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Old June 16, 2009, 09:43 AM   #1
pacerdude
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Car broken into and they came back the next night.

JohnKSA suggested I start a new thread about what to do when your car or home is broken into. Two nights ago my car was broken into in my driveway. The people who did it are probably the thugs my mom reported tothe police. They know that my mom reported them to the cops and last week while my mom was home alone, several instances happened in which these same people attempted to get into the house. My mom was so afraid that she did not sleep last week and instead took her pistol and tried to stay awake all night. Well, fast forward to this week and my car was broken in to. Yes that annoys me, but its only a car.
My problem is that they have been scaring my mother and it escalated into an actual theft and brake in. Now, after my car was broken into, we installed a really expensive camera and digital recording system. Well, they came back last night and parked their car at the edge of our driveway and got out to snoop around and point at the house (they also took a picture or two of our driveway), then they saw the Infrared light and freaked after looking right at it. Well they drove off in a hurry with their tires squealing.
Everyone says call the police, and we did. They pulled the same car over and they said they were waiting on a friend. As to the previous incidents with my mom they said they cant do anything until a physical threat has been posed. To me that is unacceptable. Last night after they came back I stayed up all night with my mom and watched them circle the house some more. I am worried they will try something when she or my sister is home all alone. Yes she and I have guns and Georgia has Castle Doctrine, but after seeing them case our house in person and then watching it again on video, I am not happy.
So what would you guys suggest/and what are your opinions?
I would never shoot anyone over property but these idiots came back right after this clearly planning something.
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Old June 16, 2009, 10:03 AM   #2
bdturner
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I would first contact the police commander not just the shift supervisor but the chief. Let him know what is going on and be sure that a report is made. Ask for a copy of the report and store it in a safe place. Request that the police do an extra patrol of your neighborhood. Get together with your neighbors and form a community watch program. You cannot be home all the time and the chances of the thugs coming back and getting caught increases. Are your neighbors having the same problem with these people?
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Old June 16, 2009, 10:07 AM   #3
samurai30047
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Motion detector lights are reasonable these days. That's a good deterrent. Putting the house up for sale is something else that could be checked into. These guys seem bent on confrontation. Obviously locks are also an option and that can all get expensive. I feel for you man. Keep reporting stuff to the police. Be a pain in their ass, they'll either keep an eye out or avoid the place depending on their work ethic or load. Fact is you are showing a pattern of harassment of your mom. You also need to keep a running journal of times and dates of instances of trouble. This thing may end up in court and any documentation you can present to the prosecution will show pattern and intent.
Keep the video of the faces recorded somewhere safe for future references. That could be huge.
I bought a Sharpei, Shepard mix from the humane society and she's a 41 pound centurian. She'll alert me to stuff all the time and she looks like a pitbull so people naturally give us room when I walk her. Which is frequent. Good for both of us and for local jerks to see the muscle and teeth that is as fond of me as I am of her. If somebody was messing with my mom I'd be going crazy right now, I feel for you bro. Keep your cell phone on you so if somebody does need a police response the phone is there.
When I go out for a walk or store run, I have my Glock 27, extra mag, cell phone, keys and badge wallet. If something happens be very cooperative with the cops and tell them on the phone what you are wearing so they don't get you mixed up with the bad guy(s). I'd keep the line with the dispatcher so she can relay everything as it happens. Years ago a c/o had to shoot an escaped prisoner and kept his radio keyed the entire time. He was cleared.
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Old June 16, 2009, 10:09 AM   #4
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Keep calling the police every time they show up. You may yet get an officer who takes a personal interest in your problem, and you will have a record of their harassment should ever be forced to fire. Those may records may also help you in getting . . .

An injunction. Violation of an injunction gives the police something to act on.

You can also hope that the security camera is going to provide a deterrent, especially since they seemed to react to it when they first saw it.

I can understand you being concerned and frightened. You, your mother, and your sister should be prepared for something serious happening. It is time to call a family meeting and discuss such things as which room is safest, making sure that you have a telephone to use if you have to retreat to a safe room, and yes, the reality of self defense with lethal force. It sounds like you should also be discussing situational awareness with your family, especially with regards to such things as getting to and from the car safely, having keys out, and so on.

