, even one you think you trained, is not a very bright idea, its a special situation at best. Thank god your daughters made it OK.

oderus1671
June 8, 2006, 11:21 AM
good to hear everyone is ok. Hats off to your girls for keeping a cool head in that mess! I would reward them nicely!
This is my first post on this forum, so i look forward to talking to each of ya'll.
-I read your thread and have a suggestion. There are new gun safes out now that use fingerprint technology to open them (biometrics) and arent as expensive as they sound. They are nice in the fact that they allow really quick access only to you and whoever you want to have access to you gun.
-I agree with BillCA about keeping an unsecured loaded firearm by your bed. Hes right when he says that an intruder can use your own weapon against you or your family. This exact same thing happened to some folks i knew. Luckily the intruder was on dope and could barely see!
-Perhaps this incident, no matter how ugly, could have a silver lining. Maybe you can show your wife the advantages of knowing how to properly keep, use, and store a weapon. Getting your kids involved too is a great way to spend some quality time together on a Saturday afternoon!
Just my 2 cents.

steelheart
June 8, 2006, 11:41 AM
Thank God your girls are okay! In your situation, I would get an alarm system installed. I would also get a VERY big dog and post "Beware of Dog" signs at all doors. There are some small, nice looking ones that are available that stick in the ground - not the black and neon orange type that look like "for sale" signs. I think I have seen the new style signs at Petsmart or one of the pet chain stores.

As far as a dog, I would recommend a Rottweiler - get in touch with a good breeder and ask for a puppy that comes from a BIG mom and dad, one that will grow up to be 100 pounds or more. Males will grow larger than females; some people say that females have a more friendly disposition, but I believe it is all in how they are raised. Any breed or gender can grow up to be a gentle giant or an antisocial intimidating animal - it is all in how they are raised.

A Rottie from a good breeder won't be cheap - if money is an issue, you can get a homeless pup from your local animal shelter for a song. At present, I have a German Shepherd/Labrador/Great Dane mix that I got when he was about 4 months old. He has grown into a 115 lb. adult that is gentle, loving, extremely protective of his home and my wife and me - and when a stranger knocks at the door, he projects some SERIOUS intimidation power! No burgular wants to break in on a dog - especially a BIG, threatening dog.

Good luck and be safe.;)

McBrideGuns
June 8, 2006, 11:56 AM
first of all i just want to say im glad everything turned out ok in your situation but i have a question for everyone who has posted a reply on this subject i have an artical from one of my computer games *guns&ammo* and i am just wondering if anyone has tried this and if so does it really work in the artical the man has set up a *safe room* in his house and in the wall entering the room he has drilled a small hole and fixed a canister of OC gas inside the wall so it will spray out the hole which he has attatched to a string that runs through the wall going into a closet inside the safe room when the string is pulled it depresses the button on the can and fills the hallway with the gas

pax
June 8, 2006, 12:24 PM
BillCA (post #2) gave the best advice so far, IMO.

Listen to him!

pax

KyJim
June 8, 2006, 04:31 PM
Thanks for all the good wishes and replies.

1. I have a gun safe but will purchase a lock box with a keypad combination for securing the bedroom weapon (I'll check out the one with fingerprint authorization, too).

2. We'll either be getting a security door or an intercom system for the front so the kids can answer without opening door.

3. I'm not up on alarm systems but we asked the local police about this and they said the guy would have just cut the line and gone in. I suspect systems might differ. We're going to check further.

4. Probably won't get a dog. We have two house dogs (useless) and are looking forward to being able to travel in a few years without worrying about boarding pets.

Another point I thought about -- the kids were lucky because my wife had placed a cordless phone in the bedroom so she could call and wake the youngest up. The two kids share a cell phone. I'm going to get another and make sure they have one in each bedroom.

As far as my wife is concerned, she did not freak out about the gun, so we'll be doing some talking.

Again, thanks for the replies.

Blackwater OPS
June 8, 2006, 05:07 PM
3. I'm not up on alarm systems but we asked the local police about this and they said the guy would have just cut the line and gone in. I suspect systems might differ. We're going to check further.

