Your car is being burglarized right there in front of your house. You can see them on camera. Your impulse is to run out there and protect your property. I don’t recommend that, and would tell you not to. If you decide to any way, there is a right way and a wrong way. That is the subject of this post.

In the eight years that I have lived in this neighborhood, we have had two attempted burglaries of my pickup truck parked in my driveway. Since my truck is too big to fit in the garage, I have to leave it outside. Both attempts to break into it occurred in the summer, and I wasn’t home for either one. The first time was in June of 2017 while we were in Alaska. Several cars were broken into, and they stole the Jeep across the street. The idiot left the keys to the Jeep in the glove box of the unlocked car that was parked next to it.

The second attempt was a year later and was caught on my security cameras. The cops used my footage to catch the burglar, but he reached a plea deal that included expunging his record. All he got was probation, even though he broke into four vehicles, stealing one of them. One of the cars was a police cruiser that he stole a fingerprint reader from, another was a truck where he stole a handgun, and some items from a few other vehicles. In both break-ins sprees, my truck was spared simply because I lock the doors. The thief tried to blind my cameras with a flashlight, but was unsuccessful. At the time he was trying to break into my truck, he was already armed with a stolen handgun.

The point here is that thieves are frequently armed. That is why I don’t think it is a good idea to leave the house in order to confront burglars. My truck is both empty and insured. The only thing I keep in it are my work IDs and the HAM/CB radio equipment that is mounted in it. Not worth my life. Even if I *do* confront him, my truck will likely be the backstop to my gunfire, so either way I am filing an insurance claim, and the best way to survive a gunfight is not to get in a gunfight in the first place.

If you MUST confront car burglars, there are a few things that are important:

  1. Wear body armor and ear protection. They will give you an advantage.
  2. Don’t exit from the door closest to the burglars.
  3. Don’t forget that there will likely be more than one. Keep your head on a swivel, focusing on the burglar in your car may cause you to miss the one in the getaway car to your right.
  4. Bring enough gun and more than enough ammo. Say an AR with two mags, or a PDW like this one with at least one extra mag. Since you will likely be facing more than one assailant, you want a gun that will allow you to put a lot of accurate fire down range.
  5. Have a good IFAK with a tourniquet and chest seals.
  6. Call the cops before going outside, so backup is on the way. Hope they don’t shoot you by mistake.

Or you can just call the cops, stay inside, then call your insurance company.

Oh- don’t forget your gun in the car and lock the doors.

Categories: Self Defense


EN2 SS · April 22, 2022 at 11:33 am

From personal experience, locking the doors gets the window(s) busted. And sometimes, leaving the doors unlocked gets the window(s) busted anyway, after all, we’re posting about stupid evil cretins. I’ve seen several reports of homeowners coming out shooting, occasionally fatal results, no charges filed. Of course, all bets are off if living in Houston/Dallas/Austin.

    Divemedic · April 22, 2022 at 12:18 pm

    Windows are insured. The reason I recommend staying in the house has little to do with charges. I live in Florida, so chances of being charged for shooting a critter in my driveway are low.
    My reason for saying stay in the house is a tactical one- you are less likely to get shot if you aren’t in a gunfight.
    Risk versus benefit. The benefits of going out to confront a burglar are outweighed by the risks.

      EN2 SS · April 22, 2022 at 4:59 pm

      At my age, the risk is worth it to me. How many insurance deductibles can you afford? Me, none.

        Divemedic · April 22, 2022 at 8:33 pm

        Because a self defense lawyer, an ambulance ride, the trauma room visit, and the deductibles for the bullet holes in both the house and your car are cheaper? LOL.
        Even ammo. A good old fashioned shootout may very well cost a hundred bucks just in ammo.

          EN2 SS · April 22, 2022 at 8:51 pm

          May be, but he won’t do that again. Statistics show few felons commit more crimes after being shot.
          BTW, isn’t that the reasoning used in Commiefornia to not prosecute criminals? Well, insurance will cover it and after all, it’s just things so let them have what they want? How’s that working out? I stopped paying attention to that f-ed state.

          Divemedic · April 22, 2022 at 10:19 pm

          LOL. True. Shooting them does reduce recidivism.

George · April 22, 2022 at 2:01 pm

One thing you can do without leaving the house is hit the panic button on the key fob to make the lights flash and the horn honk. This is usually enough to scare off a burglar.

    Steve S · April 22, 2022 at 5:22 pm

    And turn on the outside floods if they aren’t already.
    They like easy jobs and will often pass by if there are outside lights on.

Jonathan · April 22, 2022 at 3:10 pm

In the experience of my friends (since it hasn’t happened to me), locking the car makes a big difference – while they can break the windows, in most cases they are casual and don’t want to draw attention or take the effort.

I would also suggest NOT parking on the street if possible.

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