I have read a couple of your posts, and I am still not clear on what started all this. Might some insight into history help people here advise you? Also, how old is your sister? That might help folks advise you on how to coach her in safety matters.
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Old June 16, 2009, 10:15 AM   #5
pacerdude
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The video surveillance system we bought is pretty cool and the cameras show scary detail. I think they are mad because my mom called the cops on them a while back. We also called the sherriff out last night and he pulled them over but chose not to watch our video. Anyway, it was surreal to watch them get out of their car and snoop around on the video. I was looking at them in person and never noticed that they actually got out of the car and took a picture. My mom is going to get a shotgun and practice on my grandpas land. I know confronting them at night with my gun drawn is a terrible idea, but watching them on my front yard casing the house and taking pictures really rubs me the wrong way. What else would you guys do?, we have an alarm system, video surveillance and motion sensing lights...
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Old June 16, 2009, 10:18 AM   #6
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As stated, maintain the paper trail with the police plus many other good ideas regarding lights and a dog. More importantly, your mom and sister need to have some kind of safe word so they don't end up shooting each other by mistake. My kids are at the age where they just come down for visits here and there. They know they do not come in the house without calling and talking to either me or my wife. That may be something that your family needs to do as well. Even though your mom and sister have access to guns, are they in the mindset to use it should things go south? You should really enforce that to them as it would be terrible for these thugs to take the gun away and use it on them. Good luck with all of this.
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Old June 16, 2009, 10:20 AM   #7
pacerdude
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It all started when my mom was at home alone and guys were screwing around outside our house, in the yard and she called the police. Since then it has escalated, my car was broken into yesterday morning. And last night they came back and were brazen enough to get out of their car and take what appeared to be pictures. Then they saw the infrared light of one of our cameras, looked at it and drove off. I am concerned because in the Fall I will be back in school at UGA. Athens is an hour and a half drive without traffic from where my mom lives. My little brother is 15 and my sister is 13, and in the fall they and my mom will be the only ones home.
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Old June 16, 2009, 10:25 AM   #8
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Bdturner, to answer your question yes the neighbors are having trouble with them. On the same day my car was broken into, a car down the street was broken into as well (although his car was unlocked and they busted his window out unneccesarily). But our neighbors keep to themselves and apparently no one saw anything.
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Old June 16, 2009, 10:42 AM   #9
john in jax
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Go shake hands and get face to face with the officers that cover your mom's neighborhood, express your concerns, see if they'll watch the video. Ask for extra coverage.

Keep collecting video evidence and keep copies off site. If the police choose to do nothing or can't do anything contact your state's attorney.

Keep a detailed log of WHO you spoke with, WHEN, and WHAT was said. If the situation gets worse seek out a reporter at a news station, scary video + sensational story of a nice old lady harassed by a gang should get a response.
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Old June 16, 2009, 10:54 AM   #10
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You've been given some good advice, that I will reinforce.

"Keep a paper trail." Documentation may be what save you all if it turns ugly.

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Old June 16, 2009, 10:55 AM   #11
OuTcAsT
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Quote:
I can understand you being concerned and frightened. You, your mother, and your sister should be prepared for something serious happening. It is time to call a family meeting and discuss such things as which room is safest, making sure that you have a telephone to use if you have to retreat to a safe room, and yes, the reality of self defense with lethal force. It sounds like you should also be discussing situational awareness with your family, especially with regards to such things as getting to and from the car safely, having keys out, and so on.
Quite correct, you need to be pro-active in coming up with a plan that your Mom and Sister can implement so that there is no confusion when things turn ugly. Find the safest room in the house, preferably one that has no easy window access from outside, put a good lock on the door to that room, and have them bunker down in there. They should have the firearm, a cell phone with the power cord and one should call 911 and stay on the line until help arrives, if someone breaches that door, they need to be prepared to defend themselves. Practice this drill, several times, until it is automatic. As advised earlier, contact your police department's administration (Chief,Commissioner,Watch Commander) and explain in detail what is happening, they are in a better position to order more patrols.

The thing that sticks out in my mind (from personal experience) is that there seems to be some "personal" connection between these thugs, and your Mom's house for some reason. I have no Idea of you, or your sister's ages, but this sounds suspiciously like some sort of "teenage grudge" type thing, you might want to question your sister about that, or think if someone might have cause to be targeting you. Not accusing, just curious.


