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The Electronic Security Association bankrolled a burglary study at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte Department of Criminal Justice & Criminology. Understanding Decision to Burglarize is based on interviews with 422 randomly-selected, incarcerated male and female burglars across three states (North Carolina, Kentucky, and Ohio) who never ever lie. Over at, the ESA’s press release lists the top six items burglars take from home – which doesn’t include firearms (go figure). But there’s plenty of interesting info for armed home defenders in the rest of the report. Such as . . .

Some burglars were involved in other forms of serious crime over the course of their offending careers. About 8% reported that they had been charged with homicide, 12% with robbery, and 7% with assault at some point in their past. On the other hand, over 54% reported [ED: claimed] that burglary/breaking-and-entering was the most serious crime that they had been charged with to date.

So nearly one out of ten burglars are killers. Huh. The report concludes that burglars burglarize for money (surprise), often to feed their drug habits. In fact . . .

Within the entire sample, 88% of respondents indicated that their top reason for committing burglaries was related to their need to acquire drugs (51%) or money (37%), although many reported needing the money to support drug problems. Crack or powder cocaine and heroin were the drugs most often reportedly used by these offenders and these substances were often being used in combination with other substances, including marijuana and alcohol, during burglary attempts.

So all those gruff concealed carry class instructors aren’t just blowing smoke: burglars are high. There’s also info that refutes antis’ claims that Americans don’t need “high capacity” ammunition magazines to defend home and hearth. Most burglars don’t work alone.

Just over a fourth of burglars typically worked alone and approximately the same proportion reported never burglarizing alone. Among those who worked with others, most committed burglaries with friends and/or spouses/significant others, although nearly one in eight reported working with other family members.

Are you ready for TWO burglars? And while the report claims that some 60 percent of burglars are deterred by an alarm system, you gotta wonder about that stat given that The Electronic Security Association was paying the bill. “About one in five burglars reported cutting telephone or alarm wires in advance.” Hmm. Does sir want to buy an alarm system connected by cellular phone?

My takeaway: a home invasion is some serious sh!t requiring some serious planning. But then, I’m thinking most of you knew that already. Those who didn’t, well, now you do.

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  1. Tonight’s home invasion is brought to you by Carhartt – Premium outerwear, jackets, work boots, flame resistant clothing and durable workwear for even the toughest jobs.

  2. Interesting, the Talmud (Sanhedrin 72a) comments that it is the nature of burglars to be ready to kill the homeowner and therefore homeowners have legal license in Talmudic law to kill burglars. And not just burglars; “When someone comes to kill you, kill him first.” Says the Talmud, in a blanket authorization for self-defense of the most authoritative sort.
    This was written about 1700 years ago, by the by.

    • Written? Yes. I do believe it was laid down in the oral traditions that became the Talmud very many years before that. Sound wisdom, take it where you find it!

      • It’s based on a Biblical injunction in Exodus 22:1, “If a thief be found breaking in, and be smitten so that he dieth, there shall be no bloodguiltiness for him.” There’s also Leviticus 19:16: “Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people; neither shalt thou stand idly by the blood of thy neighbour: I am the LORD.”.
        So yes, this Talmudic law is the codification of traditions much older than 1700 years.

    • Well, come on. Did you expect it to say “kill him AFTER he kills you”? And really. “Dieth”? You’re kidding, right?

      • “Dieth” is from the 1917 JPS Bible translation, now in public domain, and easily cut n’ pasted from the Bible app on my phone.
        Concerning kill them first: the article quoted here seems surprised by the fact that burglar and murderer overlap 10% or more of the time. My point is that even back in the bronze age, it was clear that criminals willing to commit smaller crimes were likely to commit larger ones, and that the notion of armed self defense goes back to shortly after arms were invented.

  3. Nonsense. My whole life I’ve been told they steal to feed their families because Republicans sent their jobs to India and they never ever harm anyone as long as you just give them what they want.

  4. Roll? We be in the same boat, brah! People have been giving me sh*t for years because we have a loaded weapon in each room and accessible to all three of us, wife, son, and myself. Not to mention any guests who may be here when things go sideways.

    Fact is criminals don’t obey laws, and are violent. Being armed is a simple and LEGAL response to those facts. More business owners in Ferguson, MO should have ignored the ignorant gunhaters and been at all times armed.

    • More than one! One friendly, one not. While friendly puppy is loving them into submission unfriendly can be ripping their throats out.

