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Old 03-20-2009, 08:27 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Right behind you!!!
Posts: 3,972
Your house was broken into while you were at home. What did you do?

This thread made me wonder...

Have you ever been at home when somone broke in and tried to harm or rob you? What did you do? Did you defend yourself or escape? Did you just let them rob you and then call the police?

I've never had a break in on my property, so I can't answer this question, but I am curious what others have done when the worst happened?
Old 03-20-2009, 10:42 AM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: US
Posts: 1,446
It hasn't happened to me, but the son of a woman I work with was home when a man broke into their house. He wasn't normally home at that time of day and was in bed with the blankets pulled over his head. He heard and then saw the burglar. He called the cops (his cell phone was within reach) and they caught him. The burglar never knew the kid was there until the cops told him later.

They now have an alarm system.
Old 03-20-2009, 11:05 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Home of the haggis
Posts: 28,727
The MO of a burglar in my parents' area was to wait until there was a dinner party going on downstairs, then break in upstairs, usually through a window left open for ventilation.
Old 03-20-2009, 11:12 AM
Doltish Snackhound
Charter Member
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Somewhere fictional
Posts: 11,045
A guy tried to break into my bedroom when I was 16, still living with my parents. I woke up to hear somebody rattling the window in my room, and then heard it slowly sliding open. Of course I was petrified--more so because without my contacts I'm pretty much blind as a bat. I was afraid to move for fear he'd hear me...but I didn't want to be defenseless either, so I quietly slid over, reached under my bed where I kept an aluminum baseball bat, and sat up with it in my lap, waiting. I have no idea what I'd have done if he actually came in, but fortunately I didn't have to find out--he left. I sat there for probably another half hour, shaking, before I was brave enough to get out of bed and go find my parents.

The cops gave me a bit of a lecture about calling the police right away, but it wasn't bravery that kept me from doing it--I was just scared to move since I couldn't see the guy!

Found out later that it was the mentally disabled son of somebody in the neighborhood. He'd done it before, too--a girl had awakened to find him standing at the foot of her bed, watching her. But apparently he was relatively harmless.
Old 03-20-2009, 11:35 AM
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 28,704
It was all quite exciting.

My roommate heard someone moving in the living room and screamed like a banshee.

I woke up hearing the prolonged scream, with a total animal fight-or-flight reaction, and immediately ran downstairs naked. My girlfriend also ran downstairs naked after me, but out into the street (the guy had run, leaving the door open), screaming "MOTHERFUCKER!!!!!"

I then returned to my room and got us some towels to wrap ourselves in, then became irrationally convinced that there was a second person in the house.

I grabbed a dagger in my room (souvenir from Tibet) and couldn't rest until I had checked every single wardrobe and cupboard, waving my knife around.

While I was doing this, the hackles on the back of my neck rose up too, and the hair on the back of my head stood up. I'd thought that "raised my hackles" was a turn of phrase until my girlfriend pointed out that I had a kind of mohawk thing going on.

The terror/fear I felt at the time was the most pure, searing emotion I have ever felt in my life, and every time I thought about it afterwards, for a year or so, I ended up in a near murderous rage.
Old 03-20-2009, 11:38 AM
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Orlando(ish)
Posts: 21,605
What would I do? Probably go hide with my children and the dogs while Ivylad grabs the shotgun. Unless, of course, I get more mad than scared and grab some butcher knives to help.

Last edited by ivylass; 03-20-2009 at 11:39 AM.
Old 03-20-2009, 11:43 AM
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Bedrock
Posts: 26,079
This all happened as he tried to force his way in. Swept his gun back so it wasn't pointing at me anymore, wrestled with him to get him out, got the door shut, yelled to my SO to call the police and got my gun. If his partner, who thankfully was waiting just around the corner, had come at me too I would have been SOL. The fella I was tusseling with was bad enough but a neighbor who saw the second one waiting to rush said he was one big guy.

ETA: Yeah jjimm, for awhile afterwards thinkin' about it got me seriously pissed off.

