11-18-2016-3-36-35-pmThis is no joke. But you should know the answer to “who’s there?” before you answer the door. Even in the daytime, thieves and B&E artists are likely to knock first to see if anyone is home. Home invaders will knock to see if you are stupid enough to open the door, making it easier for them than kicking it down. Is it just a salesman knocking at your door? Is it a neighbor who you do not recognize? Or, is it someone with nefarious intentions? Most of us are taught to be polite and courteous to strangers. Children are taught about “stranger danger” in school. But, as we get older, we seem to let our good manners, “trump” what should be common sense. Is it really impolite to not open your door for a stranger? Is it impolite to ask them, from a position of safety, “who is it?” Why isn’t it more impolite to let your loved ones be victimized by a stranger? 11-18-2016-3-37-30-pm A fantastic system which has recently come on the market allows you to view who is at your door via the internet, even when you are not at home. I am not saying you need to live in fear. Being vigilant around your home is really no different than driving safely when operating your car. I am probably speaking here to men and women who either already carry a firearm for self defense, or they are considering whether or not to start carrying one. Being vigilant while at home is no different. You do lock your doors, don’t you? How about right now as you are sitting there reading this article? My doors are all locked right now and it’s one PM on a Sunday afternoon. No, I am not sneaking around the house, peering out windows with a gun in my hand, looking for attacking zombies. To me, it is just good common sense. Ok, maybe I am a little jaded by my experiences as a Deputy Sheriff for twenty three years, after taking reports and investigating so many residential burglaries. It’s crazy how cops will give nicknames to bad guys. You know, like the “Valley Strangler” or the “Barefoot Rapist”. When I was a Deputy Sheriff in Lee County, Florida, we had a family of daytime burglars. Their country of origin was a certain part of Europe, and we gave them a name which went along with one of “Cher’s” songs. They even dressed in their ethnic garb while committing their crimes. 11-18-2016-3-37-48-pm Their MO or method of operation went like this: The thieves would drive into a wealthy looking neighborhood and pick their mark. They worked in teams of two or three. Usually the “lady” in the group would knock on a door, while her partner would wait a short distance away. When the unsuspecting homeowner would come to the door, the thief would act very distraught and tell a story about how she lost her little dog and ask permission to look in the back yard. She would ask to walk around to the backyard with the home owner or ask the homeowner to meet her there. While the homeowner was helping the woman in the backyard, her partner in crime would go into the house through the now unlocked from door, grab a purse or wallet and be gone in just a few seconds. The homeowner might not even miss the stolen items until hours later. After a dozen or more of these daytime crimes, we finally got a description and partial tag number of the car the thieves were driving. One Sunday afternoon, I spotted the car coming out of a residential community, and called it in. The car was a blue Chevy Malibu, but the tag came back registered to a Ford Pickup. With a backup deputy coming up behind me, I conducted the traffic stop. While approaching the car from the passenger side, I could see them moving things about, attempting to hide things in the back seat. While remaining cautious, I pretended the reason for pulling them over was the improper tag. Both thieves had outstanding warrants. We quickly discovered numerous ladies’ purses and a few men’s wallets lying on the back seat and laying on the floor. In addition to outstanding warrants, we arrested the couple and cleared fifteen home invasion burglaries. The moral of the story here is, keep your doors locked, even in the day time. All of the victims in the above story left their front door unlocked while going to their backyard. 11-18-2016-3-44-04-pm

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