      • The principal role for the doggie is indications and warning. Going for the throat is just an added bonus capability. Dobies of today are not the killer dobies of yesteryear. Americans have bred the aggressiveness out of them.

        • Dogs are the same as they were a century ago; it’s all in the training and upbringing.

          A sweet family dog might or might not be a good defensive weapon.

        • I don’t know what kind of Dobermans this guy had, but if he had two “Dobiomatics,” the burglers would have been in a world of hurt.

        • You’re actually both correct. Dobermans used to be naturally very aggressive dogs, but that natural aggression (read: unpredictable and uncontrollable) has, for the most part, been bred out of them. You can still find unstable, mentally defective Dobermans, but those will have come from opportunistic backyard breeders who have no idea what the hell they’re doing, and are breeding indiscriminately. Serious, lifelong breeders won’t perpetuate nonconforming stock.

          That said, most Dobermans of today are extremely intelligent and highly trainable. Specific dogs can be developed into very effective guard dogs, whether in professional security, the military, or even personal protection dogs. That requires some advanced training beyond basic obedience school classes, though, but nowhere near as much training as if you wanted to jump out of a plane with one and go hunt terrorists.

          As for dogs being the same as they were a century ago, the fact is, more than 80% of dog breeds today did not even EXIST 150 years ago. The Dog is more varied in size, shape and behavior than any other species on the planet. Man’s manipulation of dogs’ appearance, talents and temperament to create breeds to suit our needs is ongoing and accelerating. There’s really not much accuracy to the assertion that dogs are unchanged from as far back as a century ago.

          Now, a few uncommon breeds are noteworthy exceptions, of course, such as the Pharaoh Dog, which was isolated primarily on the island of Malta and in that seclusion has remained largely unchanged for the last 3,000 years. The Basenji is another ancient breed. Dogs resembling today’s Basenji can be seen in sculptures in the tombs of Egyptian pharaohs. You’ll find images of Salukis on rock art going back 10,000 years.

          Samoyeds have been used for sledding, guarding, and herding for over 3,000 years. The Shih Tzu today isn’t exactly the same as its ancestors, but it’s pretty close to dogs its descended from, dating back to 800 B.C. Pekingese and Akita are also very old breeds. Still, these are just several breeds out of the several hundred breeds recognized today; not even counting the innumerable permutations of “mutts” out there today. Even among breeds which are somewhat older, their traits have evolved through selective breeding.

          For a typical owner, your best bet for security traits out of a dog is to focus more on alertness and notification of danger, so you can respond to an invasion in time, rather than trying to deploy some high capacity assault dog to repel invaders.

        • Too true! Dobies are a sad shadow of them former selves, for the most part. Still a few breeders maintaining the true breed.

      • That’s because Dobermans aren’t guard dogs. They need to be trained to be a guard dog. I’ve been attacked by Dobies. It wasn’t fun, but they weren’t all that tough in the fight; I won, they didn’t.

        A real guard dog is a huge asset to anyone’s peace of mind in high crime areas. A guard dog is not, however, a small dog, nor are they easy to socialize or “switch off.” So many Americans think that herding and retrieving dogs will suffice as a guard or watch dog. Some will, some won’t.

        A real guard dog, a breed that has been bred to guard their territory without any instruction, and respond without any command, is what people need to examine for this purpose.

        • Coonhounds are very territorial and make good watchdogs. I wouldn’t count on them to be a guard dog but if one fits the bill you got a good one. You wouldn’t want to get crosswise with my Plott Hound if he got it into his head that he needed to defend the house.. Collies and shepherds are definitely good watch dogs because their instincts are to protect a piece of property or herd. Dogs like pointers and retrievers are too people centered to be reliable. The one exception is a standard poodle. They are nasty beasts that will rip the face off of a GSD just for grins and giggles.

      • Dobies are pretty smart. But they occasionally decide that the pack alpha is tough enough to take care of himself.

        It’s a sign of respect. 😉

    • Get a good shepherd, German, Australian, whichever. Train them right, and you have an intruder-seeking hair missile. Good for taking out intruders, and harder to shoot when the cops show up. After all, they can barely hit a surrendering home-owner, much less a small, fast moving target in the dark.

      • I’ve had German Shepherds for 35 years, none trained as guard dogs however. The best dog I ever had to stop would-be burglars was a 15 pound Schnauzer. Zippie could not inflict much harm, but he barked with ferocity at the slightest noise (which was annoying). No one could have entered my home without Zippy telling me something was going on. His warning would have given me time to grab a weapon to defend myself and my family. The German Shepherds would have brought a toy to the intruder ready to play or just watched from the sidelines wondering if they were going to get a treat – but as I said, they were not trained guard dogs, just pets.