Well, they don't know jack. A monitered system will give a trouble signal in that situation which will result in the same phone call as an activation, if the line is dead or no one on the other end gives the code word the cops get called. Also many have battery backups that will still sound an audible alarm that will scare off most bad guys and warn occupants. This is not nearly as important as the other suggestions given however, and is only useful in a worst case scenario.

stephen426
June 8, 2006, 05:32 PM
Jim,

I'm glad that your girls are okay. It must have been pretty scary for them. You might want to consider some counseling for the girls to help them get over the situation. I don't buy that crap from the guy who broke into your house. Had he found your girls home alone, his intentions could have taken a turn for the worse. Are you going to trust a self admitted druggie to not be an animal? Kudos to the quick response of the police officers.

There are actually 2 ways around having a bad guy cut the phone line. As Blackwater OPS mentioned, you can have line monitoring which sends a signal periodically to the alarm company to confirm the line is working. I have the other option which is even better. Cellular backup works even if the line has been cut and notifies the alarm company using a modified cell phone. It does cost more per month though and the equipment is extra.

In addition to the extra cell phone you are going to get for you daughter, you might want to get them both a good personal defense spray such as Fox Labs. I don't believe there is a minimum age for possession and they can carry it with them pretty much everywhere (except planes and federal buildings). You might also want to consider upgrading your doors.

I hope your wife sees how important it is to be able to defend yourself. I can understand her aversion to guns as her friend's suicide must have been pretty traumatic. She might come around, but it will take time. I wouldn't push her too hard though. Again, glad to hear that things worked out for the girls.

Glockamolie
June 8, 2006, 05:35 PM
"Another point I thought about -- the kids were lucky because my wife had placed a cordless phone in the bedroom so she could call and wake the youngest up. The two kids share a cell phone. I'm going to get another and make sure they have one in each bedroom."

A cell is a good backup, but I would prefer a land line, as with enhanced 911, they police will know your address without anyone saying a word. Depending on your setup, it can be hard to identify and cut the line coming in. A cell would be good, but a cordless with several handsets would be a priority, IMHO.

Don H
June 8, 2006, 07:09 PM
The problem with cordless phones is that if the power is cut, the phones don't work.

Edward429451
June 8, 2006, 08:03 PM
My (boys) had major caliber handguns in their room at 14...They were precocious though.

Next time I'm caught speeding, I'm gonna use that defense! I didn't know I was speeding in a 'vehicle', LOL:D

Glad your girls are ok btw.

BigO01
June 8, 2006, 08:15 PM
Glad the kids are fine , but you got realy lucky with this . The fact that the police were just around the corner is one you can't count on . At 17 and 14 the girls should be trained to use the gun in a life treatening situation which this could easily have become in a matter of seconds .

You realy need to get a locked safe for that pistol that can be secured to a wall or floor . There are many that are under a hundred dollars and while they aren't 3 inch thick steel if a burglar doesn't have cutting tools he isn't going to get into it .

As far as a dog goes I would go to the local dog pound and pick up a couple of nice mixed breed pups that are say Sheppard , Lab , Chow or Collie mix and will grow up to be about 50-60 lbs+ Forget the monster $1,000 Rotties or whatever , most people realy don't want a 100-150 lb dog running around the house . The smaller midsized dog if treated as a family member and well loved will protect you and yours with it's life and having two will give them someone to play with when a family member is just not interested in playing with the dog .

skeeter1
June 8, 2006, 08:21 PM
I'm glad everyone is OK, and it sounds like the rookie cop deserves to be commended on a job well done.

One of my shooting buddies has a 98lb. Doberman, and if she doesn't keep people out, nothing will. Fortunately for me, I've known the dog for years, and she likes me, but I sure wouldn't want to be someone who be someone who broke into their house and ****** that dog off!

garryc
June 8, 2006, 08:54 PM
Let me lay some cold hard facts on you KYJIM. I have many inmates in my prison who are in for Burglary or Robbery and Kidnapping and Rape, and also murder to get rid of witnesses. These scumbags did not enter the home or business with the intention of committing a rape/murder, they did it because they had an opportunity at a defenseless female. The key word being DEFENSELESS!! Any real resistance by the female, and by real I mean no less than a firearm, would have stopped the crime. Criminals are gamblers that figure the odds, you have to turn those odds against them.
Had he known the girls were home and defenseless he would have likely gone farther. That is if he had already committed a crime. He would not want to leave witnesses and he likely would have accosted them prior to killing them. Yes that is brutal, but take my word for it, that is the way it is. With my 14 years as a corrections officer, working in close quarters with thousands of these scum bags, you can take my word on it.
Most people live in a bubble. They say it can’t happen to me or mine. But Jim, it darn near happened to yours. You and your wife need to recognize that and answer it affirmatively.
Do not raise defenseless women in a world of predators!!
That’s my two bits

choochboost
June 8, 2006, 11:09 PM
if the line is dead or no one on the other end gives the code word the cops get called.
That's what I call bad procedures. The monitoring company should not start with the assumption that it is a false alarm. they should call the police right away.

