Guess country life isn't safe either...


October 20, 2012, 11:44 AM

This happened a couple miles from home; several bad guys stage a late night raid on a farmhouse to steal firearms. I thought moving out to the country would get my family away from stuff like this.

It doesn't say it in the newspaper article, but I know the people indirectly through my neighbors - the man works third shift, so the thugs broke in while he was away at work, and his wife & children were asleep. They slept through the robbery - one of the bad guys had a handgun "in case of trouble" while the others stole everything portable of value (starting with the firearms).

The bad guy that was armed is still on the run. They managed to steal a bunch of stuff from the house, including more firearms.

Two of the intruders caught were from the Peoria area; over 30 miles away. They drove clear out to the country to do this.

The bad guys were damn lucky if you ask me, a fair amount of the people in this area keep loaded guns nearby when sleeping. Don't know if this was a random robbery or if the bad guys had intel about when the man of the house would be away.

Anyway, guess it can happen to anyone, anywhere, at any time...

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October 20, 2012, 11:52 AM
Had to be some kind of inside info considering the guy was at work. Still shocked that the wife slept thru it though. We have had a few out here, but there is always something that draws them, like a coin colection, something of value. And ussually a young addict family member. Sad.

October 20, 2012, 12:05 PM
My son goes to school with the teenage boy who lives there (he's 14 or 15, a freshman; my son is a sophomore). Our rural school has graduating classes of about 20 kids each year, so everyone knows everyone, for the most part.

I got some more info of my son this morning (had to tear him away from building a website)... the girl who turned over information to police lived in the house that was robbed; recent graduate. Evidently one of her friends was involved with someone that planned the robbery.

So .. from what I can put together, there was inside information about the home delivered via mutual acquaintance to the bad guys that performed the home invasion.

The people who performed the robbery ALSO stole a rifle (model unidentified) the same night from a different residence in town - and ONLY a rifle on that one.

Evidently all firearms have been recovered but they still haven't caught the primary suspect (the one who was armed at the time of the robberies).

This line from the questioning was spooky - "A handgun was brought into the home “in case there was trouble” from occupants".

Carl N. Brown
October 20, 2012, 12:10 PM
One of my co-workers talked to a new neighbor a few years back. The new neighbor had retired from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and picked my coworker's rural neighborhood precisely because of the low crime rate. He wanted to retire from all that crime bother.

I can say that the countryside and small city tend to have lower crime rates per 100,000 per year. My home county (~140,000) went three years without a homicide. But low does not mean no.

I used to wonder at the practice mentioned by my grandparents of sleeping with a pistol under the pillow, because life seemed so safe, but I have since begun to wonder if life had been safe because potential home intruders were aware people were sleeping with pistols under their pillows.

October 20, 2012, 12:19 PM
Carl; yeah, I wonder about the logic as well. On a fair day, I can hear gunfire from seven or 8 different directions sometimes when standing out in my yard. Picking a random house to break in to here is REALLY damn dangerous. But, it's clear in this case that information was delivered (inadvertently?) via a mutual acquaintance.

I have to say this would have had a much different ending in my home; even if I'm put down by the first bad guy or I'm not home, my wife, both sons, and oldest daughter are all trained to shoot; you are NOT getting inside this house without alerting someone (dogs + alarm).

"Trouble" for armed intruders in the country could very well start - and end - with muzzle flash, not words.

Unfortunately, dumb criminals don't realize these things, until the worst happens to some of them.

Just because you live in a "safe" area doesn't mean you should drop your guard. If anything, you should be MORE vigilant, because help is often 20+ minutes away if you call 911 in the middle of the night. (Average response time here for county is well over 20 minutes).

1911 guy
October 20, 2012, 12:20 PM
'Hood rats have cars, too. I live in a small town, our phonebook is thinner than a deck of cards. Our local troublemaker got put away (turned 18 and was charged as an adult=jail instead of wrist slaps) but a few break-ins have happened since. Since you don't get here by accident, the local cops started keeping tabs on "suspicious" (not from here) cars. One was soon stopped with loot in it.

Moving to Mayberry doesn't mean the cretins can't reach you.

October 20, 2012, 12:26 PM
Also, the spooky part HERE is that last time we did a drill in my home - a few weeks ago - we specifically talked about multiple attackers.

We do tornado drills, fire drills, and home invasion drills here. My little ones (6 and 8) have a special place they know to run to if any of the adults yell a specific phrase - solid enough to stop small arms fire. My older children have places to go which are also hardpoints, with firearms nearby, although they're instructed to only acquire those weapons if "dad goes down".

It sure sounded paranoid as hell when we did the drill last time. My kids definitely thought Dad had lost it! "Dad, we're not going to have 5 or 6 people kick in the door in the middle of the night, you're just being paranoid."

When we did the "training", there hadn't been any nearby home invasions involving multiple armed intruders in recent memory.

I think my family will take the next drill a lot more seriously.

Am I paranoid? Debatable, but I prefer to think of my family as "well prepared."

