Sunday, September 11, 2011

Police. 2 am. Full Moon. Saturday Night. Our House.

I was going to write a blog tonight about insomnia but thought maybe I'd do it during the day so that I can concentrate on just falling asleep for a few minutes. Apparently it worked because the next thing I know, I'm fighting my way awake and trying to reconcile what I was hearing; the noise is so loud, was someone on the roof? Had someone been running across our roof? I go to our sliding doors in our bedroom and look through the curtains and my eyes and my mind are trying to put together what they're seeing. My eyes are seeing someone run to our back fence and jump over it to get out. Meaning he was inside the yard first. My brain is trying to think of the probabilities of this being an animal, like a sloth bear or perhaps the worlds largest raccoon (give me a break, it was 2 in the morning), that actually went over the fence. Since it's a 6 foot solid privacy fence, my brain and my eyes come to the decision that what we saw was a man scale our fence. From the inside.

The view from my room. The back right-hand corner is where he went over
"Bobby?", I call out, while keeping an eye on that spot of fence in case there's more action, "Bobby, are you awake, did you hear that?". I'm sorry, I think the first thing I actually said was, "Do you have your gun?". I left the coordination of what we saw or heard until after I was sure we could defend ourselves with actual firepower. Bobby has his gun but from where he's standing, he sees someone with a flashlight in the backyard and then in the front yard. It's hard to comprehend what's happening here, and Bobby is telling me to call the police and I'm telling him I don't know where my phone is so Bobby calls 911 and walks through what happened.

You can see the dirt marks for the climb. Applesauce had a field day smelling everything.
In minutes there are cop cars blocking the entrances to our neighborhood and about ten minutes later a cop comes by to get info and to tell us they were talking to a guy down the street and they'll come back in a little bit to talk to us. 

Here's the story we were told: one of our neighbors had some kids throwing oranges at his house and got so mad, he got in his car to follow the kids and chase them through the neighborhood trying to catch them. What apparently happened was that the kid who was being chased jumped our fence at the side of the house, waking me up, and ran straight back to the back of the yard and jumped over the fence again and out of the yard. Then the neighbor came looking for him with a flashlight but didn't jump our fence and then went back to the front yard.
Here's where he came over from the front yard. It's the corner with the pool pump and all our crap so no wonder it made so much noise.
When the neighbor saw the cop cars, he actually approached them to tell them what happened and when Bobby and I put our stories together, it seems to make sense. But those 30 minutes from the time we woke up and saw the guy in our backyard to the time we found out what happened were pretty scary. I kept thinking about what would have happened if instead of jumping the back fence, he tried to come inside, or what if it had been a professional, not a kid being chased? We would have never heard anything.

The sliding glass doors are our bedroom so my head was only a few feet from where it happened. I don't know if it was a good thing or bad thing that it woke me up because now I have the image of a man jumping our fence stuck in my head.
So was owning a gun helpful? By the time we realized what was going on, it would have been too late for it to be of any use. I think waking up from a dead sleep, we will always, always, always be at a disadvantage. I'm not opposed to them, I just don't want to rely on their presence to protect me or my house. And I couldn't imagine living with ourselves if we'd shot some kid who's crime was throwing oranges at someone's house. I think if that was your kid, you'd agree.

In the end, I'd rather have a nice, loud, obnoxious alarm system. So we will be calling the electrician to have motion sensor flood lights installed around the house and we will finally install that security system we've been talking about. It took all my willpower not to call up everyone I knew last night to tell them to just go and check that all their doors and windows are locked. So I'm writing this instead: be careful, everyone. We're lucky nothing happened but we don't want to rely on luck anymore. Replace burnt out lightbulbs that you've been meaning to replace in outdoor lights, actually USE the alarm system that you pay for every month, even when you're at home. Be safe. Keep your kids safe. Don't put it off any longer.


Anonymous said...

Remember you are in your own home. Even though you feel disadvantaged in a dead sleep, you must understand it is very unlikely that the intruder had any idea who is home, what you have, how your furniture is arranged etc. etc. If you have a firearm, make sure it is accessible, safe, and you are capable of using it (i.e. practice!) Not only is it fun to shoot, the peace of mind knowing you can protect yourself and your family is incredible. Consider the response time of law enforcement vs the response time you just explained. If you're still afraid, then you haven't practiced enough. Hope this helps :)

Anna said...

I'm not afraid of guns, I just think they can cause more harm than good. Any robber can scope out our layout ahead of time and know exactly who lives here, where we sleep, and what our schedule is. The police were at the corner within minutes and had the neighborhood closed off so I'm really impressed with the response time. It took a little longer to tell us what happened but I'd rather have them do their job first and report to us later.

Bride-onicles said...

I would have been totally freaked out too and I agree that I almost wished I wouldn't have been woken up so that I would not known about it to worry about it. But I totally agree with you, the neighboor with the flashlight is lucky that he didn't get shot at after all being on your property. Someone may have thought that he was the intruder.

(Ri)Charmed said...

Guess what I last blogged about? Now you'll have to go see... ;p
When we moved into our home, one of the first thing we did was install motion sensor flood lights. They are a tad sensitive, but I kind of find that comforting! Still have my gun though. Hope I never, ever have to use it, but think I could if I had to. In gun safety class (years ago) I learned to shoot to disable not kill anyway.

(Ri)Charmed said...