    • + a lot. With reference to home security, dogs can serve a lot of very useful purposes, and you don’t need a Rottweiler or GSD to get the job done. Smaller dogs serve as a fantastic alert system. Large dogs can alert and deter burglars simply by their presence. Protective dogs will physically protect their family. If you take the time to bond with your animals, socialize them properly, and train them with care, they are far more than just a companion. But more to the point, an alarm, regardless of how sophisticated and expensive, relies on a police response. Dogs, like guns, are there in the moment. That is no small distinction, and is why if someone were to break into my house in the middle of the night, there would be cumulatively ~200 lbs of muscle and teeth strongly encouraging them to beat a retreat, backed up by a 12 ga persuasion device. I have joked with my wife that instead of an alarm sign on our front lawn we should simply put a photo of the dogs on a stick with a sign saying, “you could break in to this house, but 9 out of 10 trauma surgeons wouldn’t recommend it.”

        • We had a mut that my son took in a few years ago. She had been abused aparently by a man. She was terrified of men. She got along with kids and women just fine. I could not even pet her unless I was lying on the couch. She would come up and use her snout to nudge my hand onto her head. If I was sitting up or standing though, she would run leave the room. If we were outside, she would run around and and play fetch. I think she was Wymeranner / Pit Bull mix. She was sweet as could be until a stranger came over then she would bark out the window. If we let them in then she would be okay with them or we would put her out back. One night she was going crazy barking in a different tone than usual looking out of the front window. I went to investigate and saw a large Copperhead snake lit by the moonlight making its way across my driveway towards my house. I exterminated the snake thanks to the warning. A copperhead had made it into my garage one night and my wife nearly stepped on it as she was barefooted (not pregnant).
          The dogs name was Dori and we had to put her down a month ago for a large tumer in her chest.

      • Years ago we had neutered male Golden Retriever and a neutered German Sheppard. One day the wind blew front door open (husband forgot to lock dead bolt) I was upstairs so didn’t know the two dogs had decided to explore our front yard. Fortunately, elderly next door neighbor had been walking his dog and noticed front door wide open and our dogs nosing around in the front yard. He tethered his dog to mailbox post at the curb. Bob, the Golden would not let him any where near the front door, all the while Sam the Sheppard was busy sniffing the tires on my car, not in the least concerned. Once I had the dogs put up in the house, asked neighbor why he had not rung the door bell. Said Shepard was fine but the Golden would not let me take a step toward the door!
        Goes to say you never know which breed of dog is going to step up to guard the castle and which one is not.

    • Years ago, I was living in a crappy apartment in a sketchy neighborhood. I got a call from my landlord that my dog was raising hell. Upon investigation, it seems that someone was poking around at the window (probably trying to pry it open to see if it was unlocked), and doggie decided the whole burglar-getting-bitten process wasn’t happening fast enough for her liking. I arrived to find the window broken out from the inside, a small pry bar on the ground, and a very agitated, scratched-up dog.

      My only regret is not having a video surveillance system to capture the hijinks on film, as a one-eyed dog (forgot to mention that this dog had only one eye at this point, having lost one in a collision with a car – she was one tough-ass dog) comes bursting out of the window, causing instant brown shorts for the would-be thief.

  5. Yup on the dogs… I have two pitbulls. At night one has access to the house and yard, the other sleeps in our bedroom..

  6. Criminals are generally cowards. We see time and time again that when BG 1 goes down, BG 2 runs away and abandons his BFF to his fate. This in no way means that you should count on it because there is always the exception to general rule.

    • The best known exception was the husband and wife cop killers in Vegas. One went down, the other took revenge and dragged her bleeding hubby away.

  7. When a customer doesn’t want to go with cellular monitoring, I insist on an exterior siren. If they balk, I walk.

    Combined with line supervision, this is effective; if “they” cut the ‘phone line, ten seconds later a [very loud] siren starts blaring and waking up the neighbours.

    Crooks tend toward a marked hesitancy to enter premises in which the alarm is already sounding, with neighbours likely to call someone just to get the damned thing silenced.

    The biggest problem with alarms is the problem with nuclear power and many other businesses: profit as the sole motivator.

    Corners get cut, and bad things happen. I live on less, but as compensation more of my customers live.