October 20, 2012, 12:27 PM
If you and your family don't maintain sufficient privacy about owning firearms then you set yourself apart from your neighbors that do. Robberies aren't random when someone comes to your home because they know more than a curbside view will tell them.

I've made a point of explaining that talking about what we have in our home (other than critters) to others can lead to bad people wanting to come to our home to take those things and possibly hurt us.

4v50 Gary
October 20, 2012, 12:33 PM
Keep the mouth shut.
Layered security.

October 20, 2012, 12:37 PM

Very valid point.

And I believe I've made myself a potential target, having taught several of my son's friends how to shoot. THOSE kids are good kids. Their other friends they talk to.. might not be.

We can't live entirely secluded, unfortunately. And I can't fully limit the impact that 7 other household members have on our privacy - others are going to know we have firearms.

Hell, I shoot in my backyard, so there's 100 houses within earshot who know I have firearms. (It's how gun owners out here find each other out here - I've gone to several neighborhood "shooting parties", completely uninvited, simply by walking down the road following the sounds of firearms, with a range bag over my shoulder! Great way to meet the neighbors.)

Hell, I had one neighbor roll up in a golf cart one time while I was mowing the lawn, asking if I had any 50BMG ammo for sale (I did, and sold him 300 rounds). One of my other neighbors told him about my Barrett M95 ...

My lawnmower broke this summer, told one neighbor about it, and another neighbor started mowing my lawn - didn't even ASK - just found him out there mowing my grass one morning. I knew he had a 1911, so I paid him in 45 ammo.

So, yeah, there's a line to draw in the sand about privacy vs. socialization and camaraderie and fellowship. I choose to live more openly than most do, and accept the consequences. This also means I have beefed up my external security a heck of a lot more than most.

It also means when there's an unusual car parked outside my house in the middle of the day I get multiple phone calls on my cell phone. "Yes, that's my friend Roy, he's over here picking up AR15 parts, I'm here visiting with him." :)

In larger cities you don't get this level of "community".

And I sure as hell love it out here.

October 20, 2012, 04:43 PM
Used today's news article as a motivation for a trip to the range with Jr.. he went to town with the Taurus PT92, shot through 200 rounds of 9mm today.

I tried to catch an actual shot, but this was as close as I got, can still see the muzzle smoke cloud disbursing in front of him.

October 20, 2012, 07:00 PM
Loose lips sink ships!

October 20, 2012, 07:24 PM
Glad it didn't turn ugly, but as to the firearms, I keep all mine in safes, except for what I keep out for protection. Outside of a small circle, nobody knows I own guns. No signs, no NRA bumper stickers either.

October 20, 2012, 08:18 PM
No, no lace is entirely safe, its all relative though. Some are definetely safer than others. It's all about what you're willing to live with, both the convenience factor from a town, and even what part of the country, and what level of risk you're willing to live with.

Some places you're truly more likely to be mugged by a critter than a person. Most people don't care for that level of inconvenience from a town, and the lack of the sort of jobs/wages they are used to.

Many openly say they envy where I live, but I'd guess most aren't willing to pay the price it takes to live here.

October 20, 2012, 08:53 PM
Malamute - I want to retire out to the rocky mountains. This country living is kind of a .. staging area.. until my kids are all launched out to conquer the world.

Even so, we have roughly an hour round trip to go to the store, or get gas; we're pretty remote. Pizza delivery is already a distant, fading memory, and we've only lived out here 5 years.

This story had a (relatively speaking) happy ending, anyway. The guns were recovered quickly, only one person is still on the run (out of the 5), and most importantly - no one died.

If they'd picked a different house to rob, there might be a mess of weeping parents right now. Some of us country folk are much less friendly to armed intruders, nor are we likely to sleep right through a home invasion.... dogs, alarms, and sturdy doors make it much harder to get in without making your presence (loudly) known to those inside.

October 20, 2012, 09:06 PM
How much longer?

October 20, 2012, 09:50 PM
"Trouble" for armed intruders in the country could very well start - and end - with muzzle flash, not words.

Y'all need to read The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse by Fernando "FerFAL" Aguirre. The book is fairly well known in gun circles and discusses his experience with the economic collapse in Argentina. While there is a certain romantic sense of survival being out in the country it also has a significant amount of risk. The risk of being out in the country is that you just can't be on guard 24/7 for potential intruders and eventually they will catch you off guard. Being somewhat isolated they will often times take their time and torture you/your family in order to be sure they have found all the valuables. It definitely made me rethink my ideas about being out in the country.... the muzzle flash, not words goes both ways.

October 20, 2012, 09:54 PM
Nope country life ain't never been totally safe and many things on the farm never get reported.

Most folks in the country also realize that the sheriff ain't around the corner and tend to plan accordingly. When im gone and the neighbor sees a strange vehicle I get a phone call.....when i'm home sometimes also........ain't much traffic around here so it's an event. lol

I sure do wish I could order a pizza delivered!!!!!!!!!!! I am blessed by having a really good pizza place about 12 miles down the road:)

I'm happy noone was hurt!!!

