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burglars

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Auto Burglary 

(NOT an Auto and Burglar gun, after which I still lust!)

Since re-locating with my ex-girlfriend over five years ago (I can’t believe it’s been that long!), very little of a criminal nature has occurred here. (compared to my previous neighborhood.)

The old neighborhood was rife with graffiti and gang stuff. I had THREE burglaries in eighteen years, the last in which my 800 pound Ft. Knox vault and it’s contents (personal stuff and 53 firearms) were taken!

When I moved to ‘the suburbs’, my automobile insurance company even refunded me $18.

However, no place is crime free. 

I returned home Saturday last, when my ‘new’ neighbor (of six months) to the North was outside examining his car. It seems his car had been broken into, and his registration, insurance papers and an inexpensive 380 ACP handgun were stolen.

So much for the $18 safer neighborhood! 
 

The Rifle That Got Away

aka, the rifle who never was(?)

My friend Murphy’s Law recently acquired a piece-of-ordinance that sparked a memory for me.

The Fabrique Nationale de Herstal Fusil Automatique Léger, aka FN FAL

(or sometimes colloquially pronounced fin’fall)

Regular, long-time readers know I got into riflery late in my gun ‘career’.  My focus had largely been police and self defense oriented arms, until Bill Clinton’s assault weapon ban came to be. (#$&%^(@!)

Then, as the almighty government told me I was not allowed to have a particular sub-set of firearms, I had to have one.  Or two.  Or more!

Friends gifted me with a semi AK copy.  Eventually, I acquired three more, in AR configuration (and one parts AR carbine in 9mm, which was never completed.)  And magazines, ammunition, cleaning tools, slings and other acoutrement.

Followed by a domestically-assembled H&K 91 clone.  And an M1 Garand.

Yeah, I’m a completionist!

But, I never did acquire an FN.  Heard stories from shooting buddies who had, and the guy who owned Royal Bookstore (a Belgian emigre’ who became an American citizen and fought in Vietnam.)  And read about them in Cooper’s Gunsite Gossip.

Of course, you know the end to the story.  Burglary,  800 pound safe stolen – with all her contents.

So the FN would have been gone, regardless.

😦

fn

 

Yep, It Happens Everywhere!

There’s a popular meme regarding firearms possession and safety:

Do you have your gun; it’s a bad neighborhood!?

As though crime doesn’t occur in ‘good’ neighborhoods…

(from my dear friend Brigid)

Stay in the Boat

True Blue Sam the blogger is someone perhaps just a few of you know as a long time friend and commenter here.  He’s also something more special. He’s my father in law. He and my mother in law, both firearm owners and skilled and proficient shooters, had a home invasion on Thursday night. The person involved may have been high on drugs (I’m guessing meth) – he DID ransack one of the freezers in the garage, taking a ham hock, a tub of lard and some ocra.  Just saying.

No one was hurt, but there are lessons to be learned.  Not just the fact that the perp been detained earlier for a event, had a psyche eval (by Skype no less) and was released to continue his night of mayhem. But rapid response when this sort of thing happens. (Semi Auto is your friend).

We always worried that  being in the city that something like this would happen here, and in addition to our stickers shouting alarm system! we added extra bolts, top to frame  and bottom braced against a floor joist, for the walk out basement doors, in addition to cutting back shrubbery and adding extra lighting.

But this happened in a very quiet rural area, where the nearest “city” is houses, a barber shop and a church, just as they were heading to bed, and not thinking of defense.

Just some things to think about folks and we’re just thankful they are safe, though a vehicle was stolen and totaled (after getting some serious air time during a chase through the woods) and there was a lot of damage to the home as the perp used firewood outside to break out several windows in an attempt to get into the main house before hitting the garage.

First of all, thank God everyone is safe and well!
And ‘safe neighborhoods’?  No such thing!
It’s not paranoia if a threat really exists!

