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wearymicrobe PowerDork
2/6/23 9:14 p.m.

So had a bad day today. Woke up to a druggy/homeless trying to get my garage open. Broke into my Flex and grabbed the clicker, wife heard the door open and I went down armed. He jumped in my car and started being weird so I closed the garage door and called the cops. Not going to Berkeley with this I just call 911. 

They were there in 5 minutes, 6 full squad cars and a PERT officer. He runs at them with a bag on his hands like he has a gun and they go full rifles/guns up. I am on the line with 911 looking through a window in my bedroom calling out what is going on with a Police admin. He freaks out and runs the other direction climbs my fence and goes down my 100 yard cliff into traffic and the road below. They catch him and he throws a punch at a cop. So have to go down and identify him and take back my stuff. 

This is where it gets good they pull his bag out and look in it to get my garage clicker back and out pops a gun and ammo, along with dozens of credit cards, stolen phones and drugs. His life is about to get really bad, cops are asked if I will press charges for trespass/theft so they could look in the bag.

He is screaming in the back of the police car and clawing at the door now, they come over and do some weird fingerprint scan and find he has multiple open warrants. Wonderful. So I end up getting to work 4 hours late and my blood pressure has not come down yet. 

So I spent this evening walking to all the neighbors who's name I saw on the credit cards they had laying out handing out the arrest ID number and how to get their stuff. Turns out he stole a vintage mint green bicycle that evening from one of the young kids who restored it so we are all looking for that. 

So the camera's don't stop them, the no trespass signs do nothing. This is the third time in 3 years this has happened and its been getting bad here. Cops two time were required the final was a medical emergency. Cops gave me a number to call to get them to come out but nothing much beyond that. Just venting but if you have any suggestions send them my way. I am ready to move but nothing even remotely good for sale in the whole county that would meet our requirements. 

dculberson MegaDork
2/6/23 9:18 p.m.

Yikes that is not a good morning. I'm sorry you had to deal with that!

RX Reven'
RX Reven' UltraDork
2/6/23 9:30 p.m.

In reply to wearymicrobe :

First, of course, I'm so glad that you and your wife are safe (your wife is a total bad a$$ by the way).

Second, it sounds like the police took this seriously (I mentioned in the "Do you like where you live" thread that one of the good things about living in Ventura, CA is that the police still police.

I live on top of a hill that opens up to public land and about six months ago, a young man hid behind a shrub just beyond my fence.  I confronted him and he just smirked and flipped me off...the police were at my house within five minutes, gave me a direct contact number, and patrolled my house for several hours. 

californiamilleghia UltraDork
2/6/23 9:51 p.m.

Glad you and the wife are OK ,  this guy hopefully will go to prison , 

Glad he got caught quick , that's why it's nice to live in a smaller city where the cops are not over run by the crooks !

Appleseed MegaDork
2/6/23 9:52 p.m.

Dogs. Well trained, but vicious dogs. Think Zeus and Apollo from Magnum P.I. Even desperate, drugged out E36 M3 stains don't berkeley with dogs.

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
2/6/23 9:52 p.m.

Dude, that sucks.  Sorry about that.

When I lived in L.A. I was smack dab between Chinatown and East L.A.  Plenty of riff-raff.  Every morning there was a syringe and a spoon on my sidewalk.

I felt very safe because I was on the third floor of a very secure building, but I knew that everything in the parking lot was forfeit.  Never had a car stolen, but plenty of stereos and anything that wasn't bolted down, and that was behind a 9' tall fence with pointy tops.  If they want it, they'll find a way to get it.

In my case I kept a paintball gun.  That didn't do anything for thieves, but it was fun to use on crackheads.

GameboyRMH MegaDork
2/6/23 9:55 p.m.

If you just needed to keep people from sleeping on your property, that could be a job for lawn sprinklers, but this sounds more like a straightforward breaking-and-entering attempt...

barefootcyborg5000 PowerDork
2/6/23 10:12 p.m.

I'd always been of the mindset that if someone needed my stuff that bad, I'd rather help them load it out than harm them. Until I had kids. 
I don't know what I'd do, other than move. Way easier said than done. I do know that I've had my absolute fill of strung-out low lives. These folks aren't in their right minds, not by miles, and it sucks. It sucks for them, for whatever families they may have/had, and it sucks for decent folks who have to deal with it. Stuff is meaningless, but protect yourself and family.

bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter)
bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
2/6/23 10:37 p.m.

I had the great misfortune to spend a weekend at the convention center in Tacoma last week. Got there late, and parked my new Jeep in the Marriott secure underground parking on the third level. Within a couple of hours the back window was smashed out and everything I took down was gone. Driving around the neighborhoods close to the downtown was a shocking depressing hell hole of crackheads, tents and filth. I thought Vancouver's downtown east side was bad but after driving around Tacoma I have a whole new appreciation for just how disgusting a city can become.

Edited to add that when I reported it to the Marriott they asked whether I would like my back window taped and covered with cardboard as that was a service they offer. So in other words business as usual.

brad131a4 (Forum Supporter)
brad131a4 (Forum Supporter) Reader
2/6/23 11:24 p.m.

Hahaha, Tacoma is actually tame compared to Seattle now. Used to be the other way around but not now. Grew up in West Seattle but you couldn't pay me enough to move back into the City. It's become just ugly. I think L.A looks better than Seattle and that's saying allot.

Hell my daughters 31 and out on her own and I wouldn't be able to sleep at night if she lived in Seattle.

Doing Electrical Service work I've lost any sympathy what so ever for these people. I just won't put up with their crap anymore.

yupididit UltimaDork
2/6/23 11:58 p.m.