October 20, 2012, 10:38 PM
The country is still safer than city life. I have a deal with Domino's. If I want a pizza delivered they will meet me half way. Like someone above said, this afternoon, all afternoon I could hear gun shots from several different directions. My closest neighbor was sighting in his AR-15 in his back yard this afternoon. My other neighbor doesn't even call if he sees a strange car come down my 400' long driveway. He just gets his 12 ga. and walks back here to check things out. My wife and my mother (84 next month) have concealed carry permits and are proficient. Oh yeah, my pit bull that has her own love seat to sleep on near the front door does not like being woke up in the middle of the night. The gator in the pond at the back of my property takes care of all would-be evidence.

October 21, 2012, 12:45 AM
Country folks should always have dogs. Large, unfriendly, territorial dogs. I love my sweet little Beagles and they love everyone else, but if I ever get to live in the country there will be a couple of more serious animals added to our pack. Country folks have to leave their homes unguarded far too often, and an empty house in the country is just a big target, IMO.

October 21, 2012, 05:00 AM
Malamute, my youngest is 6, so at least 12 years.

That is, of course, if my oldest boy doesn't end up living in the basement until he's 35. :)

My smallest dog is a 55 lb husky. My biggest dog is an Irish Wolfhound pup. He's 11 months old, is 38" tall at the shoulders, weighs over 165 lbs of tough muscle and bone, stands over 7' tall on his hind legs, and once knocked me out cold on accident saying "Hi" when I walked in the door. Has a hell of a right cross, that dog, and he's still going to keep growing for another 8 or 9 months.

Here he is .. demanding a cookie from my wife.

She made the mistake of teasing him with it, the chair (and her) ended up on the floor with the wolfhound hunting for the cookie that my husky stole during the confusion. You can make his blue eye out in the photo, barely, under the wolfhound's jaw.

Good with kids, fortunately. This is him with my 8 year old (2nd grade) daughter.

October 21, 2012, 07:56 AM
Telling people you have large numbers of valuables is risky.
A gun or a few might deter bad guys, but many can attract the bad guys.

Young people with ties from high school, early jobs, dating scene etc tend to socialize with everyone. This means even those that pose no risk themselves generally have friends that do. While older bad guys tend to be more surrounded with similar people of loose morality and so if you choose to socialize with such people you should know your risks in advance.
Young criminals are also less experienced and more stupid so prone to do riskier things, and perceive small reward as more.
Today due to social media it has become common for young people to blab about everything with many people, even in person. Privacy is less respected.

This means generally it is the friends of teenagers and young adults who themselves seem perfectly fine that pose the biggest risk. Or the friends of older adults that are usually more obviously bad news.

All homes are merely resistant. Living in the country allows one to make their home more resistant, there is less crime, but there is also privacy from others afforded to bad guys while they operate.
Laws don't really let someone set up a home to be hardened against anyone without explosives and indirect fire like would be easy to do for a defender. No sentires, no booby traps, vicious dogs are more likely to bite a neighbor and get you sued than protect your family.
Dogs also don't shoot, and while they deter most criminals, they are also readily dispatched by firearm armed criminals so in reality provide more of a distraction and force the bad guy to show their violent intentions rather than actually adding physical protection.
Really the law limits you to adding barriers, and there is typically fire codes that limit how much of that is even legal.
You can put all the lights and cameras you want, and they deter, but in the end they allow you to observe, and don't protect you from someone that doesn't care if you observe them.
You can harden a home, but the same privacy and space that gives more freedom also means a criminal has more time to bypass security, or use various tools to gain entry that would attract attention in a city.

However there is also many security benefits. In the country just an unfamiliar vehicle going by or someone on foot gets attention. In the city numerous people go by a residence all day and so the bad guy blends right in.
Most criminals are also lazy, and they rob their neighbors. The people most victimized are low income neighbors that live in bad areas with criminals, its not the valuables they have but the convenience of robbing someone close.
Those criminals willing to go out into the country where just their presence actually is noticed and suspicious is rare. Unless of course they are the teenagers of someone nearby who is a neighbor, or the city friends of a teenager that lives nearby (as is the case here?, didn't read story.)

Dave P
October 21, 2012, 09:02 AM
"Irish Wolfhound " I call BS - that thing is a freakin' horse, and should be kept in the barn!!

October 21, 2012, 09:35 AM
The "idea" that some places are safer than others is simply wishful thinking. The bad guys can go pretty much wherever they want. And dogs are the best alarm system you can have (if you're home when they give the alarm.)

Owen Sparks
October 21, 2012, 10:40 AM
Country living is safer simply because you are not exposed to as many people. It is an odds game. Any place with a thousand people within walking distance is going to be more dangerous than some rural setting with only a dozen or so neighbors who all know each other.

October 21, 2012, 11:16 AM
I agree with Owen.

