View Full Version : Unlocked Doors

June 2, 2006, 12:59 AM
I was having a conversation with another member here , and then I read a Topic about coming home and the alarm alerting someone there may be a problem.

I am a civilian, I am not trained to do house clearings by myself. In fact it is my understanding the trained professionals in LEO and Military are not real keen on doing this.

I have arrived at the front door [residence or business] and 1) the locks are gone 2) door unlocked, 3) alarm is not as should be. 4) other fun stuff.

Me, I leave very cautiously and find a safe place to call the Police. Just as I would if I smelled gas upon entering a home/business. I'm not trained in that either, I do my best Eddie Eagle - don't touch and get an adult - now!

-I used to be in business where Pros did in fact bypass alarms , business or residental. In that "other life" I was subject to being kidnapped as I had access to what the Pros wanted.

-Yes Pros did "get to" buddy of mine. End of business day and his wife beat him home, he arrived to find wife with a shotgun barrel in her mouth...he went back to his business [escorted at gunpoint] and opened his safe.
Alarm bypassed / locks picked and she was met with a 12 bore muzzle.

-If your alarm company calls in the middle of the night about your business / while at work alarm company calls about your residence 1) Call them back to verify they did in fact call. Hopefully you have a password/ codeword/ panic word with Alarm company. 2) make sure the Police /Sheriff have been called - Do not, repeat, Do not get near, much less enter unless you have LEO on the scene.
Oldest trick in the book to lure someone and catch leaving to go see about an alarm - or catch them at scene.

-Apts, these are tricky.
Mgmt often gives spare Master Keys to Exterminators, other Maint folks.
Yes they are supposed to lock the door, don't always do so.
Two other often occurences 1) is a hot water goes out, and the apt below is entered to check for damage 2) while on vacation a hose from a washing machine goes out and floods. [always shut off water when going out of town, even if for two days for the washer]

Now most complexes have a schedule of when exterminator is to show, and most complexes have this dumb practice of leaving a note inside , on the counter "we entered your apt to ___".
Does a lot of good to find your door unlocked - note is inside - or is it?
Get the complex to put a hang tag on exterior of door, if need buy your own.

You get to Apt door, door unlocked, and no schedule of anything. STOP!
Leave and ask a trusted neighbor. If nothing was done to their apt, or anyone elses- and from safety call Res Mgr, Mgr, and if that produces nothing - Call Police.

It "could" be yours or neighbors hot water heater went out then again...
...them Master keys remember? Especially if you are female, and work 3p -11p, or 11p to 7a - Don't chance it. These keys get "lost" or "accidently" duplicated and ...well some sick folks out there take note of single females, elderly ladies.

-Extra Locks. Everyone should have a set of extra locks.
Locks break at the most wrong time, can't leave house to get one with it unlocked.
Set of keys get lost /stolen - call Police, make sure residence is safe and have them there as you replace the locks.

One may have really nice HD guns, remember one has to enter, and leave, also answer the door. Concerns should be "something is not right" - and call those trained to check out and make safe.



Blackwater OPS
June 2, 2006, 02:00 AM
A few reasons here why I would NEVER live in an appt.

June 2, 2006, 03:28 AM
A few reasons here why I would NEVER live in an appt.
Indeed... a few reasons why I hate being stuck in one for the time being. I pay good money to live here and yet the contract stipulates that maintenance can basically enter any old time they please. This has never sat well with me.

They make it clear right up front that it's not your place. It's just space where you put your furniture and personal effects until you can get a house. Then again, some apartments are reaaaally nice...

June 2, 2006, 07:13 AM
I live in an apartment and have never had a problem with maint. entering without my knowledge. The g/f and I leave a piece of thread in the door jam so we know when someone opens the door as the thread would be on the ground when I get home. She knows what to do if she beats me home and the thread is on the ground.

