Home Security Lessons Learned: An: Unwelcome Intruder, by R. in Utah

The following is from Jennifer’s (my wife’s) perspective…
My Journal Entry of Jan. 30th, 2005. I do not intend to put just dramatic experiences in my journal, in fact, I intend to put mostly my feelings on higher things as well as normal everyday experiences in here, but this one is deserves to be remembered for posterity.

We started out the new year with a 100 year flood. We were evacuated from our home, but we were able to move back in a day later. Luckily had 72-hour kit available and ready, but if it would have been longer, we were ill-prepared for this situation. No plan, no shelter, etc.

The sewer lines were broken due to the flooding, so they capped our sewer line and the city pumped it daily. Last week I woke up Tuesday morning at 4:45 am and smelled something funny. I went downstairs and stepped into 2” of sewer water all over the basement floors. 2000 sq. feet of sewage. Wait—–It gets better or you could say worse!

I hadn’t slept very well all week and was getting up several times a night to check the drains down in the basement. Friday night our neighbors called us to go to a late show. We left our oldest daughter to baby sit, and our son was on his way home from his friends to help her. When we got home at 11:30 or so, the back door to our house in the garage was open a little bit and we really didn’t think much about it. We figured our son hadn’t shut it tight when he got home. (we live in a very small town with literally zero crime. Our two oldest children were sleeping in our master bedroom and the other four were upstairs in their beds. So we woke up the kids and sent them upstairs to bed. My husband and I got ready for bed and went to sleep.

At about 2:30 AM, my 7 yr. old came down stairs because she had had a bad dream. I told her she could sleep on the couch in my room. I heard her go back upstairs about five minutes later. I was awake somewhat so I got up to go check the drains downstairs so I could have some piece of mind and be able to go back to sleep. I came back to bed and my husband was snoring, but it sounded kind of funny. I moved over closer to him and realized that the snoring wasn’t coming from him but from under the bed. I told my husband that one of the kids must have came down and fallen asleep over on his side of the bed. He was unresponsive, he sleeps very sound. I got up in the dark and felt under the bed and I was shocked to feel a full size big body instead of one of my tiny kids.

I somewhat calmly told my husband that it wasn’t one of our kids. This woke him. I can’t say why I was calm except for the fact that perhaps angels were watching over me. I went over and turned on the lamp and looked under the bed. There was a big man sleeping under the bed. I whispered with some serious intensity, “Roger, there is a man under our bed!” My husband immediately got out of bed and looked under the bed also. For a minute we thought it might be one of our son’s friends. Not thinking real clear at 3 am. He has two 14 yr. old friends that are pretty big. My husband ran upstairs and pulled my son down to our room and he looked under the bed and our son informed us that he had no idea who that was sleeping under our bed.

I immediately dialed 911 in the other room while my husband was grabbing his shot gun from the closet. He cocked his shotgun and looked in the chamber and it was empty. Because we have kids in the house, he usually keeps it empty, but has the shells nearby. He ran into his closet to grab his shells and they weren’t there. Realizing his gun was nothing but a big whoppin’ stick, he told me to watch the man while he ran to get shells in the garage. He didn’t find them in the garage and realizing that he just left me with an empty gun on an intruder, he grabbed a golf club and came back into the house. (He told me later he had picked out his four iron first and thought, I never hit my four iron very good so he grabbed his nine iron instead.)

Anyway, the sheriff showed up within 10 minutes of me calling 911. He came in and shined his flashlight under the bed and turned to us and said, “you don’t know this guy?!” We said, “Nope.” He looked at us with amazement and then took out his Taser and undid the holster on his gun. He then woke him up, handcuffed him, and started searching him. He started pulling out a bunch of drugs, meth, pot, pipes, [drug weighing] scales as well as my ‘ wallet, checkbook, cell phone, keys to our Suburban and a .99 cent pen of my daughters that had a bunch of shiny beads on it that looked like diamonds and rubies (that is, it looked like that to a guy that was wasted on drugs), and a hand gun. You can not imagine the scene of seeing the cops arrest a 170 pound drug lord under your bed at 3 am after you realized you slept with the guy there for 4 hours.

Apparently, our son didn’t lock the side door to our house when he came in, and he and his sister fell asleep in our master bedroom about 10:30 or so. The guy comes into our house at about 11:15 or so. We arrive at 11:30 and he gets scared and jumps under our bed. We come in and get the kids to bed in their rooms and we get undressed, brush teeth and jump in bed. We talked for about 10 minutes. He was going to wait until we got to bed before he made his getaway, but he fell asleep before he could make his getaway.

We are so lucky that the kids were ok, I mean, he literally had to step over our son as he was going thru our stuff in the bedroom. Anyway, we were blessed to escape completely without harm, he is really lucky he didn’t wake up to my husbands nine iron, the cops had one of the easiest arrests ever, the guy was prone, asleep, under our bed, in our house, with all the stuff he stole from us in his pocket with all of his drugs. The guy apparently had two outstanding warrants for arrest for breaking and entering.
I know the “what ifs” are endless to think about. But, there are some basic “what ifs” that do not take much imagination. What if the turning on the light would have awakened him? He has a gun, we have an empty shotgun and a 9-iron. What if our kids were awake when he broke into our home?

Some observations: An empty gun is worthless, it will never save your life. We owned no rifle and no handgun. We have no training. We had no dog and no security system. We have purchased a rifle and handgun now and put in a security system. We got a dog. We need training. The situation presented to us would have been much less stressful and less out of control if we would have had front sight training and the appropriate weapons to protect ourselves. Our oldest two children would have been safer, if awake, if they would have had front sight training and so forth. We are lucky it turned out to happen the way it did, but you can’t base your life on luck, you need skills for every situation, skills are the answer, from gardening to weapons training, skills are the focus of our family now. We were so vulnerable.

We talk about protecting ourselves, our preparations, our fuel, our shelter and our food for TEOTWAWKI, always in the future tense, but we are seeing more and more situations every day and year that make me believe that TEOWAWKI happened sometime in the late 1960s and as we have lost skills, become spoiled people dependent on fragile infrastructures, accepted crime and immorality as something we just have to live with, and all this has crept in, in an amazingly subtle way as we have slowly and sometimes quickly lost essential skills and freedoms. – R. in Utah

JWR Replies
: This article underscores te importance of having both the tools and the requisite training needed to survive in an uncertain world. I highly I recommend that SurvivalBlog readers take advantage of Front Sight’s “Get a Gun” training and gear package offer. It is worth flying across the country to take Front Sight’s Four Day Defensive Handgun course. The Memsahib and I have both taken it, and it outstanding.