Many places are safer simply because of location. That doesn't mean completely safe, it's all a matter of odds, but compared to a place thats heavily populated, a very rural place is safer, especially when neighbors know each other. In my case, I'm in a very sparsely populated state, a full tank of gas away from anything that truly qualifies as a "city", 30-some miles from a town, several miles and several turns off a lonely two lane hwy, with plenty of other choices before anyone got near my place. That it looks like I dont have much probably helps (can you say "hillbilly heaven?"). I have several neighbors that live close enough to see if anyone comes around, and several are retired. Many semi-local people that drive by on the hwy dont even realize anyone lives in the area.

When travelling, I tend to stop in rural places for the night for the same reason, and prefer to travel in winter when I have a choice, feeling that most crooks arent going to be as active in the cold. That its easier to get rooms is a bonus, and any activity in the parking lot is easier to keep tabs on. I dont have any trouble getting rooms that I can park right outside my window, one or two rooms from the door. I always go to the same places, and request the same rooms when I call. I travel with dogs and am also getting rooms in places that have good dog walking areas right outside the door, so it works well in several ways.

October 21, 2012, 12:12 PM
We live in an increasingly troubling world. The portion of the population that is supported by the rest, is growing, and the more we "give" to them, the more they feel entitled to that and more. Consequently, if you have something they want, they believe they are entitled to take it. Our Share the Wealth president has not helped the situation, which is only going to get worse. It will not get better in any of our lifetimes, so we need to be prepared.

A couple of observations.

* Criminals all have cars, so small towns and rural areas within 50 miles or so of a city are readily accessible to burglars, robbers, invaders, including those who have no reluctance to stepping up a robbery to a shooting. Indeed, they see those areas as easy pickings. My friend in a nearby county lives on property in the country. She has been burglarized three times in the last year. 60 miles from Houston. Remember the

* Children outside the major metro areas are no longer shielded from the city. The Internet, satellite TV, cell phones...we're all just one big, dirty city now.

* Even the city can be safer. After several burglaries in our neighborhood (950 homes), I started an email list, initially with 12 people, and now two years later over 70 people plus the principals of the nearby schools. We pass on anything we hear or see, including local crimes or suspicious cruising autos (It's a rule for our list the political correctness will not be observed...if you see an old Toyota Corolla with four young black men driving slowly down the street, it's OK to tell everyone, then call the Constable!)

In addition, we have a sub-list of just our immediate street, where we tell one another that we're going to be away and which we use--along with the phone, of course--to inquire when we see an unexpected car or truck parked on the street. Our Constable picked up a sleeping high school class cutter one day that way. We also used our little list to mobilize neighbors and their kids for a search, when we found the indoor dog of an elderly neighbor, and he didn't answer his door.

Be safe.

October 21, 2012, 12:13 PM
If you have the money (and an understanding spouse/family) you can harden a home pretty well. Steel door in a steel frame well secured in the wall. You can get polycarbonate windows (aka lexan) that are impact resistant. Key word resistant. If the bad guy(s) bang the lexan enough with a hammer or crowbar it'll still break, but you should have enough time at that point to be ready to great them with gunfire.

This stuff's expensive though. But if you've got family at home with you it'd be worth it.

Take a look here for examples:

Make sure you don't mix up polycarbonate and acrylic (acrylic is aka plexiglas). Found this out the hard way at work; plexiglas is NOT impact resistant!

October 21, 2012, 12:44 PM
Rural living can be problematic at times. Being far away from central distribution points hasn't really been tested by truly disruptive events as of yet. I'm sure that bigger cities would get amenities like gasoline and electricity faster than rural areas would, if push came to shove. More votes to win by helping a big city too. Still though, I'd prefer to be in a more rural area even if it means we'd be cut off faster than more populated areas.

October 21, 2012, 01:58 PM
They drove clear out to the country to do this.

Question 1: Who blabbed


Question 2: Who's the last guy to gun Maps directions off Google to that random farmhouse ;). Ten bucks says they didn't know the way off-hand (if they did that narrows it even more)

At any rate, thank goodness the goons got what they were looking for and left quietly, as opposed to waking up the household. Hopefully those guns won't get used before they're recovered, either.


Rural living can be problematic at times. Being far away from central distribution points hasn't really been tested by truly disruptive events as of yet. I'm sure that bigger cities would get amenities like gasoline and electricity faster than rural areas would, if push came to shove. More votes to win by helping a big city too. Still though, I'd prefer to be in a more rural area even if it means we'd be cut off faster than more populated areas.

"A country boy can survive" as the song goes, I guess. That said, a family member who lived just outside of Memphis said brazen break-ins were common due to the 45 minute police response times (20mi away from city center). That's probably worse than the crummiest inner-city 'hood. There's a reason wealthy/valuable homes in poor, rural countries tend to be hardened (or guarded). You truly are on your own out there.

Halal Pork
October 21, 2012, 02:11 PM
This makes me think of the events recounted in the book In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. Thankfully the results in this case weren't as bad.

October 21, 2012, 02:42 PM
Halal Pork said, "This makes me think of the events recounted in the book In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. Thankfully the results in this case weren't as bad."

Whenever I get the urge to buy that 15 acres and move to the farm, I think about that book. Then I go buy another box of 5.56mm. Truman Capote destroyed the dreams of a generation with In Cold Blood. Why couldn't he just have quit after Breakfast at Tiffany's?