ETA: I see this started when your mom called the police on the first occasion, You have been given some good advice as far as keeping good records, and making contact with the police, and states atty. You should also get the neighborhood involved, go door to door and tell everyone what is happening, give them descriptions of the thugs and their vehicle, the more eyes you have on the problem the better.
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Last edited by OuTcAsT; June 16, 2009 at 11:15 AM.
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Old June 16, 2009, 10:56 AM   #12
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You might arrange a lay off for a semester and stay home as much as possible. Get your mom, sister and brother good training in fire arms and strengthen your doors, windows etc. There are several good books on this. Be armed at all times (all of you). Cover the house and all, with CCTV units and place a recorder on your phone. Store all information with your lawyer, a remote video/audio feed tho his computer would be nice, so they would be covered by lawyer/client confidently and can not be seized.
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Old June 16, 2009, 11:27 AM   #13
Ricky B
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I am little concerned that you not get into the frame of mind that these idiots are planning a home invasion and act as though that were the only explanation for their behavior. They may be planning on more criminal mischief or it may simply be harassment. In fact, they may have been scared off by the camera and being pulled over. So while I don't disagree with preparing for worse behavior, it's important not to slant your thinking so you misjudge a situation.

The high-end camera and digital recording system was a brilliant first step. The fact that the police pulled them over and now have a record of the incident is also very good.

The ideal next step (from a protection viewpoint) would be to get a mature large dog that is well-trained (such as a German Shepard). Interviews with burglars in prison indicate that burglars fear a large dog more than a homeowner or the police, but for many that is impractical.

You say you have an alarm system, which is a good thing, but you should opt for central station monitoring if you don't have it. Also alarm systems have to be designed properly, not just for low cost, like ADT often does in residential installations. You should wire all accessible doors and windows. And you need to test the system periodically. I wouldn't use motion sensors inside while people are home, but they are great for when the home is empty.

You might even consider adding a couple of motion sensor zones outside the home which don't trigger the main sounding device or call the central station but simply trigger a beeping device (like the large trucks have when they back up). The outside motion sensors would have to be adjusted so that only large objects triggered them, not birds or cats or dogs, but that can be done.

It seems to me that if they come onto your property again and you have video proof, the police should be able to cite them for criminal trespass. Speak to the watch commander about that now and take any necessary steps to facilitate that.
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Old June 16, 2009, 11:57 AM   #14
pacerdude
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There is a central monitoring station that is hooked up to a Digital Video Recorder, also we have it set up so that we can monitor it online as well. Last night, i kept an eye on the actual monitoring station, and my brother kept another eye on it from his room via his laptop. We are not trying to over react, if we had not seen that same car both before and after the people got out, and earlier in the day a silver truck that has also been seen, pulled in to our driveway and sat there not 15 minutes after we left our house.
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Old June 16, 2009, 12:06 PM   #15
45guy
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The normal door or window is a very flimsy thang, normally just a 1x4 or 1x6 box held by a couple of shims and finishing nails, with 2 or 3 in of space on all sides, covered by molding. A good kick will drive it, frame, door and all, across the room.
You need to reinforce them.
Remove the facing, exposing the door frame and the house framing. There will be a gap, cut wood to fit this gap tightly top to bottom. Remove shims and fill gap, top to bottom, with wood, it should fit snug but not move frame. Using 1/4 x 10 or 12 in flush head lag screws attach frame to house frame. Use at least 6 per side. run through frame, filler and in to house frame the full length. Drive the screw head flush so door will not jam.
Work one side at a time and use care not to disturb door frame. Do both sides.
Replace door with sold door with small window ( to small to reach through ) and a good dead bolt. Attach hinges with the largest and longest screws you can. Place a 10 or 12 in long pipe behind the dead bolt striker plate so the bolt enters pipe and is held by pipe, not plate.
Use the same approach on windows except ( because of glass ) you may have to use bars or replace with casement. If casement, drill almost through the latch and ears and cut a nail to fit and lock he latch, use a magnet to withdraw nail.
Use steel casement with small pains that they can not fit through.

Last edited by 45guy; June 16, 2009 at 12:15 PM.
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Old June 16, 2009, 12:31 PM   #16
KingEdward
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since you can't sit on the front porch 24/7 with a glass of lemonade and a 12 gauge, all the other advice here is good.