  8. Dogs are effective for early warning and for minor deterrence. Determined criminals are as prepared to kill your dog as cops doing a no-knock dynamic entry. They see it as just part of the job. Guard/attack dogs are more effective, although only just—they’re still vulnerable. Too many people naively think leaving a family pet at a business will add security. It doesn’t. More likely the family dog becomes bait.

  9. You would be surprised at how much viciousness can be eliminated from a dog by throwing it a nice steak!
    And, the steak may contain a quick acting poison or a heavy sleeping agent.

    • Yep. How about that?

      Years ago, KGO radio in SF did a drive-around with a couple of convicted thieves in the car and looked at houses as they drove by. What the thieves said was enlightening.

      Two things the thieves didn’t want to run into:

      1. A real dog.
      2. A homeowner with a gun.

      In that order, BTW.

      What didn’t concern them as much? Alarm systems. Because to be effective, alarms have to be used. And most people won’t use an alarm system consistently, and I’ve noticed since that time (the mid-90’s) that more and more people have become so annoyed by alarm sirens and horns that they ignore them. They’re part of the auditory debris of everyday life now, they’re not something that actually attracts attention.

      • I’ve heard a similar anecdote about interviews with burglars in prison- basically its a numbers game for them, at least for the run-of-the-mill opportunistic type of job,

        and if they see or hear a dog, they just go to the next house. Easy enough to get in, via side doors, garage, front door left unlocked, un-noticed but if a dog starts barking at a stranger, with that urgent kind of bark, then people start to look.

  10. the twisted side of me would hope this is a scene from inside Shannon’s house and she is watching her house get looted while she is flying around with Bloomy

  11. And yet, in spite of this report, the antis will stay in their DISREGARD FACTUAL EVIDENCE/ACQUIRE LEGISLATIVE SUPPORT mode.

  12. “Hmm. Does sir want to buy an alarm system connected by cellular phone?”

    What good is the alarm panel cell card (or wireless sensors) if the home invader has a $60.00 cell jammer, also most door and window sensors are easily defeated using directional magnets.

  13. Just three weeks ago, while the wife and I were out and my 20 year old daughter and my 15 year old son were home, two burglars came to our house. One actually came a few steps into the kitchen through the door my daughter forgot to lock(swears she’ll never do that again). He/she was driven out by the challenge bark of our 12 year old lab/border collie from the family room. A minute later, after 911 was called she turned Old Yeller at the back door and ran off the second burglar before he got to the door.
    Moral: The dog you rescue today may save your family down the road.

  14. Since were talking dogs however this story has nothing to do with protection. My 9 year old Airedale killed a fox last week, without so much as a scratch. Old farm dogs that like to hunt can be dynamite… She has scared off a couple of people over the years and stood vigilant with me at the door one late night when I thought the very strange guy might try and come in. (he would have received a hot lead injection from me) A dog is nice to have with you in that situation.

  15. Dogs are one of the best things about life. Mark Twain had it right: If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and man.

  16. Got a Dobie once on the advice of a dog trainer, who said only obedience training and love was needed, for a defensive use. Turned out to be good advice- she was very alert, and sweet with people once I treated them as a friend, but unhesitatingly fierce with any other intruder, if uninvited, all very naturally.

    One day someone came in the house while my SO was upstairs in the kitchen. She heard barking and yelling on the stairs leading to second floor, and got to the window in time to see the dog chasing some sketchy looking guy out the driveway…

    Had another dog- a three legged border collie mix that had been some ranchers dog until it got into a coyote trap and had to have one front leg removed, and he couldnt bear to have it around- so he gave it to a local shelter, where I found it. That dog could climb boulders thru brush better than me and being a tripod, had better balance on the side of a cliff hunting ground squirrels than any other.

    It was a little shy, and afraid of newspapers, and anytime I raised my arms, for the first year, so I figured it had been abused- so I just gave it a lot of love, and time…and one day on our daily outing, walking in a meadow, while dog was casting about for rabbits- a pitbull came charging out of a treeline about 70 yards away, straight at me. Usually you can tell when a dog is bluff charging, and just stand still, but in this case it looked like I was gonna get bit, so I was getting set to give it a kick in the nose, when a blur of black and white fury flew by me, bowling the pit bull over head over tail, and driving it off crying like a puppy…

    As we got closer to the treeline I could see the pit huddled under the trees with a scruffy guy camping there.
    Just protecting his master. Dogs- what a blessing.


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