October 21, 2012, 02:50 PM
I never read the book, but always assume I'm probably on my own if something happened, at least in the immediate sense, even if one could get a call out (and cells dont always work where I am).

Theres a couple old sayings that come to mind regarding life out of town, particularly very out of town. "Hope for the best, prepare for the worst, and take what comes". The other one was the Marine officer's saying that's on a few sig lines here and there. You know, the one about being polite and having a plan. Most everyone out here is friendly though.

You can count on most neighbors, and even strangers to give a hand in a pinch, which I like. Strangers often get polite, curious neighborly questions asked of them. At the very least, folks like to meet the new people. No need for a welcome wagon, many of the neighbors will simply stop by when they see a new person move in.

P5 Guy
October 21, 2012, 03:01 PM
Way back when, there was a couple from England shot at a rest stop off I-10. the male died and the female was wounded.
Those that committed this crime were sent to live with relatives in the "country" to get straightened out. I know that there are no parts of Florida that are as remote as the area discussed above, but where do the relatives of your couple of miles away neighbors live and how good are they?

October 21, 2012, 07:38 PM
stress test said: You can get polycarbonate windows (aka lexan) that are impact resistant. Key word resistant. If the bad guy(s) bang the lexan enough with a hammer or crowbar it'll still break, but you should have enough time at that point to be ready to great them with gunfire.

Things are also a balance. I recall home fires in some bad inner city areas where everyone had bars on their windows. People would burn alive because quickly exiting through the window while choking on smoke, and half blinded with stinging eyes was hard to do.
Even those with a way to open or requiring a key typically couldn't be opened when seconds counted.

It is kinda like 'bullet proof' vehicle windows. Great if you have a high risk of being shot at, deadly if you are more likely to get in an accident and then are trapped in a vehicle on fire, in even a foot of water upside down (if you roll doors typically won't open anymore) or your head impacts the glass that instead of giving cracks your skull like a wall. Clearly for the typical person a car accident is far more likely than being shot, so bullet resistant windows pose more danger than the risk they mitigate.

October 21, 2012, 07:50 PM
"Irish Wolfhound " I call BS - that thing is a freakin' horse, and should be kept in the barn!!

If not a horse, then it's the abominable snowman....that "dog" is huge!

October 21, 2012, 07:54 PM
A very prominent doctor, who lived a block east of us, in Bellaire, Texas, was killled by armed intruders on his rural ranch outside of Bellville, Texas, a normally very peaceful place.. (Bellaire is a small city that once was outside Houston, but is now surrounded by the sprawling amoeba of a growing Houston.) The doc was set up by his ranch hand! One of the shooters was a cousin of the ranch hand.

The doc did have a firearm, but died defending his family. Luckily, his defense succeeded, as his wife and baby were physically unharmed.

Rest in peace, Doc.

Gun Geezer
October 21, 2012, 08:13 PM
Not far from hear in East Texas, an 80+ year old man and wife were murdered in their house. Beaten to death if I recall. They were well off the beaten path. Remote to say the least.

Apparently nothing stolen. No motive. Nothing. Rangers think it was a "thrill" killing. Perhaps a gang initiation. That was 3-years ago.

Nobody is safe anywhere at any time.

Stay ready.

October 22, 2012, 01:08 AM
Rural living can be problematic at times. Being far away from central distribution points hasn't really been tested by truly disruptive events as of yet. I'm sure that bigger cities would get amenities like gasoline and electricity faster than rural areas would, if push came to shove.

Youve got two sides to that coin.. There is less stuff to "fix" in smaller towns, however less resources to fix it... Last Hurricane to pass by, I regained power a 1-2wks before my co-workers in the Houston area and Ive had the opposite they were fine and I was without.

Course I wasnt worried about looters and violence as all the neighbors banded together to cook and provide what some were lacking.

October 22, 2012, 10:21 AM
All of these tragic sad stories do not in any way shape or form influence me to want to live in or near any town.

To me, the imagined or potential risks of living out of town are far outweighed by the benefits.

Living in or near a town by no means guarantees that nothing bad will happen, or that anyone would help in any way if it did.

October 22, 2012, 12:38 PM
Things are also a balance.

I agree with Zoogster.

In any situation we can think up, a Probability vs Possibility assessment comes first as it applies to our individual situation. Only then can effective and realistic controls be developed and implemented.

The other thing is to realize there'll always be a weak point in our control/defense measures. (Heck, even a US President doesn't have 100% assurance of his personal safety.)

Country life or city life, any good security/defense/alert plan needs improvement/changes over time. Sure, some changes are more permanent than others but avoiding complacency goes along way towards enjoying a safer chosen way of life.

Oh, and people need to understand that safety isn't a 100% absence of danger/risk but instead a state of being in which mitigated dangers/risks exist.

October 22, 2012, 12:49 PM
Dogs also don't shoot,...rather than actually adding physical protection.