Also many have battery backups that will still sound an audible alarm that will scare off most bad guys and warn occupants.
The only way cut phone lines affect alarm systems is preventing the system communicate to the monitoring station. A back-up battery would not even come in to play in that scenario. Yes, the siren will ring, cut phone lines or not, and they are quite effective at chasing off the bad guy a good percentage of the time...especially when its a residential break-in.

There are actually 2 ways around having a bad guy cut the phone line.
There is at least a third way. Its been given the moniker of "buddy backup" by some. What they do is send a wireless signal to a neighboring system and use that systems communication capabilities to report for the compromised system. It is cheaper than cell backup, but it obviously wouldn't work in remote areas.

Edward429451
June 8, 2006, 11:14 PM
At 17 and 14 the girls should be trained to use the gun in a life treatening situation which this could easily have become in a matter of seconds .

Yeap. There's no safety in ignorance. Plus it builds character & discipline.

Blackwater OPS
June 8, 2006, 11:14 PM
That's what I call bad procedures. The monitoring company should not start with the assumption that it is a false alarm. they should call the police right away.

This would result in the police being called to false alarms numerous times, and that will result in LARGE fines (in OC esp.). That's why alarm companies verify alarm calls and esp. trouble calls which occur all the time absent real emergencies.

The only way cut phone lines affect alarm systems is preventing the system communicate to the monitoring station. A back-up battery would not even come in to play in that scenario. Yes, the siren will ring, cut phone lines or not, and they are quite effective at chasing off the bad guy a good percentage of the time...especially when its a residential break-in.

If the BG is going to cut phone lines, it would make sense that he might find a way to shut off the power as well.

choochboost
June 8, 2006, 11:16 PM
KyJim, I wanted to send this to you via pm or email but your preferences do not allow it. I've posted this before. Hopefully it will help you as you consider getting a security system

Why have a monitored system

Monitoring is a good thing because the thought of the police arriving is the thing that motivates the BG to run away. That is exactly what we want. If the police aren’t coming he has nothing to fear, unless of course the homeowner is present and armed. Monitoring assures that this chain reaction is in place and BG's can continue to run for fear of being caught. I have known several cases where the BG initially fled the premises but lingered in the area, and when there is no police response he returned, ignoring the siren, to finish the job. The siren is not for the neighbors, it is for the BG, to tell him his presence has been detected. That's why I don't believe in outside sirens. Internal sirens are the way to go and the more ear-splitting and piercing they are, the better, as it might discourage them from grabbing your stereo on their way out. Unmonitored systems just ring, and that's it. Nobody cares. An outside siren just annoys everyone in the neighborhood. Residential alarms and car alarms go off all the time and nobody pays any attention. Monitored security systems can protect your home while you are away. But even if you don't care about your "stuff", monitored systems also ensure that your unoccupied home is safe for your wife to return to when she comes back from the grocery store. A young mother was recently murdered in my area, where that exact thing happened. She came home, disturbed a burglar in her home, and after he raped her he stabbed her to death.

