"What If", Vol. XXVI
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Thread: "What If", Vol. XXVI

  1. #1
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    "What If", Vol. XXVI

    So I'm at home today (in the middle of a much-deserved 2 week staycation) and two things happened that got me thinking about a plausible "what if" scenario.

    This morning I'm sitting in my office when I catch a glimpse out the window of a rather shabby looking character approach my neighbor's front door. I can't actually see the front door from this window but I saw him head up the walkway. My neighbor is at work but I know his wife is at home because her car is in the driveway. My attention is now fully directed at what may or may not be happening next door. I move to another window to get a better look. Turns out to be a false alarm.

    A short while later I'm outside and the older (early 60s) lady that lives behind me comes up to caution me about a possible "knock and wait" burglary that she experienced the other day. She gave me a good description of the individuals and their car. She then told me never to hesitate to either call her or the police if I ever see anything suspicious in the neighborhood (She's a retired BSO detective and this kind of thing is on the rise in this area). Looking out my back windows give me a good view of her back door and side garage door.

    That got me thinking........

    How far would/should I go if I looked out my window and did see someone forcing their way into a neighbor's house. If I knew the house to be unoccupied (no cars in the driveway) then my choice would be easy - call 911 and then act as an observer.

    But what if the house was occupied?? What if I knew there were potential victims inside who could be subject to more than just burglary?? What if I saw some dude working on a back door with a prybar??

    Certainly I'm calling 911. That's a given. But the people inside - my neighbor's wife, the 60-yr old lady behind me, the 80+ yr old accross the street, etc.....they probably don't have time to wait for the police.

    Obviously at this point I've picked up a weapon (never too far away) and I'm armed. If I'm lucky I could interrupt the BG by yelling over at him and letting him know he's been spotted and 911 has been called, and he runs away. If I'm not lucky, the perp is in the house before I can get in a position to do anything. What to do if that's the case......do you go in after him?? Or do you stand on the sidelines and hope for the best while waiting for the police to arrive??
    (Insert random tough-guy quote here)
    "See my gun?? Aren't you impressed?" - Anonymous sheepdog
    The hardware is the same, but the software is vastly different.

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  3. #2
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    The first thing you should always remember is that you are not a police officer, so you should never chase after the individuals in question. What you did is how I would have handled it. It's always a good idea to call 911 while making sure you're able to protect yourself if necessary.

  4. #3
    I've contemplated similar scenarios myself. If it's the disabled 80 YO gentleman across the street or the 2 older ladies who live next door I think I'd be inclined to take action.
    This would be a good thread to hear from some LEOs about. What are the legal ramifications of me entering the neighbor's house to protect them? Not that it matters because I'm going to take action and worry about the consequences later anyway.

  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by chevfan3 View Post
    Not that it matters because I'm going to take action and worry about the consequences later anyway.
    Spoken like a true blue sheepdog.

  6. #5
    Personally, from a legal and financial view point, I'm inclined to call 911 and observe / listen and witness from a safe vantage point. The press, LEO's, and the prosecutor do not take kindly to good Samaritans, around here anyway. And what "if" you made an error in judgment, didn't know all the facts? It could cost you and your family dearly in criminal court and/or civil court, not to mention if there were any injuries and / or fatalities. That said, if I heard my neighbor screaming for help, crashing noise, etc., no doubt my common self preservation side would probably give way if I was reasonably certain life and limb were in jeopardy. Will never know until the time comes I guess? And I pray that time never arrives...

  7. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by G50AE View Post
    Spoken like a true blue sheepdog.
    I've seen you use this term before. What do you mean by it?

    KK

  8. #7
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    These aren't random strangers - they're people you've known for years. Been over to their house for BBQs and vice-versa, keep an eye on each other's homes when we're away, etc. You know how it is. And it's not like anyone in this situation went out looking for trouble - it gets dropped in your lap whether you like it or not.

    My first instinct is to call 911 and wait. And then I start to think.....what if something really bad happens and I could have done something. What if somebody gets raped or murdered while I was waiting outside. Somebody I know. It's a tough call for me.
    (Insert random tough-guy quote here)
    "See my gun?? Aren't you impressed?" - Anonymous sheepdog
    The hardware is the same, but the software is vastly different.

  9. #8
    Well even though you have good intentions, you are not a cop so the law is not necessarily on your side when you go looking for trouble in the sense that you involve yourself in a situation. Lots of things can go wrong here: Maybe the homeowner is armed and then you come in her house and she sees your gun and assumes your an intruder as well, so you get shot dead. Or maybe the burglars kill the homeowner and escape from you, and then there you are standing in a murder scene with a gun, in somebody else home. Or after you call police, they show up to a home invasion report and find you in the house holding a gun, not good for you.
    Only thing I would do is put my gun in my waistband, call 911, stand outside the house and try to alter the burglars they have been spotted, or if they are inside, ring the door bell and scare them out. If they come at you, you can defend yourself.

  10. #9
    Join Date
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    St. Louis County, MO
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    Call 911 just because you saw someone go to your neighbour's front door? Uh...I think I will wait awhile...It maybe nothing really. On the other hand, the old lady is wise to counsel you about the wait and see part. If you see action and heard action going on, then by golly! call 911 first.
    "Don't let the door hit ya where the dawg shudda bit ya!"
    G'day and Glock
    GATEWAY SWIFT WING ST. LOUIS

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tucker's Mom View Post
    Call 911 just because you saw someone go to your neighbour's front door? Uh...I think I will wait awhile...It maybe nothing really. On the other hand, the old lady is wise to counsel you about the wait and see part. If you see action and heard action going on, then by golly! call 911 first.
    Read a little closer, Mom. I said I'd call 911 if I saw somebody forcing their way into a neighbor's house, not simply walking up to the front door. The guy I saw walking to their front door merely caught my attention.
    (Insert random tough-guy quote here)
    "See my gun?? Aren't you impressed?" - Anonymous sheepdog
    The hardware is the same, but the software is vastly different.

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