November 24, Seven Years Ago

(a follow-up to the November 8 post I Sometimes HATE Novembers, as promised…)

So, here I was, in my insurance-paid-for-rented-condo, about a mile North of my home, while contractors rebuilt it, after the drunk driver had hit it two weeks prior.  That’s what I get for buying a corner lot, off a street that zig-zags.  Drunks never caught that nuance, head straight for the alley, see the power pole, and crash into my back yard.

It had happened before.  Last time it was just the fence that was destroyed.

Good times…

I, of course, still had to go to work, pay bills, and check the mail at the house, all while surveying the excruciatingly-slow process of rebuilding the rear of my home and replacing the fence.

Thankfully (?) I was beginning to have more health issues (joy, joy) which meant I was missing more work. Which gave me the excuse to stop by and check the mail and the progress of the reconstruction more often.

And, it had been a couple of days since I had last checked the mail, and it was my birthday(!), so I thought I’d check the mail again.  Hell, there might be a birthday check from someone in the mail? 🙂

I pull into the driveway.  No contractors present.  This always bothered me, as this process was taking forever. Of course, mine wasn’t their only project.

(This had been a little over two weeks!)

AND THE SIDE DOOR WAS STANDING OPEN ABOUT TWO INCHES!

This alarmed me, as no one was around.  The door had been always locked and the extra key placed in one of those Realtor-access combination locks around the door knob.  Which was now nowhere to be seen!

I exited the car and drew my 1911 pistol.  (Yeah, I know.  All my training (which I had trained others to do many times before) was to leave the area to a relatively safe location and call the police to respond. After all, there may have been multiple armed intruders inside burgling my home!)

BUT, this was MY HOME!  And the training went out the window.  Sigh.

I slowly entered the kitchen, listening intently for any activity inside, pistol at-the-ready.  Then into the living room, bath and two bedrooms.  This was relatively quick, as it was a 740 square-foot house.

It was obvious someone else had been inside.  Someone NOT a contractor.  A home computer, portable television, stereo, some faux Samurai swords and a number of other items were missing.  Movers had taken many of the larger furniture items to put into storage prior to the reconstruction.  But I was told they were unable to take the gun safe, as they were prohibited from storing firearms.

They had removed the Dillon XL 650 reloading press from it’s mount, preparatory to the rebuild.  But had not put it into storage. (I guess it was gun-related).  It was gone.

And the 800 pound, Fort Knox gun safe was missing.  And this was on the floor…

20151106_165708 (1)

Someone obviously had pried off the combination dial and locking lever to open the safe.  And when that failed, THEY TOOK THE ENTIRE 800 POUND SAFE! 

Credit cards, spare checks, school transcripts, cameras, my birth certificate and over fifty firearms! Gone.

First, I called the insurance company, to see if they had perhaps authorized storage of the safe and it’s contents, and had inadvertently broken the locking mechanism somehow in transit.  Then, I called the mover and the police.

And was scolded by the 911 operator, as it was for emergencies only.   How was fifty+ firearms possibly out on the street was not an emergency?

Ultimately, the contractor, the storage guy, my insurance man and the police arrived on the scene.  I recounted my actions upon arriving multiple times for each of them.  And I was livid.  To keep me occupied (and busy and out of the way) the police advised me to make a list of what was in the safe, including all the firearms and serial numbers.

I knew most of their descriptions by heart, but the list (with Polaroids and serial numbers) was not around.  It was probably in the materials previously packed and moved to storage.

Fortunately, I still had many of the receipts and gun boxes, which were labeled on the edge with the numbers.

And set about making the list on a legal pad.

All parties were questioned.  The contractor’s employees all had cellular telephones they were required to keep with them at all times (for GPS tracking purposes).  And all passed the location test.

As if someone couldn’t have left the phone at home off-hours to do a burglary?  Or they told someone else?  Come on!  I never broadcast about the safe in my home, suddenly, after many strangers had seen it, it went missing.

After six months, the house was reconstructed, painted, re-floored (safe drag marks) cleaned (even clothes in the closet dry cleaned!) and restocked with the stored items.  I had called in to stop all my credit cards the same day.