SOP and false alarms

Different monitoring companies have different standard operating procedures (SOP) and most tailor their SOP to deal with the problem of false alarms. False alarms are the bane of the industry and the reasons why cops are now refusing to respond in many cities. The number one cause of false alarms is customer error. In order to deal with this, the industry has adopted something referred to as “alarm verification”, where the monitoring station calls the residence to confirm whether or not this is a real event or just a false alarm. This means that every signal is assumed to be a false alarm and the police are only called when it cannot be confirmed to be false. Something is wrong with that process. Some of these big companies even boast about their SOP and feature them prominently in their national TV advertising. You’ll see commercials where a residential alarm goes off and then the security company calls the residence to verify. This is not providing protection, it's unnecessarily delaying the arrival of assistance. The very first thing the monitoring company should do is call the police without delay. The delay in dispatching police also gives the bad guy several minutes to roam freely throughout your house and take whatever he wants (while the phone rings) knowing the police haven’t even been notified yet. You also want the police dispatched ASAP because the result of any delay could be loss of life. Yours or the BG. You have your firearms to protect you, but you want the police to arrive ASAP so that you don’t have to kill anyone. Just so you know, there are ways to deal with customer caused false alarms where the police are immediately dispatched but then canceled by the user without them even having to pick up the phone. Its safe, much more efficient, and keeps cops happy. I’ll save the details of that for another time. For the record, although the monitoring company initially calls the police, they should still call the residence in attempt to connect with the homeowner. In the event of a actual intrusion the homeowner is connected with the outside world and can provide info to the police.

Perimeter protection

There is no protection without perimeter protection. Perimeter protection means that all accessible (some prefer all) windows and doors are wired. This lets you move about freely in your home with the system armed. Although the technology in motion detectors/passive infrared detectors has improved in recent years with self-verification and the ability to discern the difference between a small pets and a human walking around, they should still be considered a back-up to the primary protection provided by your perimeter protection. After user error, motion detectors are biggest cause of false alarms so should not be counted on as your primary defense. They are also relatively easy to defeat if you know what you're doing. Not only that, but if your entire system is motion detection based, then you have no protection at all when you're at home. Perimeter protection gives you early warning of an intrusion before the BG is in your home. When the system goes off at night waking you up, you can retrieve your firearm and make sure your family is safe and accounted for knowing that there is a good chance the BG is still outside and the police have already been dispatched and are on their way. You cannot control whether the police response will be fast or slow, but at least they have been notified, and you’re already doing your own part to ensure the safety of your family – gun in hand.

What company to deal with

Stay away from any company whose name you recognize such as Brinks, ADT, etc. You might think that national recognition would be a good thing but in most cases its not. The reason why they are nationally known and so large is because they built themselves into the huge corporation that they are on those monthly monitoring contracts. Most of these big companies set up agreements with small companies where the small company becomes the "authorized dealer" of the big company's products. It’s a very symbiotic relationship for them. The small company gets full advertising rights and privileges to use the big company's name and logo which brings in the business, and once the customer signs on the dotted line, the small company sells the contract to the big company. These contracts are usually 2-5 years and provide the big company with the re-occurring revenue generated by the monthly monitoring fees. They might as well be selling cell phones…it’s the same principle. The smaller company is no longer concerned about the customer since they already got what they wanted out of the deal. They are not motivated to provide continued service since there is nothing in it for them. Because it’s all about throwing the system together and getting the contract signed, inferior equipment is often used and poorly installed. A great example of poor quality equipment are the systems that are compromised of all-in-one units, where it is the keypad, control panel (brains), and siren, all in one unit. It’s usually large and ugly and situated right inside the entry way. All the BG has to do is break in and take a hammer to the thing and it is defeated. This not a security system. They install systems like this to save time...and time is money. They get the equipment in ASAP, get the contract signed, sell it to the larger company, and everybody wins...except the customer. They don't care about the product installed, or whether the job was done well, as long as you sign on the dotted line they are happy. Because these companies are getting your money every month, there is no incentive to keep you a happy customer and their customer service may not be so great when you need service work or decide to upgrade to additional protection. For the record, a quality hard-wire installation could take a full day or more depending on the size and construction of the house, and you won't even know its there.

Capt Charlie
June 8, 2006, 11:25 PM
Very informative Chooch, thanks. But while you gave good info on what outfit not to do business with, you said little about about what we should look for in an alarm company. How 'bout a few pointers in that area :) .

choochboost
June 8, 2006, 11:26 PM
This would result in the police being called to false alarms numerous times, and that will result in LARGE fines (in OC esp.).
Homeowners cause most false alarms, I probably mentioned that it my cut 'n pasted rant above. If a homeowner causes an activation they have the ability to disarm the system. Its called a cancel code. Police may have already been contacted, but upon receiving the cancel code, the monitoring company calls the police back and cancel's their response accordingly. To be quite honest, the police are usually not in a hurry anyway, and being cancelled en-route is considered better than rolling up on scene for a false alarm. Customer caused false alarms are generally cancelled so quickly its not an issue. The problem with the monitoring company verifying by calling the premises is the unnecessary delay that can result in loss of life. I'm sure that if the bad guy that broke into KyJim's house had discovered his girls, KyJim would not feel comfortable with any delay in police response at all. Every second would count.

