Home invaders pose as police and take guns


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Min
March 16, 2004, 04:44 PM
http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/news/031504_local_homeinvasion.html


ABC13 Eyewitness News
(3/12/04 - HOUSTON) — Houston police are looking for three young men who forced their way into a home and robbed a northwest Houston couple.

ABC13 report
50 most recent local headlines

The homeowners tell police the three suspects were dressed as police officers when they pushed their way into their home on Mayfield near Vogel around 2:00am Monday.

That's when the suspects tied up the husband and wife, their 19-year-old son and his friend, then stole 10 guns from a gun collection. Before leaving, they beat up the 19-year-old.

Police say he took himself to the hospital for minor injuries.
(Copyright © 2004, KTRK-TV)

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P95Carry
March 16, 2004, 04:49 PM
Brings up the old question ... how in fact does anyone know it's ''the real deal'' or not?? There's not much time to decide. Get it wrong and you're probably dog meat ... either way.

So - LEO's .. how does Joe Average know, one way or the other ... ?

Dave R
March 16, 2004, 04:54 PM
Scarey stuff. I hope there are not many copycats of this MO. If so, that could make life very difficult for LEOs and for homeowners.

Baba Louie
March 16, 2004, 05:03 PM
If you live in the city, before you open the door, call 911 and ask the dispatch op if you should have a unit or three at that address or if the people about to break in your front door posing as cops are real.

Do not automatically open the front door because someone knocks and says POLICE! OPEN UP! The 20-30 second delay could save your life, tho' it might anger a real cop.

If you really truly have done nothing wrong and are talking to one if his dispatch operators to find out whats what for the 30 second delay, explain to him that the one phone call might have just kept him a little safer (like its gonna come up in conversation).

That time frame also allows you to get your piece of mind in hand if needed.

P95Carry
March 16, 2004, 05:28 PM
Baba - being the inveterate pessimist I am ... I am not so sure the ''buffer time'' needed to manage a successful 911 call would work. I am imagining something more akin to a ''no knock'' ... and how in heck anyone could know then whether real or bogus. Things would happen awful quick.:(

RED-DOG 40
March 16, 2004, 05:32 PM
:uhoh: :confused: :scrutiny:

sturmruger
March 16, 2004, 05:38 PM
That is scary. I imagine they would get you for murder if you shot a cop that was coming into your house. It makes me scared to think about the SWAT teams that kick down the wrong door. They would be in for quite a suprise if they kicked in my door. Most likely I would end up dead. I don't have an MP5.

jsalcedo
March 16, 2004, 06:14 PM
Who says they weren't real police?

"Asbestos underwear on"

Steve in PA
March 16, 2004, 06:36 PM
It screws up everything for legal LEOS.

Dressed how? In your normal uniform, or all dressed in SWAT gear? The article doesn't say.

Steve in PA
March 16, 2004, 06:39 PM
"Who says they weren't real police?"


:cuss: pathetic

The Real Hawkeye
March 16, 2004, 06:43 PM
Yeah, and it's so hard to get a SWAT get up, and a windbreaker that says POLICE, or FBI. Hell, they sell this stuff on street stands in D.C.

Selfdfenz
March 16, 2004, 06:46 PM
Kind of a twist on the blue light bandit is it not?
Hate to admit it but I watch COPS once in a while.

From the "OPEN UP, POLICE"

to the time the door leaves the hinges

to the "GET ON THE FLOOR...."

no body has time to look to see if they "look" real or not.


I guess I could stay up all night looking out that little telescope in the door and have a little more time to eye-ball them but........

S-

PS...between the bad guys and not knowing if the police are really the police, living in something made of reinforced concrete with a heavy steel door doesn't seem nearly as tin foil as it did a few years back.

The Real Hawkeye
March 16, 2004, 07:03 PM
PS...between the bad guys and not knowing if the police are really the police, living in something made of reinforced concrete with a heavy steel door doesn't seem nearly as tin foil as it did a few years back.Damned right. Even if it gives you a couple of minutes to look out the window and see if there are any squad cars out there, it could save your life. If the door goes down fast, I'm dead meat, because I'm "going tactical" if that happens. Being a law abiding citizen, I assume that anyone breaking my door down is a bad guy, and means to do serious harm to me and mine.