June 2, 2006, 07:30 AM
Here's a good one for ya and I bet Blackwater or anyone else that has ever been an LEO or military will back me up on about being edgy. Ok first off my maintenance at my apt. can come or go unless it's stipulated in the lease that you DO NOT want them to enter. I live with my g/f and did not want maintenance guys coming in in the morning to fix something (we work nights) and her be in bed and me not be there. SO I told the complex maintenance was not to enter unless let in and I even had a hotel bar lock installed so they couldn't enter with someone in the apt. Well one morning we came home and forgot to clasp that hotel lock. Well one of the maintenance guys didn't read the notice on the paperwork and walked in. He woke me up and me and him had a come to Jesus meeting involving me,him,and my .38 which was in my hand when I peeped around the corner from my bedroom. They always knock now.:D As for clearing the house i'll call the cops then park outside in the hall until they show up that way if they try to leave they are gonna have to deal with me having the drop on them.

June 2, 2006, 08:00 AM
The additional lock is a great idea.

June 2, 2006, 08:38 AM
Year ago a girl I knew came home to her house and the door swung open, unlocked. Inside everything was ransacked, an obvious robbery. As she started to walk in further she got a weird feeling and she backed out. She grabbed the her cordless phone (before cell phone became popular) and stood right outside the front door looking into house and called 911. When she started talking to the police, she seen a guy in her kitchen run out the back door holding a steak knife.

If you walk into your house and it looks like it is being robbed, you don't know if the BG or Guys is still in your house. There is a reason why an ambush works so well in the military. Being a CW carrier does not make you a professional at room clearing. Call 911 and let the pros handle it. Also if you been robbed you might as well file the report for insurance purposes.

June 2, 2006, 02:24 PM
if I were to come home and find that the integrity of my home was compromised, I would back off, call the cops. They get paid to do this stuff, I don't. What to do if anyone inside attempts to leave before the cops get there, is fodder for another thread.

Blackwater OPS
June 2, 2006, 03:27 PM
if I were to come home and find that the integrity of my home was compromised, I would back off, call the cops.

I agree 100%. And I do feel bad for the cops too. "Ummm, guys, you might want to set up perimeter and call SWAT. Yeah, there is some firepower in there....." A CCW pistol is no match for what is in my house.

Also going into a house you are at a distinct disadvantage. Thats why people who do it for a living wear so much body armor.:cool:

Bob F.
June 2, 2006, 08:19 PM
Steve: good point about call from alarm co. That would really suck some of us in!

Stay safe.

June 2, 2006, 09:05 PM

BTDT and got ...

-Business Alarm in wee hours, I get halfway from my apt to one of my vehicles...
tennis shoe flight back to apt, grab shotgun dial LEO buddy and "HELP NOW!"
I can get real small hiding behind cover listening for footsteps, happy to hear that "code word" LEO buddy and I had worked out.

I never every left again without calling first.

-Pros are sharp, this time the alarm goes off at 3 am, I call alarm company, and , phone recording says "due to storm lines are busy". I drive to business, and alarm is going off, and not a cop to be had.
I do not stop, instead drive straight to Police station .

Get this , the officers had arrived, saw a vehicle like mine and thought I was in the store! <weebie jeebie smilie here>

All 3 locks were gone from from door [top, middle, bottom] They even left me a card...did not take a thing...just wanted me to know, they were 'in town'.

They also went to my apt, and entered and left a card...that was not a fun night, and other "steps taken".

- I shared before how the lady customer of mine took her car to the car wash. Attractive, nice watch, jewelry, professional appearance, the nice car...

She came home, to find company in her house.

Car Wash employee had taken her keys, made copies inside the car wash being as they had a key machine for customers - looked in glove box for address on license, registration, and insurance.

Locks , alarms and anything else is going to keep an honest man honest.

If the Criminals wants you - they got you.
If the Criminal wants what you have - they own it already.

"So what do I do?"

Well, forget Chairborne Rangers.
LEO and Military folks get paid to do house clearings.