A couple of Cane Corsos should keep them away

Apexcarver UltimaDork
2/7/23 12:51 a.m.

That's horrible and I'm beyond glad you guys are alright.

Time for good car alarms for cars that will be parked outside.


Also, get the clickers the hell out of your car. They make ones that go on your keychain, you could just rely on a cell phone activated opener too. 


All visible valuable stuff out of cars and one way mirror film on house windows where valuable stuff is visible. (Also cuts on your air-conditioning bills by reflecting sunlight and reduces sun damage to stuff in your house)


Lots of options in home security systems that will notify you if a perimeter is breached. 

For random homeless looking for a place to sleep, hostile architecture, don't let there be comfy places and they will likely keep walking. Motion detector sprinklers?

VolvoHeretic HalfDork
2/7/23 1:09 a.m.

Even a family friendly dog like Della, our rescue that looks like any other 60lb female black lab, but thinks she's a Doberman will let you know if anybody is even breathing out on your sidewalk. Everyone says they think she is a Labrador Retriever/German Shepard mix. Lab looks with a Shepard brain. Nobody will ever sneak into our house or even onto the property unannounced.

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
2/7/23 1:26 a.m.
Apexcarver said:

Also, get the clickers the hell out of your car. They make ones that go on your keychain, you could just rely on a cell phone activated opener too. 

One nice thing about newer cars with HomeLink systems, the built-in buttons for the garage door opener only work when you've got the ignition on.


stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
2/7/23 5:55 a.m.

How did he get into the garage?  Did he break in the man door, or somehow jimmy the overhead door?  More secure doors/locks are probably called for.

I had an issue last fall with some homeless people who set up an encampment in the vacant lot across the alley.  It took multiple calls to the property owner, the city, and the police, but ultimately it was the approaching cold winter that chased them away.  They didn't violate my property or any of my neighbors, but they were a big annoyance and left behind a mountain of trash and junk that had to be cleaned up.  I'm hoping there won't be anyone returning in the spring.

RevRico UltimaDork
2/7/23 6:00 a.m.

Dogs. Big, loud dogs. 

Dude is probably already out of jail thanks to California's revolving door policy, but if you hurt them you'll be in for a while. 

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
2/7/23 6:10 a.m.

I just make sure to keep our house look as uninviting(if not downright scary) as possible. You can barely see it from the street when driving by, it's always dark inside, the backyard is completely fenced in & overrun with cane. It's not so bad as to appear vacant, but it's enough to make people question whether they'd make it back out. 

mtn MegaDork
2/7/23 6:44 a.m.

Fence? Short of dogs or armed guards, or else an electric fence of some sort which is probably illegal, I don't see anything stopping someone who is tweaking as bad as this guy was. 

Fueled by Caffeine
Fueled by Caffeine MegaDork
2/7/23 6:52 a.m.

Dog will do it. But it's another mouth to feed etc. 


glad you are safe. 

Also "nothing for sale that meets your needs"



ha. I accept that challenge. 

I live in the woods basically, about 10 miles from the nearest populated "bad city". Our town is pretty nice with very little of what we see in the bigger city. It's a development of 500 acres with only 20 houses but fairly isolated. If someone were to come onto the property and I was in the same scenario as the OP, it would be quite a bit longer before any law enforcement would be able to show up. We've worried about it ever since we moved in, but 2 things could happen. If we aren't home, the alarm would go off and hopefully the bad guy gets the hint and hurries away from all of the noise and flashing lights. If we are home and someone breaks in, they will be confronted with a very protective person, me, who has strategically placed personal protection devices in most areas of the house. Never had to use one of those devices yet, but they are within reach and when it comes down to you or me, as Gloria Gaynor once said, "I will survive". 

So glad that you guys, our GRM brother and sister, were OK thru this whole orderal. With a gun & ammo in the bag he was carrying, you never know just how close you could be to the end of it all. Being armed and able to defend yourself, your family and your property nowadays, regardless of how society looks at it is a top priority. 

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) UltimaDork
2/7/23 7:01 a.m.

As said, a dog is one of the most effective ways to deter intruders.

Motion detection lights can be effective, and video cameras with notification signs. My cameras are motion activated and send a signal to my phone each time. 

ddavidv UltimaDork
2/7/23 7:14 a.m.

My local township PD moved their HQ to about 3 miles away from my house. smiley

I asked an officer who was here verifying a VIN if an alarm system was a good idea. He didn't feel they were worth the money.  "You have a dog? That's the best protection you can have." 

Size doesn't matter. Our 35lbs of English Shepherd fury sounds like twice that when you are on the other side of the door. He's a breed engineered to protect farms. 

lnlogauge HalfDork
2/7/23 7:45 a.m.

Do you have enough information to make sure this guy is still locked up? Nothing about the California legal system gives me confidence that they keep him in.

In reply to Fueled by Caffeine :

before clicking that link, I thought to myself, who would want to move to Arkansas? After clicking, the answer is me. I want to move to Arkansas.  

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
2/7/23 7:45 a.m.

Was the Flex locked or did he smash the window?

Fueled by Caffeine
Fueled by Caffeine MegaDork
2/7/23 8:01 a.m.


In reply to lnlogauge :

Yeah man. That place is nuts.  Close to bentonville for great mountain biking and close to the ozarks for great wheeling/camping. Ohh and a race track/shop. 

to the Op.  never store your garage clickers in your cars if you park outside.  It's a pain in the ass but there was a gang that went through a whole bunch of houses in a fancy suburb near here by just finding clickers in cars parked outside.  Cops around here don't even recommend putting your codes into the built in garage buttons in your car. 

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