If the BG is going to cut phone lines, it would make sense that he might find a way to shut off the power as well.
Yes, then the backup battery would kick-in in the event of power loss. I agree it makes sense, but it rarely happens. Although I'm sure it has happened, off the top of my head I cannot recall such an event. Its mostly seen only in movies.

choochboost
June 8, 2006, 11:47 PM
while you gave good info on what outfit not to do business with, you said little about about what we should look for in an alarm company. How 'bout a few pointers in that area.
Ok. Where do I start? I would recommend a hard wired system as opposed to a wireless system. A good company should be able to completely hide every wire even when installing in a finished home that was not pre-wired. All you will see is the attached equipment such as the control panel hidden in a closet somewhere, keypads, motion detectors, etc. Even the door and window switches will be unseen. If a company does not have enough faith in their installation expertise to promise that every wire will be hidden, then don't do business with them. I mentioned monitoring procedures above. Make sure their procedures involve calling the police ASAP. You're probably better off with an experienced local company who pride themselves in a job well done. If you don't get the sense that they're in it to provide you with the protection you need, then move on. Be wary of the salesmen. Those guys could work in any industry that involves sales. They might as well be selling cars or vacuum cleaners. Make sure the rep you talk to really knows his stuff - don't let a slick salesman work his magic. Ask a lot of questions. The company should use high quality equipment and should be able to tell you what makes his equipment better than others. Some control panels have quicker communication capabilities than others for example. You'll eventually have problems with standard PIR motion detectors. The best motion detectors have a built-in verification system. There were some motion detectors out there that combined PIR technology along with what was essentially radar. The idea was that one technology would verify the other before it activated. But the best I've ever seen was a dual PIR unit that verified itself and performed even better than the PIR/radar combo. Good equipment will a cost a little more, but do you want your teenage girls protected or not? I'll also add that equipment positioning is important as well. Motion detectors should not be pointed at windows. Depending on the layout of the house, you can usually get away with one motion detector per floor. It should be positioned in a central area such as a hallway. Basically, try to cut the house in half with it, preventing the ability for movement. Keypads should not face outside windows for obvious reasons. So call different companies, ask them to come out and look at your house (every house has unique protection needs) and see who incorporates some of these ideas.

stratus
June 9, 2006, 01:03 AM
1. Do you tell your kids not to answer the door to strangers? In this instance, the burglar probably would have gone to another house had they answered. However, we have always been concerned that even a locked storm door provided minimal protection against someone who actually wants to enter to commit bodily harm.

2. Until my kids were old enough to understand not to touch, I did not leave a loaded firearm in the house. Is leaving a loaded revolver near the bedside while I'm not at home a tactical mistake? Do others do this?
1. I don't have kids but if I did, I would never ever have them answer the door to strangers for any reason.

2. If you're going somewhere it's best to stash it in the safe. Even if you don't carry, if you return home and someone's in there with a gun he conveniently found by your bed, that's not too excellent... right?

Baba Louie
June 9, 2006, 10:26 AM
Just having finished reading a book on the BTK serial killer, who had a job installing alarm systems (Yikes!) during the early part of his spree, who knew enough to cut the phone lines (another yikes!)...his initial victims had a dog, martial arts skills... and still... but enough of that. (worthy of a read tho')

I'm sooo glad your girls are OK.

Teach them shooting skills. Harden your perimeter.

NOW!

Please.

Again, I'm glad your family is safe and secure. Kudo's to your Police Dept.

I didn't know I had stolen a gun... sheesh. Yeah, Like we all believe that.

Bad things can (and do) happen to good people.

Wings
June 9, 2006, 10:49 AM
Glad everyone is okay and they got that scum! :)

choochboost
June 9, 2006, 12:25 PM
Capt Charlie,

I was just thinking of something else. Its very important how door switches are installed. I would say most companies installed them on the top of the door towards the doorknob side. This could potentially lead to false alarms or even what appears to be false alarms. There is a lot of give in that area of the door. Its the opposite side from the hinges and the only thing securing the door to that side of the frame is the door knob/deadbolt, etc.