Last edited by lieu; 03-20-2009 at 11:48 AM.
Old 03-20-2009, 11:55 AM
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Orlando(ish)
Posts: 21,605
Those of you who were mad...were you mad because some random stranger had the nerve to give you a very bad scare, sort of like, "Who the hell are you and how dare you?"
Old 03-20-2009, 12:13 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Santa Barbara
Posts: 2,284
You know, my wife and I slept through it all. It wasn't until the next morning that we realized that we had had a visitor. The dog knew though. Apparently she thinks that people that come in through a back window are A-OK. But god help you if you make the mistake of knocking first, 'cause she'll bark her head off.
Old 03-20-2009, 12:29 PM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 7,713
Laid in bed quietly, knowing I was likely about to die or be beaten very badly. 3am, small apartment, I was alone & couldn't determine how many there were in the living room. All I knew is that they were Australian or South African, and that I wished I had my shotgun with me. When I heard the voices dim a bit, I figured they had stopped outside for a second, so I leaped out of bed, forced on a pair of boxers, ran out of the bedroom, hurdled the couch, and locked him out on the ground floor balcony. We were about 2 feet away from each other when I slammed the door.

Immediately called 911, and the cops were there in about 4 minutes. They caught him, and he was a really, really drunk individual who had been talking on his cell phone in my living room. He had some of my things in his pocket. The thing that freaked me out the most afterward was finding clothes from my bedroom closet on the floor in the living room. He had walked within a foot of my bed to get them, then took them into the other room to go through the various items.
Old 03-20-2009, 12:52 PM
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Phoenix
Posts: 1,965
One of my sisters had been married to an abusive ass. She got up the guts to leave him and came to stay at my folks' house until she got back on her feet. I was 16 at the time.

One night I wasn't sleeping very well and I heard the door to the basement open. My folks always locked the house but there was a way in from the garage through the basement that was pretty obvious to anyone that had ever been inside the house.

Dad was out of town and I knew my mom and sister were asleep; so I figured it had to be the soon to be ex husband. He'd made threats that he was going to take her back. I took my shotgun, a single shot .410, loaded it with a deer slug, stuck a couple more in my waistband and went to investigate.

I met him as he was at the foot of the stairs and cocked the gun. I kept about 6 feet between us, and I could tell he wasn't sure whether to charge, freeze or run. I told him if he so much as moved I'd kill him. I was bluffing. The only way I'd have shot him was if he moved toward me, but he didn't need to know that.

I told him to walk backward slowly over to the phone, sit down and call 911 and tell the cops he had just broken into our home and was being held at gunpoint. He complied. Then I had him walk over to the back door, unlock it and sit at the kitchen table until the cops showed up about three minutes later, while I stood on the other side of the room with the gun trained on him.

Mom and my sister woke up when the entire local small town police force (all three of them) showed up at around 3 a.m. It turned out he had a hunting knife on him. After the cops took him away I threw up and sat at the table shaking from the pent up nerves for an hour or so and didn't sleep the rest of the night.

He did 8 months in county for B&E and never contacted anyone in my family again as far as I know. I got a commendation from the chief of police for quick thinking and bravery in defending my family. Of course, being my father's son, I didn't think it was brave, just necessary. The thing I appreciated most was my old man pulling me aside, telling me he was proud of how I'd handled it and that there's no shame in shaking like a leaf AFTER the crisis has past. Since Dad was a paratrooper in WWII, that carried a lot of weight with me.
Old 03-20-2009, 01:05 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 4,542
Many years ago a 16 year old burglar broke into my folks' home late at night. My dad heard something and walked out to investigate. Nervous 16 year old kid walking up the long flight of stairs to the 2nd floor. My dad is 6' 4" and at the time had his big Abe Lincoln beard so he looked large. Dad standing there in his underwear evidently said something like "Yaaaargh!" (he has a very loud voice when need be) and the kid panicked and ran off.

I had one false alarm a few years ago; my folks were out of town and I was stopping by to check on things. I thought I heard noise upstairs so I walked to the foot of the steps and yelled up "Is anyone up there?". I could hear the TV going, thought that they might have left it on. I grabbed a clawhammer from the workroom and shouted out "If anyone is up there come out or I'm calling the cops!" but I sure didn't start up the steps...only way for someone up there to get down is through me or jump out the window and get hurt. I was getting ready to grab the phone when my teenage cousin came out of the room, his family has a spare key and he had let himself in. After I calmed down I figured he was either watching a dirty movie, making out with a girl or just wanted someplace to hang out by himself. Didn't ask, didn't say anything to anyone.
Old 03-20-2009, 01:13 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 13,552
While I was naked and dripping wet from the shower, I delivered a brutal beating to Mr. Burglar. He initially tried to fight back, but very shortly transitioned to escape and evasion as his primary goals. He did manage to retreat; since I was nude and barefoot, I made no effort to pursue him after he made it out of the apartment.
Old 03-20-2009, 01:17 PM
Join Date: Jan 2001
Posts: 26,869
Never happened to me personally.

