There are some good tips in the first part of this ABC 20/20 piece that interviews an ex-felon on what he looks for when targeting a house to break into.
The troubling part is the second half of the segment, where the woman wakes up to find a man standing at the foot of her bad wearing a ski mask and holding a baseball bat.
What’s her survival tactic? She… pretends like she’s falling back asleep.
Now, I don’t know about you but in my book, that’s a pretty big gamble that she took, hoping on a wing and a prayer that THE GUY STANDING AT THE FOOT OF HER BED ISN’T A RAPIST!
If you’re at the point where a guy can easily break into your house in the middle of the night and is standing over your bed with a baseball bat… and you’re only alerted to his presence when he’s at the foot of your bed… then you’ve already lost.
So, what do we do to make it more difficult for somebody to sneak into your house in the middle of the night? For starters, locked gates, tall fences, defensive shrubbery and house doors and windows that are securely closed and locked is a good start. I’ve written about the Night Lock before: It’s a good product. We use one on our front door and I check to make sure it’s on every night before I go to bed. A bedroom door that has it’s own lock on it will add another layer of defense.
However, even if all of the above are inferior in keeping you safe at night, there is one easy line of defense you should have: A good dog. Or even better: Two dogs.
A good friend of mine, an ex-cop, owned a Doberman Pinscher that he bought as a puppy several years ago. I hooked him up with a breeder that I had bought a dog from, so I knew they were good bloodlines from working dog stock. But it had been several years, and the dog was now a senior, suffering from poor hearing and sleeping much more deeply than he had in younger years.
A man broke into his house. The Doberman continued to sleep. The intruder came into his master bedroom and… his wife’s little Shih Tzu jumped up and started barking a ruckus.
My friend got out of bed and pulled a shotgun on the robber and held him until they were able to call the police. The police came and arrested the robber, who had already broken into several other houses in the area.
Could have ended a lot worse.
Having a dog sleep in the bedroom is not a bad idea. Having a dog sleep in the hallway that leads up to the bedroom is an even better idea.