I received a check for the maximum available from my policy.  (Note-to-self:  Make certain all valuables are covered, and if there is a cap it covers all firearms.  I was insured for a maximum of 5K on the firearms, eventually paid just over 7K total.  Firearm valuation of the missing?  Over 21K! in 2009 gun values)

Fortunately, I had taken my favorite 1911 and .38 snub with me to the condo!

And none of the identity items, credit cards or firearms have ever surfaced.

I’m thinking Mexico, and thank God that Fort Knox makes a quality piece of security equipment!  I suspect it’s abandoned in the desert somewhere, still unopened.  (Let this be a lesson – if you’ve not done so already, bolt your safe to the foundation and wall studs – even if it weighs 800 pounds!)

And among the missing are my electroless nickel Colt Gold Cup, 1969 Browning High Power, 4 AR-15s, my Ithaca Deerslayer Police Special 12 gauge, my pre-model 27 Smith & Wesson 5″,  my Sig-Sauer P220 – marked made in W. Germany(!) and my 1942 Springfield Garand!!

I had to use the insurance money for other things, and never was able to replace any of the missing firearms.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!

FTC – Fort Knox safes gave me nothing.  I bought it at a gun show.  Leave me alone!

 

You’ve Caught The Burglar!

burglarHome invader(s), rapist, armed robber…!

Inside your home…in your yard…on the street…

You got the drop on him (them) and they acceded to your demands, dropped their weapons

AND FROZE.

NOW WHAT?

Do you have a PLAN?  Coordinated with your family members?  Who is going to be where?  Who is calling the police?

You are in your pajamas and barefoot.  How will you identify yourself to the police when they arrive?

OR WILL YOU BE SITTING HANDCUFFED ON THE KERB NEXT TO THE FELONS WHILE THE POLICE SORT THINGS OUT?

My point is simply this – HAVE A PLAN!  For inside your home and yard.  Coordinated with family, and perhaps even neighbors/block watch folks.

AND, if you get the drop on an armed robber out on the street, how do you expect to control them while you call the police?  Is there a kidnapping and false imprisonment charge in your future?

We’re told by the experts to plan what to do if an armed robber goes up to the cashier at the Denny’s where we are sitting.

There should be a plan already thought out for the aftermath.  EVEN IF NO ROUNDS ARE DISCHARGED.

Being an armed citizen is more of a responsibility than just carrying a gun.

Be prepared.

Bureaucratizilla and Insurance

Go together like a horse and carriage…

Once upon a time, I owned a home.

Nice corner lot.

In a sketchy neighborhood – it was all I could afford.

After a car ran into the house (driven by a drunk driver), a subsequent burglary (renovation workers?), and a plumbing failure with mold threatening, the insurance company cancelled my insurance.

Not surprising.

A subsequent water damage problem came concurrent with the onset of my cancer, and loss of the house and insurance, home and medical.

Yeah, I know.  Just lucky, I guess.  🙂

I did land ‘on my feet’, thanks to a good friend who allowed me to move in with her, and being awarded medical disability.  Fortunately, not only do I get SSDI, but I had the foresight to obtain additional private carrier disability insurance when I was employed.  Together, they make just enough for me to survive.

Barely.  Sometimes.

But the private insurer likes to give me hoops to jump through – like me sending them medical and financial records – lest I appear to be actually working and getting ‘extra’ unauthorized funds from them monthly!

The joys of bureaucracy.

Now, my former employer, TMCCC*, has contacted me suggesting I take retirement!  I just turned 62.  And as I haven’t accessed their human resources website in many years, I had to jump through even more hoops.

All to advise them I’ve no plans to retire until 2017 – when I turn 65.

At least I’m not a close friend who gleefully signed up for Obamacare!  When it came time to renew their government-mandated medical insurance, they were told they could keep it.  For an additional $300 a month!

Unable to afford it, they opted for AHCCCS – Arizona’s Medicaid option.

