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Old October 30, 2008, 08:16 PM   #27
Senior Member
Join Date: November 28, 2004
Location: Silicon Valley, Ca
Posts: 7,117
I'm going to say that the one size fits all solutions don't always work for everyone. There are situations, locations and circumstances that don't fit neatly with the "call the cops" advice nor the "stop 'em at gunpoint" mentality. I'll give a couple of examples.

I live in a townhome complex. Since my truck is too tall to fit in the garage, it's parked on the street at night. But my townhome sits back off the street, down a walkway about 50 ft. There have been a rash of thefts recently of catalytic converters from vehicles (fortunately not here yet). Last week when I was still up at 3:30am I heard odd noises like a power tool. By the time I opened the front door the noises had stopped. Almost gave up until I heard a tool clank, then I investigated further. Walked out to the street cautiously (checked my truck first) then spotted an open hood on a truck about 60ft away. Easily ID'd my neighbor replacing the battery in his truck so he could go to work.

A friend has a modest (4200 sq ft) house in Missouri on 200+ acres. The house has, essentially 3 stories, a veranda round half the house and a detached garage/workshop. At night, a perimeter alarm system protects the house and garage. If the garage alarm is tripped it beeps inside the house and after 2 minutes rings a loud bell by the garage. If the house perimeter is breached, the alarm sounds like a collision between a submarine and a cruiser with horns and klaxons. Most late night noises can be attributed to deer or loose dogs roaming at night. One night he heard rapid footsteps outside the house. He dismissed it as being deer. A few minutes later an IR beam alarm beeped in his bedroom indicating movement on the veranda deck. Visual inspection from inside showed nothing. A moment later he heard footsteps outside but saw flashlight beams at the corner of the house. Since deer never use flashlights, he hit the "all exterior lights" code and watched a pair of teens set a 50-yard-dash record for the nearest treeline.

The police? In his location, a sharp turn about 1/4 mile away has a serious accident every four or five months. Average response time - Code 3 - is 17 minutes. The response time to his wife's call of "prowlers" around their house had the deputies arriving 49 minutes after the call was made.
BillCA in CA (Unfortunately)
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