Train your brain, your family, and practice what trained together. Take prudent steps to do the best you can in awareness and anything else.

A high dollar firearm never shot . or trumped up on the Internet to get postings is hogwash.

Go buy a extra lock and extra set of keys so your wife, daughter has house/ business keys separate from house. Get a free cigar box if nothing else and put license, registration, and insurance in trunk ...If jurisdictions allow. Then again having to explain to a LEO why in trunk and you tell him...I'm betting he will understand, especially if married, or has a teenage daughter.

Some of my lessons come from the "School of Hard Knocks".
Others come from Criminals because situations allowed me to ask them.
How better to think like a thief than to ask one?

Remembered something- Folks that live in Apt and "think" nobody comes in.

Get a Micro-Cassette recorder with the feature "pause until noise". For 30 days , when you leave have this on and hidden. Then listen at the end of each day.

Go out of town for a long weekend, or vacation - do this also.

You might be surprised, yes indeed.


June 3, 2006, 01:43 PM
Get a free cigar box if nothing else and put license, registration, and insurance in trunk ...If jurisdictions allow. Then again having to explain to a LEO why in trunk and you tell him...I'm betting he will understand, especially if married, or has a teenage daughter.

I guess i'm a little obtuse today, what is the reason for doing this?

June 3, 2006, 03:18 PM
Get a free cigar box if nothing else and put license, registration, and insurance in trunk ...If jurisdictions allow. Then again having to explain to a LEO why in trunk and you tell him...I'm betting he will understand, especially if married, or has a teenage daughter.

I guess i'm a little obtuse today, what is the reason for doing this?

Meddac: that way anyone surfing through your glove compartment or console will not find the exact information that tells them where to rob, rape, pillage, plunder, or otherwise be obnoxious.

I thought it was/is a good idea.

May God bless,

June 3, 2006, 07:20 PM
i may have to try that trick with the tape recorder steve. you have succeeded in freaking me out lol.

June 3, 2006, 07:46 PM
This forum is Tactics and Training.

It is NOT about having the coolest hippy-dippy blaster with fuzzy dice and curb feelers.

It is about mindset, training the mind and body to be aware , and prepared to handle situations. The fact firearms are a "Part" of this, is fine - firearms are the the only tool in the toolbox or the answer to every situation.

Apts: Legalese varies across the country. Read the lease.

Micro-Cassettes, Video Cameras and such are to be used in one's own home, business. We are not .gov, we don't stomp on COTUS, and BoR. Meaning we do NOT snoop on others...

You, have rights, and if needing to protect yourself, your family ...
Well, find out legally what is what.

Finding out the baby sitter abuses your child, the maid steals jlry, or the landlord/ maint person is casing the Apt needs to be addressed, in a responsible way.

Unlocked doors : does the baby-sitter have a key? Do you really know them, or any friend they run around with? Perhaps the baby sitter is honest as can be - what about babysitter's friends? Are they?

Humm...*maybe* having a spare set of locks before heading on vacation is not a bad idea - huh?

Do remember to give parents, or trusted folks checking on your place the correct key.


June 3, 2006, 07:52 PM
I agree with Steve. Call the coppers. However, I don't agree with the phrase "locks keep honest people honest". Yes I'm a gun nut. But I am also a professional locksmith. I could tell stories for the next week about the things I've seen in the last 15 years. I or any PROFESSIONAL locksmith can easily secure your home that will definately keep people out. Ever hear of Medeco locks? They are the best. I have them on my doors along with a few other upgrades and nobody will be getting past them. No way. Never. For me it's one less thing to worry about. The fight starts outside. Keeping people out should be considered equally as important as what to do if they get in. Glass is also a weak point. A laminate film up to and including BOMB RESISTANT is available. I realize that this stuff is expensive. But isn't your security worth it. Call a REPUTABLE locksmith and ask.

