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Old June 7, 2006, 11:30 PM   #1
KyJim
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It happened to us

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:

Quote:
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.
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Old June 8, 2006, 12:55 AM   #2
BillCA
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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.
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Old June 8, 2006, 01:07 AM   #3
chemist308
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Quote:
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.
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Old June 8, 2006, 01:10 AM   #4
threefivesevenmag
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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.
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Old June 8, 2006, 01:30 AM   #5
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Quote:
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.
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Old June 8, 2006, 01:58 AM   #6
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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.
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Old June 8, 2006, 02:02 AM   #7
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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.
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Old June 8, 2006, 02:31 AM   #8
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Have you considered getting a rottweiler?
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Old June 8, 2006, 04:32 AM   #9
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Glad no one was hurt!

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).
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Old June 8, 2006, 06:57 AM   #10
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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.... )
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Old June 8, 2006, 07:21 AM   #11
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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.
Quote:
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.
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Old June 8, 2006, 09:51 AM   #12
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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.
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Old June 8, 2006, 10:46 AM   #13
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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.

Last edited by PythonGuy; June 8, 2006 at 12:55 PM.
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Old June 8, 2006, 11:21 AM   #14
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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.
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Old June 8, 2006, 11:41 AM   #15
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Woof woof!!

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.
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Old June 8, 2006, 11:56 AM   #16
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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
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Old June 8, 2006, 12:24 PM   #17
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BillCA (post #2) gave the best advice so far, IMO.

Listen to him!

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Old June 8, 2006, 04:31 PM   #18
KyJim
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Thanks

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.
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Old June 8, 2006, 05:07 PM   #19
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Quote:
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.
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Old June 8, 2006, 05:32 PM   #20
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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.
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Old June 8, 2006, 05:35 PM   #21
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"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.
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Old June 8, 2006, 07:09 PM   #22
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The problem with cordless phones is that if the power is cut, the phones don't work.
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Old June 8, 2006, 08:03 PM   #23
Edward429451
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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

Glad your girls are ok btw.
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Old June 8, 2006, 08:15 PM   #24
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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 .
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Old June 8, 2006, 08:21 PM   #25
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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!
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