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Sometimes it just takes a scare

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by ChrisVV, Aug 13, 2008.

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  1. ChrisVV

    ChrisVV Member

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    My family always kind of jokes about me always having a gun close by, even in my house...

    My father is a retired LEO. He is a gun owner and him and my mother are both comfortable with firearms. Where I look at firearms for the self defense factor my parents have always thought of them for sporting purpose. My father being ex-LEO has always thought of his guns as a tool he used at work, nothing more. There is no shortage of firearms in their house though they are all locked downstairs in the safe.

    With my brother and I both moved out they are home most of the time alone as my little sister is always out with friends.

    This past week they were gone for 7 days and my brother and I would go by twice a day to let the dog out and turn lights on in different rooms and flip TVs on to make it look as though someone was home.

    The first night they were home, while laying in bed upstairs with only the bedroom light on as they read before going to sleep, they heard a noise.

    The way my dad tells it is that 9 times out of 10 my mom hears a noise and he has to tell her it was nothing. This time they both looked at one another and flipped off the bedroom lights.

    It was the sound of a key going into the doorlock and being wiggled... Then nothing.

    My parents told me that with 3 kids growing up in that house they had heard keys going in and out of that lock thousands of times before but this time it felt different.

    My father grabbed his cellphone off his nightstand and called my sister to ask her where she was and if she was outside the house. She said no and my father hung up the phone.

    He knew my brother and I would not stop by unannounced so he got out of bed and walked to the bedroom door. If he would peek out of the bedroom door he would be able to look down the stairs at the front door where they heard the noise coming from.

    Just as he stuck his head out of the room he heard a thud on the front door, and then another harder thud. My father with is adrenaline pounding, realizing that they were about to be victims of a home invasion, he flicked on the light to the foyer from just outside his bedroom.

    He said that he heard what sounded like a key being ripped out of the lock and then nothing.

    After this incident my parents now keep a firearm in their bedroom. Sometimes all it takes is a scare.
     
  2. never_retreat

    never_retreat Member

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    What was the thump? Did they kick in the door?
     
  3. Loomis

    Loomis member

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    Something's strange. Why would someone try to knock down a door that they put a key into?
     
  4. SFvet

    SFvet Member

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    Probably intoxicated. As a side note - alcohol thins the blood, increases heart rate and blood pressure which means they bleed out quick. It would not be in the best interest of a drunk to get cut or shot :scrutiny:
     
  5. Soybomb

    Soybomb Member

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    Drunk with their key in the wrong door?

    edit: I see SF beat me to it
     
  6. I whittles what I see

    I whittles what I see Member

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    They were probably trying to "lock bump" it with a generic key to break in, unless they were just so drunk they had the wrong house.
     
  7. ChrisVV

    ChrisVV Member

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    My father and brother have a theory that someone was going to break in but were just testing to see if anyone was home first

    Sticking a key in the door to appear to "have the wrong house" if they where confronted by the home owner.

    My brother is LEO one county over and told me they have reports of this technique being used.

    One victim said that after hearing a key go in and out of the door and not turning on any lights to alert the scumbag to someone being home, they just kicked the door open.
     
  8. KC0QGL

    KC0QGL Member

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    Coming from a locksmith point of veiw, the person could have been trying to use the slide hammer method to get in. Only works on Kwikset locks. I have used this method before. Only on the up & up.
     
  9. Loomis

    Loomis member

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    Too bad the scum got away. I would've wanted to at least see his face. I spose that's an unnecessary risk, but that's just the way I am.
     
  10. Loomis

    Loomis member

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    Duh, I don't know why I didn't think of That!

    The thump thump, was the sound of the scum trying to yank out the barrel and tumblers with a dent puller!
     
  11. neviander

    neviander Member

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    There is an entry door in my living room, and one in my bedroom (strange, I know, old house) if anyone 'bumped' anything in the middle of the night at my house, they'd see the business end of my .45, real fast.