June 3, 2006, 08:23 PM
I don't agree with the phrase "locks keep honest people honest".

Oh Bob! IF you dad-burned professional locksmith guys would NOT do such a good job - in one respect - then the Professional Thugs would not have been looking to kidnap some of us. :D

Yeah, the weak link called "human beings". Go kidnap Steve, he has the Medeco keys and alarm codes.

"Glass is weak"

You are telling me!...stolen tow truck just back right thru them suckers, move showcases and take off down the road with your safe. Another bad night...

Then again the alarm tape was obsolete, had not been hardwired in some time...new system with more hi-tech approach. The punks did not toss a trash can thru my place "for fear of an alarm going off" - instead tossed cans thru other shopkeepers windows doing snatch and grabs.

I had filled my dance card with babysitting and waiting for emergency glass getting installed.

Another time-
Best we can figure, the Pros drilled into locks/around lock area, inserted a "loop/ hook" and using a cable and truck/ car, pulled the locks out. I had 3 "pulled", and these were Medeco, with extra long bolts set into steel frames.

Old Locksmiths and Alarm folks I used were like family...We knew where each others coffee pots and filters were , and other supplies. Made ourselves at home at respective places.

I got a gift one day - a pc of railroad track. Buddy comes in, with a welder, and RR track was my "bar" across the back door.

"Brought you something, you have better coffee, and you buy lunch today".

Err...okay...thanks! :)

Them RR tracks are heavy !

June 3, 2006, 09:08 PM
Good points all Steve. And I agree, there is always a way around a locked door. But forcing a dishonest person to go to such extremes is a good thing. It increases the odds of them being caught in the act. Because I am a locksmith, I have special tools and tricks which I use to get around these locks. For obvious reasons I will not discuss those here but I am not foolish enough to think that dishonest folks don't also know of these tricks.

There are no locks made that will resist power tools or trucks! :D Part of a good home security plan is to make unauthorized entry as difficult as possible. If someone is drilling my lock or door when I am home then I will hear them and have then explain their actions while looking down the barrel of my 870. :p If I am not home them they will have to deal with nosy neighbors and a pissed off dog.

Not to highjack your thread Steve, but I still agree with your first post. I will call the cops and have them take a look first.

June 3, 2006, 09:29 PM
No, we won't share on open forum the "trade methods". BGs already know them, and we need not educate anyone in becoming one.

You bring up a very good point, and something that needs to be shared / remind us.

Some of the "old names" are not whom they used to be. Mergers, Aquistions and such, have changed the companies and quality of locks.

I always recommend someone see a Mom & Pop Locksmith for Locks, safes, Sargent-Greenleaf dials...any and all "Security Needs".

1) OTC locks such as one may buy at a Mom & Pop Hardware store for a "back-up" - which would you recommend?

I admit I have NOT been in a Box Store in some time, last inventory I saw was - not to MY standards...hence the reason I go to M&P hardware stores.

2) Medeco, memory escapes me, there is another one or two is there not?
If so , what are these?

Point being if someone calls a M&P Locksmith and for whatever reason - does not carry Medeco, knowing another quality brand may be of use to folks here.



June 3, 2006, 09:42 PM
Good questions. Medeco is simply the best but also expensive. If you cannot find Medeco then the the one and only lock I can recommend that is sold in hardware stores is Kwikset Titan also known as Ultramax, or Society Brass. It may surprise some, but Schlage residential locks stink. They have gone down is quality is that last few years. However Schlage Commercial Duty deadbolts such as the B660 series are excellent but can only be found at a locksmith. BEWARE! Locks sold at the hardware stores or home centers that say "heavy duty", "commercial grade", or "contractors grade" are pure junk. I repair and most often replace these locks everyday. Also Baldwin locks aren't too bad not worth the extra expense.