One of my college friends and his family had a farm out in NJ. During a visit, he was telling us how an intruder broke in and he siced their Doberman Pinscher on him. I'm like "where's your dog, all I see are those 4 horses." "We only have three horses." "oh..." Ok, so he wasn't as big as an actual horse, but he was one of the biggest Dobermans I had ever seen.

Another friend sort of accidently "broke into" his neighbors appartment. First of all, the dude looks and acts like a living Homer Simpson. Anyhow, he was fucking around on his fire escape or had locked himself out or something at 1am and somehow nearly fell off. So he ended up hanging by one arm from the fire escape right in the window of his downstairs neighbor. I don't know if he accidently broke her window or just being there scared the crap out of her but she starts screaming and runs out. He somehow manages to pull himself back up into his appartment but by now all hell has broken loose. Cops are everywhere. The girl is running through the halls screaming hysterically. So my friend casually goes out to see what's going on and one of his neighbors is like "Some guy tried to break into her appartment and she was almost raped!!" He's like "My...god...that'!!"
Old 03-20-2009, 01:37 PM
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Chandler AZ
Posts: 183
I was asleep on the couch in the living room and heard a noise in the kitchen. I sort of sat up and slowly realized that there was a guy standing by the kitchen table. It was almost like watching a movie only it seemed real slow. He was looking through the movies my wife had rented for me and as he moved a note my wife wrote me he saw about 100 bucks in cash she left for me to pay for something.

As he reached to grab the cash, I grabbed a heavy glass mug off of the coffee table I had been drinking beer out of before falling asleep, stood up and threw it as hard as I could at his head. At the same time I yelled startling him causing him to move his head slightly. The handle of the mug just grazed his face and literally moved his hair as it flew by him. The mug must have hit a stud in the wall on its base as it exploded with a BOOM as it shattered at the exact moment a second kid started to walk in the open door from the garage. They both freaked and dropped most everything they were holding and made a break for the open garage door.

I gave chase but without shoes I never stood a chance. I actually doubt I would have had a chance with shoes as all I could see was the back of their heads and the bottom of their shoes as they were hauling ass down the street.

As I got back to the house my neighbor was standing outside and said he heard me yelling and that he was on the phone to the police and wanted to know if they needed to come out. I told him yeah and then started trying to figure out how they got in my house.

By the time the cops got there I had calmed down quite a bit other than being confused as to how they got into my house as i was sure i had closed the garage door. I was pretty sure they did not get anything other than two of the movies so the loss was not too bad. The cops pointed out to me that the sliding back window of my truck was broken and then it dawned on me how they got into my house. They used the garage door opener which I kept in my truck.

I no longer leave any openers in my truck and make sure my wife does not leave hers in her car if she parks outside of the garage.
Old 03-20-2009, 04:39 PM
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 3,211
I slept through mine too. I was 8. They stole (among other things) my grandmother's bag, which was in the room I was sleeping in. None of the 5 other people in the house woke up either.
Old 03-20-2009, 05:12 PM
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: North Florida
Posts: 925
A zillion years ago, I had various apartments and rental houses broken into...jeez, at least six times (that I remember). When you're a starving artist/student/night shift worker in a plastics factory, you tend to only be able to afford to live in really shitty areas of town.

I've only had someone attempt to break in and rip me off while I was home once. I had called in sick from work and was wrapped up in a blanket coughing and sneezing. I heard a couple of loud bangs from the front door that sounded much like someone trying to kick the door in.

I jumped up, grabbed my Colt .45, and ran into the front room. "DIE, MOTHERFUCKER!!" I screamed as I shot round after round through the door, striking the would-be evildoer in all the vital areas and blowing chunks of badguy all over the stairwell. "Fuck with me, will ya'?!! I got a GUN!" I screamed at the now unidentifiable corpse.

Nahhhh, not really.

Actually I ran into the front room, grabbed an aluminum camera tripod and held it like Babe Ruth as I shouted, "I'm calling the fucking COPS, Asshole!" The kicking ceased and I could hear the pitter-patter of frightened Nikes hauling ass down the stairs. I didn't actually even have a phone at the time, but sometimes the threat of action is just as good as actual action.

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