The Aftermath: Lock Your Front Door

Welcome to Aftermath, a portion of our First Line email newsletter where Attorney Anthony L. DeWitt walks you through a real-life self-defense incident and shares his key takeaways.

Lock Your Front Door
According to news reports, a Portland man had three strangers burst into his home and threaten him with a gun. When the homeowner could get to his own gun, he shot and killed one of the men while the other two fled. The defender admitted his front door had been unlocked. He stayed on scene and cooperated with the police investigation. The man involved says he now suffers from PTSD as a result of the shooting.

Do you regularly go over your home-defense plan? Share your tips for preventing or defending against a home invasion below.

9 Likes

Lock your dang doors, folks.

All of them. All the time. Well, not when you are walking through them, but, otherwise, lock your dang doors. Car, home, shed, basement, storage, garage-to-house, all of em!

8 Likes

Most burglars/home invaders don’t want “aggravated” to precede their potential charges. They DON’T want anyone home. If given a choice they’ll pick an empty house over an occupied house. With this said, yes, in a populated area, lock your doors, all of them, day and night, even when home.

As mentioned before in posts, if you don’t have a dog, make your house look like you have a dog. Put a water and food bowl outside the door. Put some used tennis balls or an old dog toy or nyla-bone in the yard. If you park your car in the driveway, have one of those I Heart Collie bumper stickers on your car.

Virtually all bad guys don’t want to mess with canines.

7 Likes

I’m with @Fizbin - do everything to make your house looks like occupied all the time. In my case little inquisitive neighbours are a great plus to keep community safe… :slightly_smiling_face:

7 Likes

That is a good idea too, though sometimes, like possibly in this case, that won’t be enough. I’m guessing that 3 burglars entering the unlocked front door, while armed, decided it was worth the risk of committing the burglary ‘hot’

4 Likes

My doors,Coming in or going out are something we do without even thinking. Like I told my HH6 and kids. The lock increases my time to react. Not really going to stop them, Just slow their advance. Like I said on another post Train for intrusions like you would a fire :us:
One other notion is when we come in after being away, Look for things out of place before entering. Would prefer not to be surprised that way either

4 Likes

Also a good point, even though you should have a monitored alarm that pushes to your phone, the habit of looking around is still good, you may notice things outside the home

3 Likes

I’m going to make a recommendation that some may not have thought of. On the rare occasion I require maintenance or a big job in my home I always check and re-check that all doors and windows are locked after the crew leaves.
I bring this up because, call me paranoid, but on one occasion I could swear one of the workers on a job I had at my home intentionally unlocked my side door entrance to the garage. I waited till the job was completed, followed all workers off the premises then locked all my doors.
I’m a creature of habit. I never leave a door unlocked, never leave a window open and my alarms are set religiously.
Claymores are set, trip wires are tense, infrared sensors armed, night vision helmet on the nightstand, perimeter lights on and cameras are a go.
Did I mention I was paranoid? Seriously, this is 2022 Chinese Year of the criminal. Just so happens it’s the year of the “Water Tiger” . What does that mean, it means they work hard and go after what they want!
Lock your doors!

5 Likes

One thing certain family members do that drives me nuts is leaving the door from the garage to the house unlocked. They tell me that the garage door is shut. A few years ago I watched a news cast where hackers had a device that could grab garage door opener signals and open the door. This was probably 10 years ago so the tech is probably better now. Lock all the doors.

3 Likes

Plus, a bunch of those people have garage door openers in their cars in the driveway or on the street. And a fair number of those have that car unlocked (not that a locked car is difficult to get into, like, at all)

I’m the weirdo that locks the cars which are both in the garage, with the garage door down, with a locked door from the garage to the house, with alarm sensors on all of the above.

A couple years ago our next door neighbor had a not-all-together guy knock on their door from the garage to the kitchen, which was of course unlocked, and then open it.

2 Likes

This is for Anthony, yes the front door is locked right after using it, part of my plan all avenues of access locked and secured, cameras at the angle they are intended for. Have my guns around the house in concealed position and ready for any situation that may rise, then as always my two concealed guns are on me and in trained place on me. Now the cameras work on cellphone so we can see who or what is out there in plenty of time to dail 911 if needed and be ready to repell all unwanted borders, usually not needed because we have 3 city police officers that live just down the street. Stay Alert Don’t Get Hurt.

1 Like

Mistake 1, living in Portland. Glad he was armed and made it out alive.

I always make sure the locks are on, but there’s an old saying “locks only keep honest men out”. He should have locked the door, but 3 men planning a burglary probably had already committed to his house. A lock would have just bought him more time.

3 Likes

Absolutely keep all doors locked including those who have security screen doors, and all vehicle doors locked.

1 Like

We are late to the electronic security game. But any deterent is worth adding.
:us: Also folks should look at how crooks work to defeat such countermeasures. Just an extra add on

3 Likes

Lord, save me from living in a place where I have to lock myself in 24/7! (Sounds a little like being in prison.) It’s been a couple years since an unknown/unexpected vehicle or person has even entered my driveway. I’m not oblivious to security, just practical and geared to exigent conditions. My 24-legged alarm system is always armed, and safety devices are close at hand. It is sufficient unto the day.

3 Likes

I think that place is pretty much anywhere that strangers could possibly show up.

I can tell you, I do not in any way feel like being in prison because all of my house doors are locked right now as I sit inside at my desk.

As an alternate perspective, a lot of people would have your general reaction to the idea of having a GUN close at hand, as in, Lord, save me from living in a place where I need to have a gun.

Just something to think about

3 Likes

I take your points, Nathan, and appreciate your perspective.

Change it to “may need to have a gun” and, sadly, that’s just about everywhere. I keep mine handy, even here.

2 Likes

I agree, I came from a time where folks out here in thy country left their doors unlocked. I dont think even then we were crime free. I do know my grandad kept a shotgun in the corner. I also think it that most folks did the same then. And I think it was understood if a person stepped into someones house uninvited they would possibly get lead poisioning.

2 Likes

Excellent thread. Locking the doors should be inprinted in your brain. My wife calls our home “Fort Knox”. She is teasing me & is actually smarter than I am & very situationally aware & security conscience at home on the same level as I am. Unless everyone living in the home is on the same page, security is out the window.

4 Likes

Had to be scary for anyone. While I was an active duty LEO I had several discussions with my family about what to do if an intruder(s) was/were in the house. We had a code word that would be yelled out and broadcast through our intercom system, everyone was to go to ground (hopefully in their/our bedrooms, but to ground wherever they were when the code word was yelled. I would then secure the house and/or engage any intruder. If I had to fire my weapon I would shoot above waist level. We actually ran a few drills over the years (a couple in the wee hours) and other than chapping my wife and kids, they always responded appropriately. Scary that anyone would have to think they have to prepare their family for this type of event. We also had discussions, when the kids were younger, about what to do if a takeover robbery occurred when we were at a store or restaurant. Never happened thankfully.

4 Likes