And trying to advise the federal government they were discontinuing one insurance, and starting another was (in a word) difficult.  Apparently, one calls in and leaves a message, so ‘they’ can call you back.  ‘They’ do so (days later), and then threaten you with prosecution for not having insurance – even though you explained to them you were simply changing to another carrier!

(I should have included this in my previous posts regarding customer service, I know!)

I know all of us must deal with some variety of bureaucracy and it’s web of crap, but, with this modern age of computers, the Internet and menu prompts, you’d think it would be easier?

Especially on the older with infirmities.

NOPE.

*TMCCC – That Major Credit Card Company, where I was employed 22 years.

“BURN THIS BITCH DOWN!”

So said (on camera) Michael Brown’s stepfather after the announcement of no true bill was made by the Ferguson prosecutor.

Rumors are The United States Department of Justice will be pursuing civil rights charges against Officer Darren Wilson.

No word as to whether or not Michael Brown’s stepfather will be brought up on inciting to riot charges…

destroyIf the above protestor’s sign is true, wouldn’t there be many more Black folks killed by White law enforcement officers than Black folks killed by other Black folks?

AND, if it is true, shouldn’t the reverse also be true?  Shouldn’t this Constitutional Republic Nation be charged with capturing and imprisoning all the folks, who by their selfish acts of violence, thievery and terrorism, are trying to bring down the Nation?  Isn’t the above suggesting insurrection and treason?

I know what some of you are thinking.  You are thinking protest is allowed.  A Right.  It certainly is.  Lawful protest, for a redress of grievances.

This doesn’t include destruction of property, and looting.  Never has looting been a form of protest.  It is a form of burglary and vandalism.

But (you say) the Founding Fathers destroyed property as a form of protest!  Remember The Boston Tea Party?

It’s true, not only did the Founding Fathers and their brethren (and sistern) destroy property – they killed officers of the British Crown.  And denied allegiance to the same.  TREASON.

They already had concepts of a replacement government in place when they did so.  I don’t think the protestors burglars and vandals in Ferguson have such an agenda.  I think most of them are self-serving useful idiots of Lenin.

And while we’re on the subject of Tea Parties.  The Left has branded ‘the Tea Party movement’ as racist, largely because anyone against the President’s agenda is colored racist.  No (or scant) evidence.  The Big Lie.  A Big Lie repeated often enough is perceived as truth.  And that it was an idea from a Nazi the protestor above is using to further an agenda.

A Nazi who would have killed her just as soon look at her.

If only these protesters had read history, including the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s writings on non-violent protest…

Sigh.

h/t Theo Spark

Lock-Picking For Fun And Profit!

lock picks

similar to mine, without the leather case!

(Disclaimer:   I-in no way-endorse illegal activities of any kind.  If you are reading this in a correctional facility (and are not staff) you should probably disconnect before the guards are alerted to your activities!  They generally have no sense of humor! – Guffaw)

From The Art of Manliness…

An Introduction to Lock Picking: How to Pick Pin Tumbler Locks (link)

Why You Should Learn How to Pick Locks (Even If You’re Not a Criminal)

Some of you might be thinking, “Brett, why should I learn how to pick a lock if I don’t plan on breaking into people’s homes?”

Great question.

There are a few good reasons why law-abiding citizens should learn how to pick a lock:

Lock picking opens your eyes to the “illusion of security.”

It makes you handy.

It’s cool and fun!

When I was a private investigator/security supervisor for P**M**, my boss and I decided it would be appropriate (cool) for each of us to obtain a set of commercial lock picks.  Pretty much for the reasons listed above.  We went to a commercial lock supply store, presented our P.I. credentials and each bought a set.  Then, we returned to the office and spent the rest of the afternoon locking and unlocking the exterior door of the office.

YES, we were both ‘adults’ at the time.

Of course, just like the PIs of yore, we had guns, binoculars and tape recorders, and thought this would be another (cool) tool for our arsenal.

IN THE REAL WORLD, I only used them once.  At my own home.  Because burglary IS a felony!