June 3, 2006, 09:50 PM
To Add: Medeco locks were initially made for the military years ago. Their deadbolts are second to none. They cannot be surpased as far as complete and total strength. Most other deadbolts have at least one weak point. Not Medeco. The cylinders are pick resisant and have hardened steel inserts to thwart drilling. The ice pick attack does not work nor does hammering or punching. Take it from someone who has tried. Several years ago a federal agency served a warrant in the early am hours arresting an entire family for drug trafficking. They could not get into the "storage building" due to a Medeco deadbolt so they called us out. It was not fun.

Don't get the wrong idea. This isn't a sales pitch. I just believe in Medeco.

June 4, 2006, 12:05 AM
No matter how good the lock is, you must make sure the door frame is strong enough for the lock to matter.

Here is a fun example:

I'm a pretty big guy, 6'4" and about 270. I work landscaping in the summer, so I have a decent amount of muscle mass too. I came home from work the other day, and walked around to the front of the house to get the mail. My roommates weren't home, and the doors were locked. So with the mail in one hand I unlocked the front door and opened it with my other hand; promptly ripping the door moulding with the P.O.S. chain lock screwed to it off the wall. I didn't even push hard, but with nothing but finishing nails holding the trim to the plaster and lath, and 1" screws holding the lock to that......

The point here, make sure your cool locks are attached to the FRAME of the door. 3" screws should be the minimum here, and make sure they bite into the frame. Also make sure the frame is good and strong. 2x4s are OK, but several 2x6s would be better, or steel better yet. A strong door is a must too, a solid core type works well.

Some other good stuff for other renters out there:
Make sure the landlord gets the locks re-keyed when you move in. Most landlords won't have a problem with that, be cautious about the ones that do.

Make sure the maintaince people/landlord have your cell number, go and seek them out and let them know that you would appreciate being notified before anyone comes in to fix stuff.

Any problems that come up need to be addressed right away. If you come home and the repair guy fixed something and left you door unlocked, you need to get after him to make sure it doesn't happen again.

Get to know your neighbors, help each other out watching for stuff that doesn't fit. ex: If the normal repair company is ABC, and the van out front is from XYZ call the management, even if the guy is just looking around the building.

June 4, 2006, 03:27 AM
Here's another tactic that works pretty well in this scenario;

If the normal repair company is ABC, and the van out front is from XYZ call the management, even if the guy is just looking around the building.

Or if you just see someone wandering around your apt/condo/townhome complex.

Put on your best "friendly guy" face and ask them if they're lost or looking for an address. Most legitimate business folks will be able to give you an address pretty quickly and appreciate assistance (time is money, right?). You can direct them to the address and then casually stand at a short distance, observing them making contact. If anything seems hinky or you hear "but there's no problem with the dishwasher..." your alarms should be ringing.

My favorite is people driving around or wandering through the complex telling you that their "friend" lives there but they don't know the exact address. In this case, ask a misdirecting & leading question like "what building do they live in?" when your complex doesn't use building numbers or letters. If you get an answer like "Uh, I think it's building 'D'..." then you know he doesn't belong there. If your complex uses letters ask what building number and give an example -- "does he live in building 3600 or 3800?".

This gets you to the "target identified" stage. Ask for the buddy's last name or some identifier, then tell them "Nope, you're in the wrong place." Never correct them and let them know how you detected their errors, just tell them they're in the wrong location. Then note their descriptive info (or license nr) and notify the cops to check them out.

June 4, 2006, 04:59 AM
A really big plus 1 to not attempting to clear a house or building by yourself.

If I respond to an alarm and find a door open, the order of the day (mandated by most Departments) is to WAIT FOR BACKUP. Then, when backup arrives, we go to work.

A consideration that I don't think some people take into mind is this: When we enter to clear a building or dwelling, EVERY LIVING BODY we find in that house is IMMEDIATELY considered hostile. The person we see standing in the hall with the gun in their hand will get one warning. We have NO way of knowing--unless we are acquainted personally with the owner or tenant--who you are.