Langenator
March 16, 2004, 07:06 PM
Damn...the Supreme Court actually touched on the issue tangentially in a decision. The case involved an LEO getting evidence by breaking and entering. The decision pondered what if the occupant had been home, and had a gun, and had shot the officer breaking in. The Justice who wrote the decision (don't remember who) said he wouldn't want to be the DA who tried to bring charges in that hypothetical situation.

The basic rule of using lethal force in self defense: did you feel that your life and/or the lives of others were in danger? If I know I haven't done anything wrong, and all of a sudden there's guys with guns breaking down the door, even if they are screaming "POLICE!" at the top of their lungs, it's game on. It'd probably end up with me and a cop or two dead, and my wife pretty damn rich after she sued the city for wrongful death.

jsalcedo
March 16, 2004, 07:21 PM
Sorry,

Just watched the biography on Frank Serpico. Makes it difficult to tell the bad guys from the bad guys.


http://www.gpnj.org/970922b.html

FNFiveSeven
March 16, 2004, 07:44 PM
If the cops show up at my door, I would be greatly relieved to discover that they were only criminals in disguise.

clubsoda22
March 16, 2004, 07:45 PM
Kind of a twist on the blue light bandit is it not?

That not only screwed stuff up for cops, but volunteer firefighters who utilize bluelights. When a news story comes out about a police impersonator robbing/raping motorists on the highway, a lot of volunteer firefighters/emt's get pulled over when some do-gooder spots the light on their dash and calls the cops. Not fun for anyone. People who legitimately impersonate athority figures should be shot.

As for no-knock warrants, there's no way you wouldn't get a murder charge out of shooting a bunch of cops coming into your home. 24/7 the news media would be showing pictures of the cops playing with puppies or children and they'd all use that one picture of you that you posted on the "Mall Ninja" thread. They'd make you out to be satan and you couldn't get a fair trial anywhere on earth.

If i were a defence lawyer, i'd probably work it like this. If you were actually comitting a crime, then you had reason to believe that the people coming in your window were real cops, in which case you are outta luck. If you have a clean record and had done nothing wrong, and the police meaning to bust the guy on 123 maple street as opposed to 123 maple drive might as well be criminals posing as cops. If you've done nothing wrong and can't think of a reason why the police are busting in your window, then there's a possible defence, but it's unlikely that you'd win because you would have been well deamonized before the trial.

If you want to know if they are real cops, ask to see their identification. Most criminals don't think past the badge...which is worthless as far as identification goes.

WilderBill
March 16, 2004, 07:52 PM
I'm starting to like that bunker idea myself.

Somehow it reminds me of a movie I saw long ago:

SWAT comes down a short hallway and slams battering ram into front door,
turns out the front door is made like a vault and the impact causes another vault door to close behind them.

A full minute passes and a quiet vioce on an intercom says " Yes, may I help you?"

Cops:" Hey, we got a warrent, let us in!"

Light comes on, homeowner: "Lemme see it."

Cops: "It's in the car."

Homeowner: "I'll get back to you in the morning."
Light goes out.

ROFLMAO!

QuarterBoreGunner
March 16, 2004, 07:57 PM
I have absolutely nothing to base this on, as there was almost 'zero' real information in that news piece, but I would not be all suprised if the robbery was an 'inside' job. Friends of the 19 yo, who tells them, 'yeah just push your way in- here's where all the guns are, and you'll probably have to hit me a couple times to make it look good.'

I have no idea why, but this smells like it.

P95Carry
March 16, 2004, 08:15 PM
it's unlikely that you'd win because you would have been well demonized before the trial. clubsoda .. if it was the dreaded ''no knock'' then firstly I doubt anyone would give you the time of day - let alone a look at a badge or warrant .... seems those events happen too fast.

Also might well mean, substitute ''demonized'' for ''dead''!!

Then you'd only be ''tried'' ..... ''in absentia''.

Standing Wolf
March 16, 2004, 08:51 PM
Proves it. Only the police should have guns.

Abenaki
March 16, 2004, 09:42 PM
"Who says they weren't real police?"

I say it's a legit question!
It's not like there has never been a dirty badge!

