Owner on Vacation: It happened to me.
Not sure if this is the right forum for this story but here goes:
My wife and I went to visit a couple of our friends one day. After spending nearly all day, they invited us to stay for dinner, if I would ride to the store with the husband to get some things. I agreed. These are two of our best friends, and they live in a VERY rural area. Run time for a deputy to get there is about 20-30 minutes on a slow night, much longer if they are busy.
My friend is like me in the fact that he always carries, and this night he had his 5" Colt loaded with 230 ball, and a spare mag. I had my BHP, Federal 9BP hollow points, one spare mag, and my Surefire 6P. On the way back from the store, he asked if I cared if we made a little detour. A woman that lived near them was in Florida visiting her daughter, and had asked him to check on her house occasionally. He told me it had been a couple of days, and he needed to run by. I said "fine with me".
It was already dark, and as we drove by, lights were on in the back of the house. He said he could have left them on, but didn't think he had. We drove on past the house about a quarter mile, and he pulled over. "What do you think? Want to check it, just to be sure?"
"O.K." I said "But let's walk from here, just in case. We don't want to let anyone know we are coming." He grabbed his cell phone and we started walking. As we approached the house, we took full advantage of the trees in the yard for cover and advancement. We had no idea if anyone was in the house, and we had agreed not to bother the deputies if it was just a case of him forgetting to turn off the lights.
We went up onto the porch, one on each side of the door. Neither of us is LE, but both are former military, and have trained together enough to know each others actions. Both weapons drawn, low ready. I had my Surefire and he inserted the key into the door. When he did, the back door slammed open, and we heard the sound of several feet running into the woods. We both were visibily shaken. We knew there was the possibility of intruders, but the reality was shocking.
After we took cover and gathered ourselves, a 911 call was placed, and since it was a Friday night, we were told it would be close to an hour or longer before a unit might arrive. We waited and watched a while, then went ahead and cleared the house. It looked like a whole family had moved in. Groceries, trash, fast food wrappers. When the Deputy arrived, he said that it was getting common for illegals in the area to move in to unoccupied houses and mobile homes and stay as long as they could. The poultry and garment industries are big in our area, and attracts more than its share of immigrants, legal and otherwise.
This story happened a few years ago, but was brought to mind again the other day by a story in our local paper. A couple had a mobile home for sale, and the woman went by to clean it up for some prospective buyers. When she went inside she found several people she didn't know, who all ran out. The sheriff's department told her that the merchandise in the home was all stolen, and that there was a meth lab set up in the back room. And that she was lucky they ran. It could have been much worse.