Your security plan is obviously lacking. lol

October 22, 2012, 06:02 PM
The safety of country living is a real illusion. I knew a woman...her house got robbed shortly after her husband died. This was also in IL.

Really easy to "case" a place out in the country and many neighbors out there anymore are just renters that don't really know anyone.

October 23, 2012, 08:07 AM
Youve got two sides to that coin.. There is less stuff to "fix" in smaller towns, however less resources to fix it... Last Hurricane to pass by, I regained power a 1-2wks before my co-workers in the Houston area and Ive had the opposite they were fine and I was without.

Course I wasnt worried about looters and violence as all the neighbors banded together to cook and provide what some were lacking.
There are no absolutes. Every place in the country is different, as is every small town; same in the city. After the referenced hurricane, my daughter, who lived about a mile from me, lost power for about an hour. We lost it for four days. Other parts of Houston were out as much as two weeks. I seem to recall from the news that some rural areas in southeast Texas were out a month or more. Luck of the draw.

My neighbor across the street has a whole-house natural gas generator. He told all the neighbors to bring over their phones, ipods, and other things in need of recharging to his house. He also rolled out his gas grill and emptied his freezer, while inviting anyone to bring their stuff and cook it before it went bad. Most of us had electric ranges at the time, so that was a help for those without at least a charcoal grill. Luckily, we never lost water.

This thread has been helpful to me. In spite of In Cold Blood, I've been watching the farm and ranch real estate listings for a while. I can imagine a situation where a subsistence farm might be nice to have, if/when things go to hell. Of course, it will then be important to be able to defend those crops from the third of the population who has never taken care of itself. Then, the AR, shotgun (don't have one yet), pistols, and in the worst case, the bayonet (yes, Mr. President, the military does still have bayonets--one for every rifle) may be necessary.

I have this idea. Four like-thinking families. Four farms with houses where the four meet, within 50-75 yards of each other. Shared, single access road. Video and live surveillance, coordinated travel schedules so that at least two are on site all the time. All with sufficient but inconspicuous armaments. Probably a dumb idea, but I have one other party interested, if she can convince her former FBI husband... It's an old idea, I know, but maybe one whose time has returned.

October 23, 2012, 09:07 AM
Dogs also don't shoot

I dont know about yours, but my dog's gun is always loaded....

Sent from my HTC One X

October 23, 2012, 09:46 AM
A couple Chihuahuas and a Jack Russell Terrier and you have about as good as it get's for a home alarm.

October 23, 2012, 10:17 AM
Some suggestions from our Harris County Sheriff.

Timers. Timers on several lamps in the house. Use them all the time, not just when away, so that the house appearance never changes. Also have a timer on a radio or TV, so that it comes on and off at different times of day. I like the TV, because at night the light from the screen shows movement from outside. I have AT&T Uverse, which times out after a few hours, so TV is a problem, although you can get a little light thing from Amazon, called Fake TV, that has a pattern of colored LEDs that light up randomly giving the appearance of a TV in the room--just be sure you don't put the device where it can be seen from the window.

I also have a CD of "household sounds", but I haven't tried it yet, as I don't have a player that will start playing from a timer or repeat. I did play it, and it sounds pretty good, if I can work out the logistics.

Rex. The motion sensing electronic dog. This picks up motion in all directions, including through doors and windows. It barks once initially, then twice, then five times. If you know it's there, it sounds fake, but if you just hear it from outside the front door, and you're a thief, you might just move on. Keep a dog bowl outside to help with the illusion.

Garage doors. Most garage door openers have a release rope and handle, for when the power is out. Thieves can slip a coat hangar over the top of the door and snag that rope handle or loop. Cut it off so there is nothing to snag.

Garbage cans. It may not be the "green" way, but I will not use a garbage can that gets emptied in the morning while I'm away, then sits out at the street advertising "no one at home" to cruising burglars. I put my garbage in garbage bags. Sorry, Greenies. I do at least compost my grass clippings and leaves.

Cars in the driveway. If you always park outside, then when you are away, it is obvious to those casing your residence, that you're gone. I park both cars in the garage...a unique concept, I know. Garage doors--keep 'em closed, so you don't show passing thieves what you have as well as giving them easy access.

Sprinklers on timers. Good to keep continuity of appearance, except if you get a few days of rain.

Gates. We have a wood fence with gates on both sides of the house. Sheriff advises putting locks on access to the back yard. If it is difficult to get back there, thieves will often just move on to an easier target. It was a problem for meter readers for a while, but now we have smart meters for electric and gas.

Obvious things. Newspapers, flyers on the door knob, etc. Get someone to pick them up when you're away. That's where neighbors can be helpful. In my little area of the neighborhood, we cooperate and help with security.

October 23, 2012, 01:57 PM
One thing Trent mentioned was word-of-mouth and people who talk piss me off.

I used to have a few old cars stored at my dad's place and guys would 'hear about them', come through the small town near the farm and start asking the good ol' boys where the guy with the old cars lived. Seems like my dad would call once every year or two asking if I was expecting company. I feel he was very lucky to not ever have trouble, though I know most people are good.