Abenaki

Blue Line
March 17, 2004, 09:28 AM
if your dead there won't be a trial -

another okie
March 17, 2004, 10:35 AM
Here in Oklahoma a case just finished up that may shed some light on what would happen in these cases, though naturally it has some twists.

The state troopers had good information that a man was making meth at his rural home. They applied for and received a no-knock warrant, and chose to serve it at night. The man had a locked gate with a sign that said "trespassers will be shot" or something similar. The troopers knocked down the gate and drove towards the home across the pasture, with unmarked vehicles in the lead. The man opened fire, killing one trooper and wounding others. He was captured and charged with murder, and pled self-defense. The first trial ended in a hung jury. In the second trial he was convicted of manslaughter or some other charge less than murder. Now this guy was a scumbag, so don't think I'm defending him, but to serve a no-knock, at night, in an unmarked vehicle, against a suspect known to be armed, doesn't seem very smart.

At any rate, this case was widely debated around here. Several of the troopers were quite angry that the jury would not convict of murder. There were also letters to the editor defending the shooter. I can't remember whether he was actually convicted of any drug charges.

mpthole
March 17, 2004, 10:50 AM
If you want to know if they are real cops, ask to see their identification. :rolleyes:
Yeah, I'm sure that'll slow them down.


Scenario A (with badguys posing as cops)
BG: Door comes flying off its hinges. "Get down on the floor NOW, you m$%^@$% f$#%$#@%$ p#@# of @#$@!!!"
You: "Ahh, excuse me, but can I see some identification...?"
BG: Pistol whips you into submission.
--end of story--


Scenario B (with actual cops)
Cops: Door comes flying off its hinges. "Get down on the floor NOW, you m$%^@$% f$#%$#@%$ p#@# of s#$@!!!"
You: "Ahh, excuse me, but can I see some identification...?"
Cop: Smacks you in the head with the butt of his MP5/AR carbine variant.
--end of story--

Carlos Cabeza
March 17, 2004, 10:53 AM
Salisaw, OK. Trooper Rocky Eales. R.I.P. :(

geekWithA.45
March 17, 2004, 11:10 AM
Even criminals, (much less honest men) can use deadly force in resisting attacks by peace officers if the criminal can convince a jury he believed he was under unlawful attack, as distinct from lawful arrest.

http://geekwitha45.blogspot.com/2003_09_07_geekwitha45_archive.html#106340129902393982


There's a giant pile of cases about peace officers bashing in doors, or lying in ambush and opening fire without identifying themselves.

Although public opinion on the topic would be unpredictable, the case law seems pretty settled, and it would seem to apply to no knock raids.

Bashing in the door and coming in shooting and or tossing grenades would make the reasonable person believe he is under attack, thus making repelling boarders a legally defensible option.

Robbers dressed as cops IS a real problem for the cops, because it creates a reasonable doubt in the homeowners mind as to the legitimacy of the guy in the "FBI" windbreaker shouting "Police!".

That being said, I wouldn't shoot a man who politely rings the bell and holds up a badge and a warrant, and waits for the verification calls.

Anyone breaking the door proceeds at their own risk, and being an honest, certified non criminal, it is reasonable to set my default assumption to "doorbreaker = bad guy".

grnzbra
March 17, 2004, 11:19 AM
Does anyone know what kind of penalties are involved in a case of impresonating a police officer to facilitate a crime?

The Real Hawkeye
March 17, 2004, 12:17 PM
Does anyone know what kind of penalties are involved in a case of impresonating a police officer to facilitate a crime?Don't know, but it should be mandatory life in prison, in my opinion.

palehorse
March 17, 2004, 12:56 PM
This seems like a fairly simple thing to resolve, really. Blame it on the boyscout in me, but what about a two tierd door system, like they have in many, if not most department stores.

It's called a vapor barrior. It helps to insulate your home, and it provides two sets of doors that have to be circumvented before someone unauthorized comes into you home. The outer door should be strong, solid and heavy, while the inside door can be more like a typical door on most cookie cutter homes.

I can see nothing but benefits all around, from efficiency to safety, it's your best bet.