The ideal place for the switch to be located is on the top, right in the middle of the door. This is true for two reasons: 1- its close enough to the hinges that there's not enough give to cause the secured door to be moved away from the switch causing a false alarm, and 2- it is far enough from the hinges that it will still provide instant activation when the door is opened without compromising safety.

Of course the worst would be if the switch were installed right by the hinges. In that case, because the door is never far from the hinges (obviously), it would not activate until the door was opened to nearly its fullest point. Not good.

You want a company that understands this.

skeeter1
June 9, 2006, 01:24 PM
My city recently started a "do not knock" registry. They sent out a sign that says solicitors and peddlers are not allowed to knock. It's on my front door. First offense is a fourth-degree misdemeanor with a $250 fine. Second offense is a first-degree misdemeanor, and a $1000 fine.

When someone rings the doorbell, I look out the window first, and if I don't recognize them, I don't open the door. Yes, little girls selling Girl Scout cookies are always welcome.

But anyone breaking into the house is asking to go home in a body bag.

jamaica
June 9, 2006, 01:46 PM
Man that's scary.

I am sure glad that everything turned out OK for the girls.

I had a large family. Everyone of the kids learned about guns and how to shoot at an early age. Gun education from infancy. Learning to shoot from age 6 (with adult supervision). None ever had the need to defend themselves with a gun. Thank goodness for that. The option was there though.

As far as storing guns, the rule was; No Loaded Guns in the house. The guns were unloaded and racked. The ammo went in a different spot than the guns. There was no loaded bedroom gun.

All the kids and my wife took a hunters safety course.

Now that the kids have left home, I keep a loaded handgun in the bedroom in a locked box. The rifles and shotguns are racked in the bedroom and no ammo nearby. The bedroom is locked when we leave. Not that a locked bedroom door would keep out a thief, but if the kids come to visit and we are not at home this keeps the grandkids away from the guns. My kids have a key to enter the home, not the bedroom.

Well that is me. I have had guns from my childhood, and so have my children. I believe it is a great blessing that we can have them for defense of self and home, and other uses, but also believe that with the possession of guns comes a grave responsibility to keep them secure and stored safely, and to educate all family members on gun safety and usage. We would sure feel bad if someone (innocent) was to get hurt or killed with one of our guns.

I like the idea of a small bedroom safe for a handgun. My locked box does the same thing, but is not real quick to get open, especially if you had trouble finding the key.

Para Bellum
June 9, 2006, 02:13 PM
2. Until my kids were old enough to understand not to touch, I did not leave a loaded firearm in the house. Is leaving a loaded revolver near the bedside while I'm not at home a tactical mistake? Do others do this?

On question 2, it may be relevant that my wife has been anti-gun for many years since a friend was killed with an "unloaded" gun by a drunk who was playing with it. As a result, my daughters have not been taught to use firearms. I know I may get flamed about this but this was one of those differences that could have resulted in very serious marital problems and something we just agreed to disagree about.

First of all: I am very happy for you that it turned out so nicely.

Now some criticism, positive one: A gun you don't control can be used against you. That's why I never leave any gun loaded outside the vault unless I carry it on my body. Imagine what the guy could have done to your kids with your gun. In fact, where I live you would have lost your right to own any guns for life for leaving a gun you don't actually carry unlocked.

That's also the reason why some experienced guys don't carry backup guns, but one gun and one other backup-tool such as a knife or spray. You can't control a BG and two guns in a close in fight.

If you want a ready defense tool, leave Jet Protectors ("Guardian Angels") (http://www.piexon.ch/_html/04/0402_1guardian_angel.html) or good pepper spray lying around in the house. They work and if they're turned against you, they don't kill.

Teach your kids the safe use of firearms. Tell your wife that her firend died because some drunk didn't know about the safe use of firearms. I carry 24/7 so I don't drink. Period. Strict, simple, safe and effective.

snolden
June 9, 2006, 06:17 PM
Best advice I have seen on this forum yet, all of it.

My condolences, I am sure you are shattered over this.