I never could understand why neighbors would openly give information to complete strangers.

October 23, 2012, 03:25 PM
One thing Trent mentioned was word-of-mouth and people who talk piss me off.

I used to have a few old cars stored at my dad's place and guys would 'hear about them', come through the small town near the farm and start asking the good ol' boys where the guy with the old cars lived. Seems like my dad would call once every year or two asking if I was expecting company. I feel he was very lucky to not ever have trouble, though I know most people are good.

I never could understand why neighbors would openly give information to complete strangers.
Most people want to be helpful. Bad guys count on that. It's why so many robberies and muggings are preceded with a request for directions.

October 23, 2012, 03:41 PM
Most people want to brag about things which are unusual.

A remark like this one - "Man you should have SEEN that guys basement! Holy cow he's got enough weapons to start world war III"

Can end up getting your place cleaned out.

... And the guys who show up to do it might be "loaded for bear."

When me and mine run drills (about once per month) on what to do, we now plan on multiple attackers.

All security is an illusion.

That gun safe you have is great, sure.

Until a bad guy waits in the bushes for your loved ones to pull up, then marches your daughter / wife / son through the door with a gun to his/her head, with two helpers in tow to haul the loot.

You're going to give up that combination REAL fast.

Suddenly that sturdy physical security isn't quite so secure.

This is why home defense is a FAMILY WIDE event. Doesn't matter how good YOU can shoot or plan or prepare - there is always a weak link somewhere, and smart bad guys will find it.

October 23, 2012, 03:58 PM
Our kids are grown. The grandchildren have never seen a gun in our house. When they ask about what is in the safe, I tell them it's just papers about the house and cars and stuff. I still wear a concealed handgun when they're here, and I keep it in a GunVault on the nightstand overnight. Young children are the biggest braggarts there school, especially, and everyone including bad guys, has kids in school.

Halal Pork
October 23, 2012, 03:58 PM
I just try to pay attention and not look like a soft target. Now, not looking like a soft target when you get down to it might sound like some folks' joking suggestion of how to survive a bear attack: Just be sure you can run faster than one of your friends. I mean my house can certainly be broken into, but it looks like a more hardened target than any of my neighbors' houses; so thieves will likely choose the path of least resistance and pass on my home.

When I moved into my neighborhood in a town too small to have a post office, I got a bit too lax. If you pay attention, some incident will slap some sense back into you. The first incident for me was a Halloween night. Being in a semi-rural area, parents truly out in the sticks will put their kids in the car and drive them to a tiny residential neighborhood such as mine to go trick or treating. I saw two sets of parents that first Halloween who were very likely meth addicts. While I didn't have any particular concern about the individuals, it did remind me that if you're out in the country meth is likely a problem and that even though I think my little neighborhood might be virtually crime free internally there are people with meth addictions within a short drive. Back to reality.

October 23, 2012, 04:07 PM
OP: Small wasn't a robbery. ;)

Living in the country absolutely does not make you safe from other people. Anywhere you can go other people can go, and anywhere other people can go you are at some risk of attack or theft or vandalism or whatever from other people.

Vern Humphrey
October 23, 2012, 04:15 PM
Arkansas has a couple of laws that are pretty effective in curbing this sort of thing. the first, of course is liberalized concealed carry. When you force your way into a house, you can't be sure the people have taken their guns off.

The second law says any force used by a homeowner against an intruder or arsonist is presumed reasonable. And if charges arise, the judge must read the law to the jury in giving them their final instructions.

I live in a rural county of 11,000 or so, and we've had one murder in the 13 years I've been here.

October 23, 2012, 07:33 PM
Just to add a thought, my wifes nephew 53 yrs old, called yesterday to ask me which shotgun he should buy. This is trully a big deal since he was not the least bit interested in guns, even up to 6 months ago when he was staying in Vero beach FL. It has dawned on him, "even being a Budist" and a "Holy man", that he now requires a weapon in the house he moved into in Idaho. We spoke for a time, as he is an interesting guy, always into some new venture, and he said that he just realized that I was right in what I had been advising him about what may lie ahead and wht is happening now.
Now that's a major turnaround, from an intelligent enough guy who sees what is happening to society and is likelly to continue in a downward spiral.
We settled on an auto shotgun, him not being a shooter, he wants something he can load 8 rounds in, and not have to think about pumping or any other manual control, other than racking it once and releasing the safety. The largest selling gun from "Buds" last few months, was the Interstate 12 Gauge shotgun. People are looking for an inexpensive 12 gauge for home defense. Wallmart had the auto version for three hundred dollars last week, here in town. Anyone have any experience with the auto version, and is the an extension tube available?
These home invasion type robberies are going to continue until we get the economy back on track. It's going to get worse before it gets better, I had devoted my facebook page to pointing out crime stats and letting folks know what is going on that these politicians are covering up. I went as far as pulling everything out of the Stock Market, for the first time ever. I feel we are headed for a nosedive, and tonight a new survey came out showing home purchasing trends are at an all time low, the worse in history, expect this to be reflected in coming days in the market, like today.
We must be on high alert at all times, as you never know who overhears what from someone who may be speaking in generalities about friends who own guns, safes, etc.