And for nay sayers, it's easy to extend a walk up path to include a large storm door without compromising the interior space of your house.

clubsoda22
March 17, 2004, 01:09 PM
Does anyone know what kind of penalties are involved in a case of impresonating a police officer to facilitate a crime?

A legnthy felony sentence. Even the morons who pull people over just to get their rocks off and commit no other crime can get several years. To facilitate the comission of a felony i can the judge easily slapping a decade on an already legnthy sentence for a seriouis felony. In PA it's a mandatory minimum 3 years with no chance of parole on top of anything else.

JoeWang
March 17, 2004, 01:18 PM
Opening your door for the police when they knock is not a law or right of the state.

If they have a warrant or cause they can smash the door in.

The Real Hawkeye
March 17, 2004, 01:57 PM
It's called a vapor barrior. It helps to insulate your home, and it provides two sets of doors that have to be circumvented before someone unauthorized comes into you home. The outer door should be strong, solid and heavy, while the inside door can be more like a typical door on most cookie cutter homes.And you can improve on that by a device which will rain boiling oil on unauthorized people who are between the first door and the second. You can confirm if they are authorized by looking at your monitor.
:neener:

jsalcedo
March 17, 2004, 02:12 PM
edited for duplicate

jsalcedo
March 17, 2004, 02:12 PM
Would OC sprayers discretely mounted above your front door be considered illegal? :evil:

jsalcedo
March 17, 2004, 02:12 PM
edited duplicate

kbr80
March 17, 2004, 02:12 PM
If you live in the city, before you open the door, call 911 and ask the dispatch op if you should have a unit or three at that address or if the people about to break in your front door posing as cops are real.



That info is all good, but I dont think it works in the famous no knock situation all the LEO's seem to favor.

QuarterBoreGunner
March 17, 2004, 02:15 PM
How about OC sprayers? Perhaps mounted discreetly?

What's that you say?... been done already?...

moa
March 17, 2004, 02:41 PM
Last year in Baltimore,MD. a city police team raided the house of a supposed small time drug dealer. The raid alarmed the women of the house who ran screaming through the house.

The so-called dealer did not know what was going down, and got a .45 handgun and basically firing unaimed shots, wounded four LEOs five times out of six shots fired. All the LEOs went to the hospital and survived.

The shooter walked. The city attorney, much to the displeasure of the police chief, decided not to press charges. Apparently the LEOs did not follow proper procedure for the raid.

The shooter held a regular job and could have been arrested on the street or at work any time.

palehorse
March 17, 2004, 03:16 PM
And you can improve on that by a device which will rain boiling oil on unauthorized people who are between the first door and the second. You can confirm if they are authorized by looking at your monitor.


I see your point, and it is amusing. Perhaps some see this solution as extreme or living a life conditioned by fear, That's okay, I guess. I just see it as practial. Some take steps to protect themselves with CCS, others with CCW; I choose an integrated system of it all.

Jay Kominek
March 17, 2004, 04:59 PM
Does anyone know what kind of penalties are involved in a case of impresonating a police officer to facilitate a crime?
Varies by state, as you might expect. Colorado addresses it in C.R.S. 18-8-112, I believe. The legislature is currently considering upping impersonation from a misdemeanor to a felony. The same bill will also include a longer minimum sentence if you use peace officer "paraphenalia" while impersonating an officer.

artherd
March 18, 2004, 02:03 PM
I am going to assume that anyone entering my property by force is violating the law against Breaking and Entering, so therefore they cannot be cops. I will act acordingly if I belive my life or that of a loved one may be in direct jeprody.

Parker Dean
March 18, 2004, 06:37 PM
Originally posted by Abenaki

"Who says they weren't real police?"

I say it's a legit question!
It's not like there has never been a dirty badge!

Abenaki



Too pente-ante a crime IMO, I would hope that any real dirty-cops would have bigger fish to fry.

Parker Dean
March 18, 2004, 06:46 PM
Originally posted by palehorse

This seems like a fairly simple thing to resolve, really. Blame it on the boyscout in me, but what about a two tierd door system, like they have in many, if not most department stores.

It's called a vapor barrior. It helps to insulate your home, and it provides two sets of doors that have to be circumvented before someone unauthorized comes into you home. The outer door should be strong, solid and heavy, while the inside door can be more like a typical door on most cookie cutter homes.