Dog(s), lights, neighbors watching each others back, communication with police, documentation, training with firearms and self defense training, etc.

If they keep coming and seem to get bolder, you will just have to stay IN the house. Don't go outside and for now, the ladies need not be outside any more than necessary. NEVER go outside in the middle of the night as you will not know how many there are, and what they have or plan to do. Protect from within.

If they break in, you (and others) have to be prepared to stop the threat.

If this persists but does not necessarily escalate (violence or breaking in) I would keep documenting and I would probably hire a private investigator for a week or so to do survelliance work and find out who these people are and
what their patterns and tactics are. Include any evidence (photos / video) of them committing other trespasses and/or criminal activity from an investigator's report and get that to police also.
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Old June 16, 2009, 12:35 PM   #17
Slopemeno
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Consider getting low or no-cost legal advice.

I'd go to the city manager as well. HE's the one who holds the purse strings. Also, have you considered starting a neighborhood watch? You have some momentum right now- how about inviting all your neighbors over to watch the video together?

Say what you want about California, but at a Neighborhood Watch meeting, the cops are THERE. Let them explain what the video shows....

Also, start documenting everything now in a notebook- have a timeline where you note "Called the cops on 6-12, spoke to...told them...at 10:00 AM.
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Old June 16, 2009, 12:38 PM   #18
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Take every thing that you have said that you have done on here.

Write it down in the order that things happened.

Go in person to the police office sheriff office which ever jurisdiction you are in and file a written complaint at that office.

The officers that respond to your calls do not have the time nor do they want to get involved in long reports. They probably have to write them on their own time.

You will get a better response that way and get a copy of your filed report.

If you can print pictures off of your security tapes print those also and take with you.
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Old June 16, 2009, 01:15 PM   #19
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My family has always dealt with problems like this in a different way than this. .. it was more along the lines of
Quote:
since you can't sit on the front porch 24/7 with a glass of lemonade and a 12 gauge
But the advice is good, maybe get another more discreet camera facing at an angle that gives it a view of your primary camera, because Im thinking their next move is going to be tampering camera, since they know its there, and if you can get them damaging your property on surveillance your gold
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Old June 16, 2009, 01:16 PM   #20
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Good advise from everyone.
When I was the police chief of a small town in eastern NC I asked for more officers to help patrol problem neighborhoods (gangs and drugs 24/7) and was turned down. My budget was tight and my resources were very low. So I bought four fake video cameras with led lights and three signs and had the town workers install them with a bucket truck pointed at the street. Overnight the complaints of drug sales went down to zero. Folks from out of town shopped elsewhere. Total spent less than $200. Sometimes you have to think outside the box.
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Old June 16, 2009, 01:19 PM   #21
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If you need some spy cameras they can be had pretty cheap these days and are so small that they will never be noticed.
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Old June 16, 2009, 01:22 PM   #22
pacerdude
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Cracked 91 we currently have several cameras running and will be adding more in the next week. Thanks guys.
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Old June 16, 2009, 02:02 PM   #23
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I guess they haven't shown up since noticing the cameras? If they do show up again then they're either extremely dumb (which wouldn't be surprising) or they have a plan for getting around your cameras.

My grandparents were broken into a few years back and the thugs had slashed all the vehicles tires and cut the phone lines; I think they were obviously planning on meeting the owners and not wanting them to call for help. They didn't need it though because my grandfather met the thugs at the door with a .44mag and they hightailed it on outta there without anyone firing a shot.

Just keep an eye out and have a plan if the cameras aren't enough of a deterrent. Stay in contact with LE too, hopefully they can put these guys away for something like harassment before they become a bigger problem.
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Old June 16, 2009, 02:22 PM   #24
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What kind of camera system did you get, and where? I saw some advertised recently in a CompUSA flyer and they looked pretty nice.

The more you can document the better, and don't be afraid to call the police. Especially if your mom does. Also, if you can take the video to them, since the Sheriff didn't want to watch it, it might help.

Believe me, if something happens to any of you (and we hope nothing does) and word gets out, your family will own the town. All the more reason for the police to help you now.
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Old June 16, 2009, 02:24 PM   #25
pacerdude
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Actually GSUeagle after noticing the camera, they drove back by a few times but didnt get out of the car anymore.
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