Ok, my advice: Talk with your spouse and your daughters and.... (god forbid) your neighbors. Between your family, and neighbors I am sure you can get something together. you sound like you are level headed. ON the gun issue, ask your daughters if they think they could kill someone. If there is no hesitation, that means NO regardless of what they say. IF they hesitate adn think about it, go with their decision, but give them the tools, training and information to make the right decision when that time comes. I doubt I could allow my 15 year old daughter the ok to do that but your daughters are different than mine.

Sean

Baba Louie
June 9, 2006, 11:02 PM
I dunno if I'd talk to the girls about killing. Maybe just stick to the basics for now, having fun punching holes in empty soda cans, paper targets, steel reactives, water filled milk jugs, watermelons, full soda cans, balloons on strings... let them put 2 and 2 together when they're ready. Perhaps some martial arts for self confidence as well.

Maybe find an NRA Refuse to be a Victim instructor and have a private (or group) session. Emphasize "stopping the attacker"... no need to get gory and deathwish-like on killing. (I hope)

Good luck Jim. Stay safe.

garryc
June 10, 2006, 10:30 AM
KYJIM SAID:
I'm going to get another and make sure they have one in each bedroom.

Make sure niether of those phones have a service. keep them charged and on the cradle, leave them on. If they have no service then no one has any reason to carry them someplace. Even cells that have no service must be able, by law, to contact 911.
You should have established safe rooms in each level of the house. these should be inaccesable from the outside. I have bars on mine that key open. Each room should have a steel door with a bolt lock and a door club. In each room there should be a gun safe, digital fast acting, containing the loaded firearm a reload and the key to the bars. Each person authorized to use the firearm should have the combo. If you have several levels in the house each should have a room and the combos for the safes should be the same. The forementioned cell phone should be in each room with it set at speaker phone if it has one. Also, in my safe room, and one in each bedroom of my house, I have a EVAC-U8 smoke hood for each house member. Each bedroom and my saferoom has a battery light.
The drill should go like this, and I mean drill regular:
The alarm is sounded, what ever that alarm is. All house hold members go to the closest room. The door is closed and bolted, then the door club is put in place. The safe is opened and 911 is called. Keeping the operator on the line constantly, the break in is reported. If the perp comes to the door he is warned, "DON"T TRY TO COME IN HERE, I HAVE THE POLICE ON THE PHONE AND I AM ARMED!!" Continue repeating that as long as he is attempting to enter. If he gets in do what you have to do while shouting STOP!!.
If he doesn't get in you will eventually be told the police are there. If a knock comes to the door and someone says he's the police ask him for his name and badge number, verify this with the operator. Place the firearm back in the safe and leave it open. Open the locks but do not remove the door club, this will allow the door to open far enough that you can see outside. If its a cop pull the club out and keep your hands exposed.
Thats my drill, I also do fire escape drills. I guess it's because of my years as a corrections officer and those as a navy HT damage control and firefighting

KyJim
June 10, 2006, 03:43 PM
Again, thanks to everyone. Choochboost -- the additional information on the alarm system is especially helpful.

stephen426
June 12, 2006, 11:21 AM
garryc,

Do you feel it is wise to have everyone in different rooms? If I were you I would designate a safe room (probably the master bedroom). If you have everyone in different rooms, there is no communication between the other family members. As for having each room having guns and a door club, I feel that might be a little excessive. Besides, it is illegal to leave firearms where they are accesible to minors (under 18). If I lived in a neighborhood where I would need to set up my house that way, I would move.

choochboost
June 12, 2006, 01:04 PM
He has safe rooms on every level of the house. Each family member goes to the closest safe room. I guess that makes sense since the MB safe room is useless if you can't get to it because the bad guys are between you and the safe room. The thought is, 2+ safe rooms are better than one. Its not what I have in my house but I understand his point.

stephen426
June 12, 2006, 01:35 PM
Chooch,

I can understand his point as well. The solution to that is to have guns hidden throughout the house. These can be in quick access type safes in discrete hiding places. My point is that all of the family members should be together if possible. This lessens the chances of "friendly fire" incidences and ensures that all family members are accounted for. Using garryc's method, you won't know if everyone is accounted for until the cops show up. Besides, who should be responsible for contacting the police? I guess 4 or 5 frantic 911 calls may get a faster response time. I guess it depends on the age of the people living in your house. If you have kids, you sure as heck would not them fending for themselves.