I can see nothing but benefits all around, from efficiency to safety, it's your best bet.

And for nay sayers, it's easy to extend a walk up path to include a large storm door without compromising the interior space of your house.


When there were those home invasions in California a few months back I was thinking that unless the authorities get these invasions stopped cold then there will be a reaction in the home market.

We're probably going to start seeing new-construction homes with just such anti-invasion features as noted above, among others. Just think if a contractor in that community in Cali started offering such features to the terrorized homeowners. I think it would sell like the proverbial hotcakes as long as it wasn't bad looking or intrusive

I'm also mindful of that video segment on American Shooter about Jeff Cooper's house that had some anti-invasion features built in. Looks like he is ahead of the curve again.

ceetee
March 18, 2004, 11:30 PM
A few years ago, down here in SoFla, there was a midnight-shift cop who was burglarizing homes that had been put on his "vacation watch" list. Seemed like perfect crimes, until he broke into a house where the folks had been forced to cancel their vacation, due to illness.

They woke up around 2:00 am to find an armed, uniformed man rifling through their possessions...







edited to add:



Oh, yeah. I seem to recall that he had a gambling problem, and therefore, it wasn't his fault...

FW
March 18, 2004, 11:46 PM
How about a trap door in the entry way?:D

sm
March 19, 2004, 12:11 AM
QuarterBoreGunner-

Made an interesting point earlier in regard as how the " imitation Leos" knew about the guns in the first place.

Personally I keep a low profile,I keep CCW here only, my other stuff if off site in a walk in vault.

I don't use "tactical" range bags, gun cases , ...heck I use a baseball bat bag to transport shotguns. Backpack for handguns. I know from experience that folks "say things" and these things get repeated until dishonest ears hear them.

Lady came home to find cereal boxes emptied on her kitchen, she blabbed that one too many times.

Kids steal from parents/relatives for drug money...

--Now we had rash of Blue Light Rapist cases, really changed things for all involved.

I'd be interested to see how more court cases do play out.

See what concerns me is the angle if all guns are taken away, then when the Authorities of the State come crashing in...well it is for the protection of the State Offical . "Citizen" does not need protecting, that is what the "State" is for. Now to better protect the Citizens -the State needs to check up on you...at random...no warning...

I'm afraid if the wrong addy is given , no time to call and verify...and the door comes crashing in...well at the moment with my laptop it is only 7 steps to front door...Tueller drill practice needs to be stepped up a bit I see.

P95Carry
March 19, 2004, 12:24 AM
Sad to say Steve .. ''Lo-Pro'' is how it has to be these days. Instead of the pride in ownership etc ... it seems more prudent to keep mouth shut!

Some people (a few) know I carry but do not know what my collection comprizes ... VERY few know that or see them. Pity really cos nothing more enjoyable than a cosy chat around the emptied safe! :p

Most people round here have a gun or two ... and expect that .. but advertizing a ''collection'' just seems too crazy these days .... pity.

grnzbra
March 19, 2004, 10:17 AM
In PA it's a mandatory minimum 3 years with no chance of parole on top of anything else.

3 years. That's nothing. I don't see why every criminal doesn't dress like a cop to facilitate the crime.

moa
March 19, 2004, 01:30 PM
The thing about people blabbing about your "pieces" is true, with unknown consequences

A friend of mine, who I used to go target shooting with (but no longer) was a big mouth. He and I, and an number of our mutual acqaintenanes, had the same barber.

So, I was none too pleased, when sitting in the barber chair one day, the barber was telling me what "pieces" I owned at the time.

HankB
March 19, 2004, 03:36 PM
So it's happening again . . . a couple of years ago, there was a spate of home invasions in the Houston area with bad guys impersonating police . . . it seems to me that, since this sort of thing is COMMON KNOWLEDGE and has been reported in the major media many times, then a good defense lawyer could use that to inject reasonable doubt into the prosecution of someone who shoots "real" police he thought were fakes.

Particularly if the homeowner is NOT a dope dealer or other known bad guy, and the cops hit the wrong address by mistake.

(Of course, if there are 6 marked units with lights flashing outside, and the officers are all uniformed and present a valid warrant, this type of defense won't fly very far.)

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