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chris in va
December 20, 2006, 11:34 PM
4 miles from my house.

Armed men rob home near Stephens City
3 suspects tie up occupants; money, firearms stolen
By Erica M. Bush
The Winchester Star


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STEPHENS CITY — Three people were tied up and robbed in their home on Monday afternoon, police said.

One of the victims was also assaulted during the incident in the 300 block of Hackberry Drive east of Stephens City, Capt. John Heflin of the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office said.

The three men who entered the house stole firearms and an undisclosed amount of money, the officer said. They then left the scene and remained at large on Monday night.

According to the victims, at least two of the men were armed, Heflin said.

The assault victim was not seriously injured, the officer said.

He gave this account of the incident:

A black woman came to the house, saying she had car trouble and asking the occupants for assistance. She was admitted to the home and while there, three black men arrived and entered the house. The method of entry was not specified.

The men bound three of the home’s occupants with duct tape, and assaulted one of them. The woman who was apparently their accomplice left during the robbery.

Heflin declined to release the names or ages of the victims, or to say if they were residents of the home. He said some children were also in the house at the time of the incident, adding that they were not tied up or harmed.

The officer said deputies responded to a call from inside the house at about 3:45 p.m.

He provided these descriptions of the suspects, who appeared to be in their 20s:

The woman was heavy-set and about 5 feet 4 inches tall. Her hair was in a bun and she was wearing a black hat, Nike running shoes, and a black and red jacket and pants.

One of the armed suspects was about 5 feet 11 inches and thin, with cornrows in his shoulder-length hair. He was wearing a black shirt with a white shirt underneath, blue or black pants, and black gloves.

The second armed suspect was about 5 feet 11 inches and thin. He was wearing baggy blue pants and a black T-shirt, and carried two handguns.

The third suspect was heavy-set with short black hair. He was wearing white running shoes and black gloves.

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Haterade
December 21, 2006, 12:18 AM
Worried? Rightfully so, but look further.

A black woman came to the house, saying she had car trouble and asking the occupants for assistance. She was admitted to the home and while there, three black men arrived and entered the house. The method of entry was not specified.

OK... my guess is that the three black men came in right after her through the (now) unlocked front door. Lesson... don't let people in your home for something as shady as using your phone. Even crackheads have cellphones nowadays. I don't think it would be impolite to decline to let someone use your phone... especially if your spidey-senses tingled in the least... there are phones EVERYWHERE now.. cells and pay phones. You can always make calls yourself for them, from the safety of behind a locked door... I think people understand that as being a legitimate precaution and not rude.

The three men who entered the house stole firearms and an undisclosed amount of money, the officer said. They then left the scene and remained at large on Monday night.

If people do not know you have firearms or cash on hand, they are probably less likely to rob you. There is a distinct chance this burglary was planned with the express purpose of getting weapons and cash. What about the big screen? What about the Playstation? What about the jewels? They took guns and cash... and left the scene. Hmm... go figure.

I wouldn't be worried. I would be smart and use common sense. I would lock my doors when I was home. I wouldn't open them for someone off the street. I think you can help people through a locked door, or at least call the cops for them. Heck, thats what they are for.

Of course...

Three people were tied up and robbed in their home on Monday afternoon, police said.

Of course, prevention is best... but... come on now.. three people tied up? I can't help but think that an easy available firearm or one on their person could have helped here. Of course, that is speculation... I wasn't there.

Bottom line, I wouldn't worry. I would take whatever precautions you feel necessary. I think, personally, that the entire situation you quoted just stinks of an inside job. Be it because he was an acquaintance of those who rob and steal, or just that he made it a point to tell people what he owned and brag about his guns and money. That's just my .02. I definitely wouldn't stand by the door with a 12 gauge or anything and wait to pull a Critical Bill on some would be intruder.

jhenry
December 21, 2006, 10:07 AM
Haterade is right. NEVER let some stranger in your home. Offer to call for assistance from inside. Be prepared, home invasion robberies are more common than they used to be and folks can easily get themselves hurt or killed in the process by not wanting to appear rude. I live far enough off the beaten path that I have had exactly 2 cars come up my drive thinking they were somewhere else in the last 15 years. My family knows to never open the door for someone they don't personaly know.

chris in va
December 21, 2006, 03:47 PM
My concern is escalation. Sure it was easy for them to pull a Trojan Horse. Next time...busting down doors?

And now they have more firearms.

Am I scared? No. But my 'Homeland Security' threat level is up.

Dreadnought
December 21, 2006, 04:15 PM
That kind of crap is going on all over Chesterfield County, too. I and my family are really paranoid about keeping all the doors and garage locked (but that came from living up North...) but that doesn't keep me from keeping an eye on who's in the neighborhood or from keeping a loaded gun on my person at all times.

Mikeyboy
December 21, 2006, 04:40 PM
Always keep your doors locked, and never let a stranger asking for some assistance in your home. When you answer the door always openit enough to talk thru, but keep you foot on the doot to jam it if someone tries to push their way in.