I still have them, tucked away somewhere.

But, in my mind, I have the voice of Thomas Magnum, “Work the lock, don’t look behind you!  Work the lock, don’t look behind you!”

They really do open one’s eyes to the “illusion of security”, though.  Not all burglars are opportunistic, door-shaking street kids – some actually have skills!  If you have something worth protecting, make certain you’ve enough good obstacles ( e.g. quality locks) to make the criminal go somewhere else!

Boiling Mad

Woman, 83, thwarts would-be robber with pot of boiling water

An 83-year-old Houston woman has foiled a would-be robber by tossing a pot of boiling water on him.

McClendon, who’s lived in her home more than 50 years, tells Houston television station KTRK she wasn’t going to surrender. She fought off the intruder by grabbing a stick and tried to hit him.

And when that failed to dissuade the goblin, she grabbed a pot of boiling water off the stove and dumped it on him.

[Pauses for cheering to subside]

A gun is not a magic talisman. It is simply the most efficient tool with which one can defend one’s self from outside aggression.

h/t Jay G.

AMEN, Jay!  Preparedness is largely mindset.  Prepare to be a victim, become one.

Now watch, some I-love-government-control fool will propose regulating quantities of water above a certain temperature in households.  Or at the very least suggest persons of a certain age not boil water because they are old, feeble and undoubtedly a danger to themselves.

And others.

Paranoia, OR Deep Concern…

In 1972, a lone junior reporter met with his deep background, anonymous source in a Washington, D.C. garage under the cover of night. “Deep Throat” told Bob Woodward the full extent of the Watergate conspiracy that Woodward and partner Carl Bernstein had overcome seemingly insurmountable odds to reveal. As depicted in All the President’s Men:

The list is longer than anyone can imagine. It involves the entire U.S. intelligence community. FBI. CIA. Justice. … It leads everywhere. Your lives are in danger. … You are under surveillance.

The two reporters, with the support of their editor, and despite widespread apathy among the American public, doggedly built the case that traced the crimes back to the White House, ultimately resulting in the August 9, 1974 resignation of Richard Nixon.

As these reporters’ investigation led them closer and closer, Richard Nixon may well have demanded that Woodward and Bernstein be gagged—in private. But never dared to issue this proclamation in the public arena. Had he given such a directive, the move to impeach may well have come much sooner.

Yet, in 2013, a former senior NSA official, using his own name, on camera, with two of his associates corroborating his account in full, and with his lawyer present, declares on the record to one of America’s major news outlets, USA Today:

The government unchained itself from the Constitution as a result of 9/11. And in the absolute darkest of secrecy, at the highest levels of the government, approved by the White House, NSA became the executive agent for a surveillance program that turned the United States of America effectively into the equivalent of a foreign nation for dragnet electronic surveillance.

Deep Throat was not the story in 1972, and Edward Snowden is not the story today. The abuse of America’s intelligence agencies is.  (The Independent institute)

Would you be shocked to learn that the FBI apparently knew that some organization, perhaps even a law enforcement agency or private security outfit, had contingency plans to assassinate peaceful protesters in a major American city — and did nothing to intervene?

Would you be surprised to learn that this intelligence comes not from a shadowy whistle-blower but from the FBI itself – specifically, from a document obtained from Houston FBI office last December, as part of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed by the Washington, DC-based Partnership for Civil Justice Fund?

To repeat: this comes from the FBI itself. The question, then, is: What did the FBI do about it?  (Blacklisted News)

The question becomes:  This stuff is in the dark, uncleaned, cluttered corners of the Internet.  Is it true, or just paranoia?

Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean people aren’t out to get you…

Paranoia or Deep Concern.  Your choice.

h/t Brock Townsend, Ol’ Remus

PS – You may note the absence of a post celebrating the 237th Anniversary of American Independence.  This is the 82nd blog post I’ve made regarding the AGENDA against American Constitutional -Supported Freedoms.
I don’t feel we should celebrate – we should mourn.

rip

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…