choochboost
June 12, 2006, 04:58 PM
I agree with you completely. I wouldn't want my daughter (if I had one) in an upstairs safe room while I was in the safe room downstairs. I would want her with me. Here's another concern - If my family is spread in different parts of the house, how am I to know if, and when they are locked in the safe rooms and when I should lock mine? You could potentially and inadvertently lock family members out. I guess you'd need a intercom system. But yes, having your entire family accounted for cannot be emphasized enough.

garryc
June 12, 2006, 10:25 PM
I live in a single level house so I have I safe room. I can see your point about wanting to insure all the people are accounted for. If I was in that situation I would go to them. But they would be in a safe room. I figure the kid would let me in (MAYBE A CODE WORD) thats not a big issue. Fact is if the perp is between me and my kid and I have to shoot him, oh well. I would go to my child after I'm armed. Ohio doesn't have an issue with kids access to guns inside the home, nor should they, it's the parents decision. Of course I don't have any children, but if I did the kids going to the closest room and it's my respocibility to get to them.

McBrideGuns
June 17, 2006, 12:37 PM
i just have to throw this in here stephen426 said something that got me to thinking "If I lived in a neighborhood where I would need to set up my house that way, I would move." how do you know if you live in a neighborhood where you need to do things like this freak things happen every were it could be someone who's just passing through the area it doesnt have to be someone who actually lives there so i dont think having the door clubs and a phone and a weapon in every one is being over bareing its like the old saying goes better to be safe than sorry

razorburn
June 17, 2006, 01:26 PM
When I grow up and have kids, I think it'll depend on the situation whether they'll be allowed to open doors for strangers. Young kids, say under 12, definately not. When they're older, and they're living in the kind of nice upscale neighborhood I'm in now, they'll be allowed to use their own judgement. Obviously, if it's 2AM and there's loud knocking by a stranger, I'd have them look through the peep first and holding a gun before making any decisions. Preferably just talk to them through the door to see what they want first. If it's a pleasant sunday morning, with lots of people walking their dogs along our streets and the neighbors kids playing basketball with their dads in their driveways etc, and one of them knocks on the door, I'd expect them to open it.

garryc
June 18, 2006, 11:40 PM
I live in a low crime area, but I'm a corrections officer these last 14yrs and I have a few "Enemies" you might say.

stephen426
June 19, 2006, 12:38 AM
i just have to throw this in here stephen426 said something that got me to thinking "If I lived in a neighborhood where I would need to set up my house that way, I would move." how do you know if you live in a neighborhood where you need to do things like this freak things happen every were it could be someone who's just passing through the area it doesnt have to be someone who actually lives there so i dont think having the door clubs and a phone and a weapon in every one is being over bareing its like the old saying goes better to be safe than sorry

I know that not everyone is fortunate enough to live in a good neighborhood, especially when it comes to expensive cities like Los Angeles, Miami, and New York. Miami has been split into many townships such as Coral Gables and Pinecrest. Both of these townships set up their own police departments and have response times far superior (usually less than 5 minutes) to that of City of Miami or Metro Dade (up to several hours). Property values are higher in these townships but the millage rate for taxes are lower. Crime can occur anywhere, but both of these townships have a much lower crime rate compared to the city of Miami in general. Do your homework and investigate the crime rates before you buy a house.

I am not saying one should not always be prepared, but putting door clubs in all bedrooms and having guns in all rooms is excessive. Besides, unless everyone uses the door club on a consistant basis, it won't mean a damn thing if the bad guy is inside the room. I failed to mention one very big weakness in garry's plan. What if the bad guy takes on of your kids hostage or claims to have one of your kids? For me, there is no option but to get everyone into the safe room. If that means taking out the bad guy on the way, so be it.

As I've mentioned on many other posts, the most important thing is prevention and advanced warning. Instead of spending all that money on door clubs and guns, I've get a good monitored alarm system or a good guard dog. Spend money on good door locks or bars for your windows. If they don't get in, then you won't have to worry about it. If the alarm goes off and they leave, even better. For me, the last option is a shoot out with a bad guy.

garryc
June 19, 2006, 12:53 AM
You know, what works in my situation and what works in someone elses is likely differant. But whats important is to have a dang plan so you aren't caught with your pants down.