I'm sorry I'm from the a philly and I can be rude. Usually someone coming up to the door trying to sell you something or trying to scam or rob you talk in the same way. "excuse me sir, but can I" is all I'll here before I say "don't want any" and I slam the door shut.

Edward429451
December 21, 2006, 04:56 PM
Using an innocent looking woman to set someone up is one of the oldest scams in the book. It shouldn't have caused your threat level to go up. You're already supposed to be in yellow. Going to orange should only happen if she knocks on your door. Don't be nervous, just stay alert.

Don't trust strange women.

firemedic1975
December 21, 2006, 05:04 PM
One thing about women: There are the physcho ones and the ones you don't know so well! :D Just what I have heard a good buddy of mine say.

skeeter1
December 21, 2006, 05:55 PM
...don't unlock the door.

Lesson... don't let people in your home for something as shady as using your phone. Even crackheads have cellphones nowadays.

Indeed. When my doorbell goes off, I'll look out the front window. If it's someone I know (like a neighbor or friend), then I'll unlock the door.

Should they persist, I'll grab the .38Spl and call 911. No way am I letting a stranger into my house.

If it's little kids selling girl scout cookies, then I'll open the door. I'm a total sucker for cute little girls selling cookies.

DesertShooter
December 22, 2006, 12:13 PM
For the most part, sturdy exterior doors should do the trick, and have sturdy locks installed. Better yet, install some sturdy exterior steel mesh doors OVER the wood-type exterior doors, and have them installed so that they're hinged to swing outward, not inward....and have sturdy locks on them, too!

NEVER open the door to strangers! If they're "in need", you can still be a "Good Samaritan"...but without opening your door and allowing them to enter! If anything seems out-of-place with a "person in need", then your "Good Samaritan" act might be in the form of dialling 9-1-1 to report "suspicious activity". Maybe by doing so, you will save one of your neighbors from being victimized!

It's really sad that things such as this take place. No longer can anyone "brag" about being able to leave their doors un-locked! Heck, there was even a "Santa Claus" that recently kidnapped a young child!

Duxman
December 22, 2006, 02:55 PM
+2 do not open or unlock doors for strangers.

I have read several articles about the downside of living out in the "boonies".

True - there is less crime but there were some disturbing incidents where perpetrators broke / forced their way in, and STAYED for 2-3 days, assualting the women and making themselves at home.

If I lived way out - there would be several "no tresspassing" signs posted.

Hey Chris - have not seen you post in a while...I guess you moved out of Manassas.

armabill
December 22, 2006, 08:21 PM
My next door neighbor, who's a cop, got robbed one early morning. He has two dogs which didn't let out a peep.

He left the 1st floor window open, had the garage door open which contained the ladder that they used.

I would have shot the dogs for not doing their job. Any other time they bark like mad.

The next day, the neighbor behind me had an attempted break in.

For a week I sleep on the sofa armed. They were caught a 2 weeks later in another town.

Dre_sa
December 26, 2006, 05:06 PM
fear is an apropriate reaction.
my next door neighbor had an attempted car-jacking about a month ago.
two shots were fired, presumably from the BG's.
the shots sounded wierd though, at first i thought it was fireworks. so i went to go stand on my porch and listen for more, but nothing, just a car running down the street.
its strange i didnt feel scared at first, i was angry.
now, looking back, im gettin worried, crime is getting closer.

every time i hear a strange noise, i dont freeze, i go investigate...
sometimes if its a particularly bad noise, i grab my model gun corporation m4, and give it a rack, but ive never seen anything out of my windows yet...

Edward429451
December 26, 2006, 05:48 PM
From what I've read, anger is the best reaction you can have in a life/death situation. Something about the chemical secretions of your brain allowing you to think more clearly for the impending fight/flight survival instinct response. Fear should always be channeled into anger, at least in exigent circumstances. Thats what wins fights and chess games, going from defensive to offensive mentally. I'm no doctor or head shrinker but from what I can tell it's true. The best defense is a good offense.

AR15FAN
December 26, 2006, 05:51 PM
Its going on all over Long Island New York too, the criminals are coming from the inner city to the suburbs to rob and plunder, it really is bad. And the way the laws are here if you use a firearm, YOU'LL be the one that gets hung. :rolleyes:

sanson
December 26, 2006, 05:52 PM
I was born on LI, moved as soon as old enough to be on my own(50.. LOL):D

slabsides
December 26, 2006, 08:28 PM
Fear? Get SMART! Keep doors and windows secured. Don't let strangers inside for ANY reason. Have a firearm or two handy, and know how to use them. Fear is for fools.

chrisandclauida2
December 27, 2006, 01:12 AM
Dont Throw Boxes For Large Ticket Items Away In Sight. That New 65 Inch Big Screen Tv Box On The Curb Or By The Can Says I Got Money And A New Big Screen Come Rob Me.

