How to prepare your family to survive and thrive in todays uncertain world

When The Doorbell Rings At Midnight

Sound asleep, at 12:30 in the morning. House is quiet.

The doorbell rings, waking you from a sound sleep. You jump out of bed, grabbing your pistol off the nightstand.

At the front door stands a police officer, who tells you that a neighbor called in a report of a suspicious vehicle on your street. And that your cars look like they’ve been rifled through.

You pull on your shoes and head outside to your driveway and sure enough, it’s clear that both of your cars have been robbed.

You tally up the missing items, and fill out a police report. Thankfully, you’re not in the habit of keeping much in the way of valuables in the car. But what was stolen will still require time and effort to replace.

You bid the officer farewell, wishing him a safe evening. You and your wife head back up to bed, but sleep comes slowly.

Welcome to our Friday night.

Last Friday that happened to us. Somewhat disturbing since we live in what is normally a very safe neighborhood, a bit upscale even. Maybe that’s why they were around.

Our next door neighbor called the police, who arrived two minutes after the crooks left. Our culdesac has four or five houses on it, and one other house got hit. Unfortunately for them, this was the second time in a few months.

Not the worlds biggest emergency, but certainly one that will affect us for a while.

So what did we do right?

We don’t keep much in the way of valuables in the car. They got a GPS, one of the kids’ school backpacks, a few other minor items, and some change.

We reacted reasonably well to the doorbell, though some improvement could be made.

So what went wrong?

A day or two earlier I noticed that the batteries to the bedside gun safe were failing. When that happens, the electronic lock gets dicy. I was too busy to change it, and lost a few minutes to grabbing the key and using it to unlock the safe in the dark. Ok in this situation, not ok if someone was coming in instead of waiting for us.

We’re not sure if the garage door opener remotes were in the cars or not. We don’t use the garage for our vehicles, but we don’t know offhand if the openers were in there or not.

We didn’t know that someone was in our driveway. Even though the neighbor had had his car broken into a few months earlier.

What are we going to fix?

The garage door issue raised a gap we hadn’t thought about. For now we’re keeping the openers unplugged, but we’re going to put them onto their own switched circuit. Since we don’t use the garage for our vehicles, this won’t be a problem from a usability perspective.

Our driveway is somewhat isolated, and is a ‘choke point’ of sorts. This means that we can effectively put detection methods there and everyone who comes in will trigger it, unless they try really hard. So we’re going to figureout what the best solution is and implement it. Goal is to know whenever someone enters the driveway.

Similarly, from an overall security perspective, we need to beef up our alerting on our other perimeter areas, gates, etc. Not going to go into too much detail there, but it is what it is.

We’re shifting our mindset a bit, killing some of the sense of complacency that we’ve fallen into with our current location. While I don’t want to live in a high crime area, it’s way too easy to get too comfortable in a relatively low crime area.

There’s half a dozen other minor things, but I wanted to share all of this with you.

Have a good week, folks. Hopefully ours will be good!

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9 Responses to When The Doorbell Rings At Midnight

  1. Rudy,

    Good article. Way too many folks are complacent with their security. One home in our neighborhood had an attempted burglary last week where the scumbags (four in total) were attempting to enter from the roof of a house to the upstairs windows. They had one guy (of the four) on the roof of the neighbor across the alleyway also, I believe as a look out. Luckily, nothing happened but the scumbags got away. Since the crooks left the scene without entry into the building and since it was shift change at the local PD, the response time was 1.5 hours for the police. Stay safe, sir, and stay vigilant.

    • We’ve had a couple instances of folks casing houses, using a ruse with a lost dog to see if anyone is home. So far, nothing has come of it from what I can tell.

  2. I cn empathize with your situation, I was coming home with my daughter the other evening and for some reason maybe carrying things in from the car or having to let the dog out when getting home I forgot to lock the door to my car. Sometime during the night or early morning someone came by my street trying door handles and well, mine was open so they took the GPS, took change and rifled through my vehicle. Complacency, does set in, among the day to day routine. Missing my GPSfor now.

  3. Put in a motion detection light. Someone I know installed a motion detection light with siren and then put in on a 12 volt backup system.

  4. It shakes you up a bit when your security is compromised. Sorry that happened to you; glad no one got hurt.

    If you happen to now be considering a motion-triggered light system, I saw one at Sam’s this weekend that I thought was kind of neat. It was a motion-tracking system. Motion triggers the light, and then the light tracks the motion. So if someone is trying to sneak around your property, the light will stay on them. Just a thought.

    • That’s interesting, I’ll have to look at that.

      The main issue is that it’s hard for anyone to see anything that happens in my driveway from the road.

      Priority one is to get alarming in place so we know if someone is there.

  5. Install another by your garden that you can power on during growing season to have motion activated with light on one side and siren on the other half. Have it switch activated so you don’t blow your ears off when you’re gardening. People are going to steal food from your garden so it’s best to be prepared now.