    Speaking of the scare factor, it wasn't so much a scare, as an awakening for me. My wife was 8 months pregnant, I was driving around town, working, and she calls me. I say hello like normal and she replies with sobbing saying, "I'm scared" my eyes about bulge out of my head. "What's wrong?" I ask, and she proceeds to tell me about how some guy was stalking her around the store she was at and left a nasty note under her windshield wiper....instantly, raging <>; I just happened to be just down the road from where she was parked. I tear into the parking lot and park next to her, scanning the parking lot 360° with a scowl on my face. She hands me the note after I made sure she was ok. It read like something out of Hustler, and at the end the guy said something about meeting him at the parking lot of the store across the street for....well, use your imagination. I called the cops, they got there pretty quick, they had one cruiser scan the other lot and one come question us; they never found the guy.

    Long story shorter, that whole episode woke me up to the danger in waiting at every corner. Since then, I've bought my wife a 9mm and me a .45. Our CHLs are in the mail. The 9mm stays in the van, and the .45 stays on the nightstand. We'll be getting a shotgun for the front door ASAP.

    It is strange though, I grew up with guns; used to study them, but in my just-after-high-school phase, I kind of forgot about them. Sometimes scary reminders are a good thing.

    neviander
     
  12. Treo

    Treo member

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    Can't Let This One Go

    Ummm, yeah. Alcohol actually depresses the CNS which lowers your BP pulse and respirations. As a side effect alcohol causes the erythrocytes (Red blood cells) to clump up( Thus actually "thickening" the blood) decreasing the flow of oxygen to the brain this causes the "drunk" sensation. So a drunk would tend to bleed out slower than a sober person.

    Refferences :
    The Basic EMT Copyright 1997 Mosby Lifeline.
     
  13. Kind of Blued

    Kind of Blued Member

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    I'm concerned for my parents in the same way. I'd rather get the "paranoid" comments for the rest of eternity than to be able to say "I told you so", but I think I'll ask them what "the plan" is the next time I see them.
     
  14. bigfatdave

    bigfatdave Member

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    I'd also guess a bump key attempt on what was thought to be an empty house.
     
  15. U.S.SFC_RET

    U.S.SFC_RET Member

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    Either bump lock the lock or trying to rip the tumblers out.
     
  16. ChrisVV

    ChrisVV Member

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    tumblers? a locksmith thing?
     
  17. REPOMAN

    REPOMAN Member

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    I'd say it was a drunk that was scared to death when he saw the light come on..... Whether he thought it was the wrong house or not, he figured that either the homeowner or his wife was going to kill him..... Drinking doesn't mix w/ anything....
     
  18. Aran

    Aran member

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    There have been two break-ins in the last few weeks on the block my grandmother lives in in Smalltown, New York in the last few weeks. Not even a suspect.

    The police seem to be letting it go, too, as it was all minor thefts (Beer, money, etc.)

    I'm seriously considering driving home and staying a week (Woohoo unemployment!) or so with her just in case, but she'd never let me in the door with anything that goes bang. (And I couldn't bring a pistol to keep hidden from her)
     
  19. Happiness Is A Warm Gun

    Happiness Is A Warm Gun Member

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    It could have been a bump key attempt.

    How it happens:
    BG cuts some bump key. All locks of a particular type use the same blank. BG takes blank and cuts it so the points on key are at the lowest level for that lock. 20 bump keys for most common lock types in US will open doors for about 80% of houses. Planned communities are the most vulnerable. Since a single contractor built entire community likely EVERY SINGLE house has exact same lock and thus uses same bump key. Of course here and there people may have changed their locks but the vast majority use the same lock.

    So BG scopes out a house during day. Find house that looks like family is on vacation. Walks up to front door and looks at cylinder. Ring doorbell to ensure nobody is home, and generate cover for being at house. Maybe your helpful neighbor says "There not home they want to Orlando and will be back on Monday". Since most lock companies put their logo on cylinder this narrows it down to about 2-4 bump keys.

    BG comes back that night w/ proper bump keys.
    Insert bump key all the way.
    Pull pump key out one click.
    Force the bump key w/ small hammer and turn key at same time.
    Lock opens.