Vern Humphrey
October 23, 2012, 07:57 PM
Now that's a major turnaround, from an intelligent enough guy who sees what is happening to society and is likelly to continue in a downward spiral
Old saying, "A man who doesn't have a gun when he needs one will be buried as a fool."

October 24, 2012, 12:09 AM
Another thought in the safety mindset, city or country. There are decent quality security camera systems that can do some interesting things. They can be set up to react to movement in specific areas of the camera image, and do several things when activated. Some of what they can do is, call certain phone numbers (like your cell), and either give a recorded anouncement or notice of activation. They can also start videoing or taking still pics, and can transmit the images to an e-mail address or your smart phone, so you can see in real time what's happening at home when the system activates. It can transmit the images or video to an offsite host also to keep it secure. It can activate an onsite alarm or lights. Most also will work in darkness (night vision). Price varies with quality, but even fairly inexpensive ones can do a lot today, tho with less video quality.

Ther is another type I'm interested in also. It has a hand held receiver/screen, and two cameras that operate wirelessly. It's meant for onsite use for shorter distances, as in, while you're home, but it allows instant checking of the video stream anywhere you are at that moment and are in range. I believe it also has settable ranges for alert, like narrowing the field of the screen for only certain areas to be alerting, and sensitivity to motion, like the other one mentioned. That adjustement allows you to tune the sensitivity to help screen out "normal" or background activity. This hand held type would be potentially useful away from home as well.

October 24, 2012, 01:07 AM
Yes malamute those systems can be useful, but half of the deterent they provide requires the criminal to know of the capabilities they have to be concerned about. If the criminal knows of the capabilities they can also work to try and disable them.
A system relying on internet, cell phone, or land line use could be disabled just by cutting the lines to the house and using a cell phone jammer (readily available in much of the world, extremely simple electronically, though illegal in the USA.) System readily disabled within less than the first minute of arriving at the home all before even making entrance.

It reminds me of the hidden cameras I put on a motorcycle to constantly record. Primarily to provide evidence in the event of a hit and run and assure conviction of whoever hit me.
That transformed into providing video while parked as well.
I thought about it and realized while useful they provided no deterent. It didn't reduce a hit and run because nobody would know they were on video until after the video led to their arrest. It didn't reduce damage while parked for the same reason.
The recorded video was stored on the vehicle. (I didn't want to pay to incorporate a cell phone and extra monthly plan into it.) So if the video system was known and targeted, the video did no good.
If I made the cameras known to deter it would deter more, but then it would also be targeted for destruction and so was a worthless feature.
So either it provided no deterent, or it would provide deterent but be easily targeted for destruction and so be worthless if someone still chose to do something.

Well the same is true of various security systems. If nobody knows what they do they won't provide the same level of deterent. But if they do know what they do, they can figure out ways to make them worthless because by knowing what they do they can figure out what can be destroyed or disabled to make them worthless.

Halal Pork
October 24, 2012, 03:01 AM
I have cameras up around the exterior of my house and they are in no way hidden. When they went up, it caused a minor furor in the neighborhood. I'm sure it provides some deterrent for anyone paying attention and it also keeps regular folks on good behavior when they come on my property. It also allows me to glance at a screen and see what is going on outside. Of course any preventive measure can be defeated, but in my case someone would need a ladder or shoot out the cameras which in either case would still show them on camera. Storing recordings online or onsite is another consideration anyone interested in cameras will have to consider. I feel better having cameras, particularly since living way out does not lend itself well to prompt police response times.

October 24, 2012, 10:46 AM
If you are going to use Cameras, use hard wired ones. As mentioned the jammers sell from $50-$1,500, depending on range and power. They will also jam cell phone transmission.
I have been procrastinating for 3 years now about hard wiring 2-4 cameras myself. The only thing I can tell you from experience with a home invasion, is that masked men are impossible to identify. I was able to do it by comparing notes with other victims of similar robberies. But if they see cameras, a good theif will return in disguise. The amature I don't worry about as much, having dogs and alarms , along with carrying in the house. They will help with kids breaking into cars and such.

October 24, 2012, 10:49 AM
Zoog, I think you're more interested in deterence than I am. I'm more interested in catching who did something, if anything ever did happen. I'd as soon they not know they (cameras) were there. If anyone is deterred, it would be when they happned to look right at the camera. Smile. (Too late, I see you.)

There really is very little happening around me, I just mostly like to know whos been there when I'm not, which is very rarely in any event.

Perhaps in other areas deterence is a higher priority. I want to be as discrete as possible that I even have anything.

Some people have used game cameras to catch images of people around their place, which can work ok, tho a couple have had the cameras taken when discovered. A couple of those using the game cams have caught images of neighbors/locals on their place. When asked, the neighbors denied it, then when handed copies of the pics, got quiet, but were enver seen around the place again. The best stories are when they had things taken, and were able to give pics of the people to law enforcement, which generally cleans up loose ends nicely.

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