Tag Archives: home invasion

Store guns out of sight and inaccessible

A very recent incident related to me by a friend.

  • A man (and his live-in girlfriend) were given a handgun by his grandfather during the Beer Plague.
  • They live in a small apartment on the second floor in a large city.
  • He placed the gun on top of the bedroom dresser.
  • This week, a thief used a ladder to get to the bedroom window and cut the screen to get in.
  • The handgun was immediately apparent so it was the first thing the thief picked up.
  • The man, who was alone at the time, was sleeping on the sofa in the other room when the thief made entry.
  • The thief awakened him at gunpoint.
  • The thief stole much of the couple’s possessions, including clothes, laptop, etc. in addition to the gun.
  • The thief also demanded the keys and took them.
  • After the thief departed, the man called the POlice.
  • The POlice Department took the report about the home invasion over the phone.
  • The man arranged to have the locks changed but that will take a while.
  • The next day, the thief came back and tried to unlock the front door with the keys he had stolen. The door has a cross bar that was in place so the thief was unable to get in. The man yelled at him and he went away.
  • Unsurprisingly, the man and his girlfriend are concerned and frightened.
  • Fortunately, the thief did not injure the man.

Lessons from the incident

  • This is a clear example of a Negative Outcome.
  • The purpose of this type of incident report is not to denigrate the person it happened to. Rather, it is to provide important lessons to the rest of us, our family, and our friends.
  • Leaving guns in open view is NEVER a good practice.
  • Store guns where they are not accessible to unauthorized persons.
  • Even a small lockbox or toolbox would have prevented the thief from immediately gaining access to the handgun. The man might have then awakened on his own and been able to achieve a more Positive Outcome.
  • For the mechanically handy, most nightstands can be fitted with a drawer lock. While this will not deter a determined thief for long, it will not allow a thief to immediately gain access to your weapon. Such a lock will also prevent children from gaining access to a firearm.
  • Guns that are on display as heirlooms or for other reasons should be disabled.
  • Some burglars are also known as ‘Second Story Men’ https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/second-story%20man for a reason. Do not assume that living above the ground floor prevents unlawful entry. Even upper story windows should have devices that prevent them from being opened too far when ventilation is wanted.
  • Criminals are opportunistic. This incident started out as burglary and then turned into a home invasion. If the man had struggled when he was awakened, it could easily have turned into a murder or homicide. Neither is desirable.
  • Even if keys are not obviously taken, you should assume that a burglar has them. This means locks need to be changed and door locks supplemented until the change is made.

“There’s three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few that learn by observation. And the rest have to touch the electric fence.” –often incorrectly attributed to Will Rogers, American humorist

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