    How does a normal lock w/ proper key work
    Traditional locks have a shear line. The pins in lock are different heights so they need to be raised to different heights to line up with shear line. When pins line up with shear line the key can turn and open lock.

    Imagine a lock with pins that can be 1,2,3,4, or 5 units tall. The shear line is 6 units in height.
    So if you have a lock with pins that are 2 units tall your key is 4 units tall. 2+4=6.

    Our example lock has pins at heights 2,4,3,3,4.
    The matching example key is 4,2,3,3,2.
    24334
    42332
    =====
    66666

    When key is fully inserted it raises top of each pin to the shear line. The total height (key + pin) = shear line. All pins are now at shear line and lock can properly turn.

    [​IMG]

    How a bump key works
    Now in traditional method of picking a lock the tools in pickset are used to manually manipulate the pins to the right height and thus match the shear line, then turn cylinder and open lock.

    With a bump key the force of hammer causes ALL the pins to jump at the same time.
    Look at the photo above. Notice there are two sets of pins (red & blue).
    The bump key forces the red pins up who slam into blue pins.
    What happens in the locks is like a cue ball striking a pool ball; the cue ball stops and pool pall rolls towards the pocket
    The red pins stop and gravity causes them to fall below shear line. The blue pins fly upward against the springs.

    For a very short time (<1/10th second) there is nothing blocking the shearline. The red pins are below shearline and the blue pins are above it.

    The key to bumping is to apply right turning pressure so at that the cylinder turns (before blue pins are pushed back below shearline by the springs.

    A good thief can bump a lock in about 30 seconds. It might take more for some locks because from the outside you can't tell exactly which key to use so it might take 3-4 attempts.
     
  20. skwab

    skwab Member

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    thanks for the info happiness - just goes to show you that you can be doing all the right things and still be very vulnerable.
     
  21. D-Day

    D-Day Member

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    This is why I prefer a heavy duty barn door latch on the inside of the door, perhaps in multiple locations. If it can handle a 1,200lb horse kicking it, it can handle a bad guy.
     
  22. ZeSpectre

    ZeSpectre Member

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    I don't remember where I read it but this reminds me of an old conversation.

    "Ah you are just being paranoid, I mean what are the odds that someone will assault you in your own house"?

    "I don't know, but it's not about the odds, it's about the stakes"!
     
  23. just carl

    just carl Member

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    I guess a fake type key could be a tool used for home breakins, but that appears to be something most wouldn't even consider. Of course all crooks are different so anything is possible.
    From what happens around here is just the old fashion simple system. You park near a place where you can watch numerous houses, especially in the summer when people go on vacations. A house with no lights at night for several days is a good tip no one home. So you just go to that house and knock on the door and if someone answers you ask if the Smiths live there. If no one answers, you just kick the door in.
    Acquire a phone number of a potential home from the People Search web site for phone numbers. Again, a house with no lights at night you just start calling that number. No answer and no lights, just kick in the door.
    Some have a friend that works at a post office. A person contacts the post office to stop the mail for a week or so and POOF, one more breakin.
    Many, many ways without playing around with a key.
    One neighbor went on vacation and notified the post office, police, neighbors of the trip. One day a moving van pulled up to that house and started removing everything. Neighbors ask what was going on. The so called movers said the people that lived there liked it so much where they were at, they decided to move there. Of course when they got home from their vacation they were shocked at the empty house.
     
  24. bogie

    bogie Member

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    Hey, locksmith types... what do you think of Schlage?
     
  25. Old Grump

    Old Grump Member

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    Then there is the friendly helpful post office

    Went on vacation and told the post office to hold my mail for 2 weeks, filled out the form and watched them take it in the back somewhere. When I got home 2 weeks later all my mail was piled on my front stoop along with the stop mail delivery notice. Post Office take on it was it must have been the new guy. Fortunately we didn't have a break in or any inclement weather so everything was there but it was open for anybody on the street to see. Having a cop for a neighbor didn't impress me, he could have noticed and said something to the mail man or the neighbors who all knew where I was going. Wouldn't have happened where I live now but big urban town near Chicago????????????
     
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