Cut These Boxes Up In Little 1 Or 2 Foot Squares And Throw Them In The Can

revjen45
December 27, 2006, 07:53 PM
We keep all the doors locked and I pack a 9mm in my bathrobe. I am never unarmed at home. We live in a medium sized city in which the Polizei Oberfuehrer admitted that crime is high and growing. I don't give a flying leap if someone at the door thinks I'm rude for not letting them in. They'll think it's a lot ruder if they attempt entry and find themselves looking at the muzzle of Mr. Mossberg. At they point they have the time it takes me to move the safety to "off" to be on their way. No, I'm not a psycho who looks for the chance to shoot somebody, but I know that the world is getting crazier every day, and the well being of thieves and assailants is not a matter of great concern to me.

Big Don
December 27, 2006, 08:50 PM
With home-invasion incidents on the rise, those who do not lock their doors are almost asking for trouble, especially in the urban setting. I live in a rural setting, on a long driveway and can see those who are arriving. Unknowns are rare so the spidey sense is on instant alert to those who do come down the driveway. I'm able to talk to them from an upstairs window and do not have to even be near the door. Anything other than a very innocent question, such as "Where am I?" is going to get a slightly rude answer. I will then copy the car's licensce plate and call the sheriff's office. I figure the potential BG is casing the neighborhood and may have hit other houses already. My call to the SO may be the one they're waiting for. If not then they've got something to work off of should the BG hit someone after my "Good bye!"

guntotin_fool
December 28, 2006, 12:46 AM
We had some people knock real late one night as we were the only ones on the street with lights still on, I stepped out on the porch with a 1911 commander in my holster and a big flashlight in the other, cell phone was in my front pocket. I locked the door behind me as i stepped out and wife was in hallway with her 870 and a commander in her holster. The girl kept asking to come in and use the phone, i said here is a cell phone, swhe said she needed to get a phone book for the number, i said use information. finally she said she needed to use the bathroom, I said, sorry no, i have kids sleeping inside. SHe did not know what to do, I asked her again what she needed, and she said she would try next door, I dialed 911 and pointed the flash light at her and said just wait here.

Two Squad cars rolled up and as they did, the "broke down" car suddenly roared to life and took off, with one squad in pursuit. The bait girl was arrested and claimed she was being forced to do it or they would hurt her baby. She is in jail still, charged with attempted robbery and conspiracy.

The two morons in the car with her are no longer with us, one died in the car crash evading police, the other was shot about the time he was to go to trial on another charge, apparently for dealing crack on the wrong street corner.

slabsides
December 28, 2006, 08:34 AM
"...I locked the door behind me as i stepped out ..."

guntotinfool: Even a sideways-shootin' cap-bustin' gangbanger OCCASIONALLY hits what he aims at. I hope you were also wearing Threat Level IIa armor in addition to all your other gear!
My BS meter soared on this one.

Doug.38PR
December 28, 2006, 11:02 AM
About 6 months ago only three blocks from my house, a woman was carjacked one morning by some garbage that blew in with the Katrina refugees (I think that's what the police suspect). She was forced to take them to the ATM and take out as much money as possible. She was still alive after the incident fortunately. But in our own neighborhood this is unheard of. Signs were put up on the corner warning the rest of the neighborhood of what happened.

AR15FAN
December 28, 2006, 03:24 PM
All one would have to do is leave a shotgun in their trunk for one of these guys to steal and then they are armed. Or maybe if they know a guy or gal who is known to be carrying they can hit them on the head and obtain a gun that way? One should be very careful when shooting a gun, and even more careful when shooting their mouth off.

chemist308
December 29, 2006, 11:29 PM
Takehome lesson: Never trust anything that bleeds for seven days and lives.

What's wrong with offering a cordless phone to someone standing outside?

eerudd
December 30, 2006, 01:02 AM
vigalance is key WORD

Eghad
December 30, 2006, 01:11 AM
If you dont know em they dont get into the house... if they need help ask them for a number to call through the door.

eerudd
December 30, 2006, 01:25 AM
Word !

BillCA
December 30, 2006, 04:29 AM
Chemist308 wrote:

What's wrong with offering a cordless phone to someone standing outside?

Um... having to open the door to pass the phone to them? Unless you can slip it through the mail slot. :D

If your house is equipped with a deadbolt lock, be sure to use it. More importantly, if it was installed with the screws in the package, you need to replace those. Keep in mind that most standard doorknob sets can be defeated (when locked) with channel locks and a firm grip.

Replace the deadbolt wood screws with screws long enough to reach 3/4 of the door's thickness when seated against the deadbolt. Also replace the screws for the door jamb's strike-plate with 1 3/4" to 2" screws.

I'd advocate a handgun over a shotgun here, simply because the long gun is more difficult to maneuver. Keeping on in reserve should you need to retreat is a good option, however.

DeathRodent
January 10, 2007, 07:51 PM
Heres what I would do - (very loud) Hunny phone 911 this girl needs help!

With the door locked of course - if she hangs around fine - if shes dirty then she will take off.

Speer
January 10, 2007, 10:37 PM
Late night knock? I don't think so. I grew up in a bad area, and no stranger got let in afterhours. You're just asking for it.