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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So I stepped out on my stairs alcove to smoke a cig, and clearly wound up scaring someone that was in the doorway of my garage. (It's a separate building from the house). I was barefoot and in my PJs and couldn't see a thing because not only was it pitch black, but also the position the person was in was behind some garden/ladder type fencing from where I was. I heard the person try to shut the garage door and then take off running. I saw nothing other than maybe some movement. Got back in as fast as I could and grabbed a pistol/flashlight combo and my phone and went out to take a look. I really wasn't that concerned, but obviously it needed to be investigated. (Mind you I'm sort of out in the country. Other houses aren't that far , completely visible from mine, but neither are they right next to one another)

Anyway, I saw nothing but it would be hard to tell if something were moved or missing from in the garage since it's kind of a storage nightmare. The door was open but that's not surprising as I can't ever seem to convince anyone who lives in this house to lock it; even though we've had clear evidence that someone (that shouldn't be) has been going in there before

I wouldn't normally call the police on something like this.. in fact I don't believe I have ever called the police before. In this case though I thought, "Well.. since I'm 100% sure this was a person that I had just scared away.. maybe it would be for the best to make a report ". They might get more reports of criminal trespassing or whatever and maybe they'll catch whoever it was. I have, in the distant past now, not reported things that maybe I should have. I don't like to involve the police for various reasons, many of which I'm sure people on this forum can relate to. However, It always wound up bothering me somewhat that maybe by not reporting something I could have let someone go free that might wind up doing something worse down the line. So, that was my line of reasoning in making the call.

About 20 minutes later a deputy from the Ulster County Sheriffs office shows up with his K9. (This is about 1am now). He listens to my story and I explain to him that I wasn't even sure about reporting it since I had essentially no details to give. He was very nice and polite, shook my hand gave me his name. Took down my story and my basic info of course, name, number, etc. Another deputy showed up 5 minutes into that. Also very friendly. They asked if I had inspected the garage fully and I said that I had, and the was the ones who had turned on the lights and all. What surprised me was that he said he wanted to try to get a trail with his dog. I thought that was unlikely since I had since been in the garage and had touched the handle and all. They decided to try it anyway and told me just hang out for awhile or go ahead and go in out of the cold while they took a walk.

Sure enough though, as I sat on the back stairs, his dog got a scent right away and led them about a half mile (That's what he told me) through the apple orchards behind the house and up to a connecting road back there (even more secluded) and then lost the trail. I was pretty sure from the get go that the person had most likely run into the orchards, so I thought that was quite impressive. The K9 deputy said that it was probable that the person had parked a car there, thus the end of the trail. Still though I was shocked the dog was that capable from a now 35-40 minute old scent that was already mixed in with others (mine and theirs)

In the end, one deputy just gave me his number and said to let him know if anything obvious turned up missing or someone showed back up. Mind you, I really wasn't too worried about it in the first place. It's not unusual for kids in this area to go exploring into people garages and such, probably due to the relative seclusion. I remember kids doing the same stuff when I was that age (not me though..heh. I had my issues, but I was never a thief). You never know though.. so again, why I decided to report it.

At some point during all this I had time to just BS with both guys; mostly separately, while the other was doing something or other. Both of them were really nice guys and really respectful. They joked around when it was time but when it was time to work they also took a simple trespassing more seriously than I would have thought.

So.. well, that's what happened. I came back in and started typing this. .. heh
 

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Good idea to report it. If the Suspect is in the area again looking at any houses, the odds of them getting caught are now higher. Information is power. I suggest letting any neighbors that you are on good terms with know what transpired tonight. That way they can secure their property and keep a watchful eye.

If you have not invested in a CCTV System yet (Closed Circuit Television), you can get a single nighttime infared camera for about $120.00 cost. If you have a little bit more money to spend, you can buy a nice four camera system with a built in Digital Video Recorder for about $300.00 for the decent lower end models. Most of these systems can record video to about 30 feet from the camera in total darkness.

The wired versions are of course cheaper, but harder to install. I prefer the wired multi-camera sytems over the wireless because they require less baby sitting. The wireless ones sometimes need to be rebooted every once in a while because they get hung up software wise and require a reboot.
 

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Where was "I grabbed my gun?"

;)
So I stepped out on my stairs alcove to smoke a cig, and clearly wound up scaring someone that was in the doorway of my garage. (It's a separate building from the house). I was barefoot and in my PJs and couldn't see a thing because not only was it pitch black, but also the position the person was in was behind some garden/ladder type fencing from where I was. I heard the person try to shut the garage door and then take off running. I saw nothing other than maybe some movement. Got back in as fast as I could and grabbed a pistol/flashlight combo and my phone and went out to take a look...
Highlighted it for you. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah, the thing about the cameras is that the garage is an outbuilding. It's not exactly far from the house (maybe 25 feet from the nearest point, more like 40 to 45 from where I stepped out). It's hard to explain exactly without seeing the setup but it would be problematic. The garage does have some minimal power for lights and a couple of workbench outlets, but I would have to have a separate set up out there unless it was a wireless camera (something I don't have the setup for).

I've certainly considered getting a game/trail camera to try to catch whomever has been in there in the past but well.. times are tough and I just haven't had the extra money for it really.
 

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Hey Hex,
The crappy economy is affecting more folks than ever, local here there was a break in at a small church, thief took the can of coffee money...both dollars..lol:leave: he got caught, turns out he was squatting in an abandoned house nearby. LEO I've known for yrs. told me more & more good people are starting do do bad things to try n survive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
3 words....motion detector lights.
Ha.. we have those too .. they weren't working last night though. The switch though is upstairs (I live in a house with the upstairs and downstairs as separate apartments). I'm CONSTANTLY complaining that everyone in this house refuses to lock anything or make sure to leave that switch on, etc and etc. Maintaining any security measures here is generally more of a battle with everyone else that lives here than I imagine it will ever be with outside threats.

The garage in this case was not locked, despite me changing the locks and making everyone swear to keep it locked just this summer. No one listens, no one cares. *sigh*

Maybe this will prove my point and they'll start listening .. and that will last maybe a few weeks.
 

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hmm, crazy situation. sometimes people who are desperate like this will get bolder and bolder, good thing you called and filed a report this time.
 

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Time for a dog of your own maybe, Even a little yappy mutt can hear and smell better than us and give you a heads up that someone or something might be somewhere they shouldnt.

Wife left the garage door open a few months ago. 1am, dogs lose their minds. Practiced immediate action drills. Long story short, raccoon in the garage checking things out (probably the trash cans).

Good job reporting it. I have a feeling that cops wont be 20 minutes away for the next few weeks.
 

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Ha.. we have those too .. they weren't working last night though. The switch though is upstairs (I live in a house with the upstairs and downstairs as separate apartments). I'm CONSTANTLY complaining that everyone in this house refuses to lock anything or make sure to leave that switch on, etc and etc. Maintaining any security measures here is generally more of a battle with everyone else that lives here than I imagine it will ever be with outside threats.

The garage in this case was not locked, despite me changing the locks and making everyone swear to keep it locked just this summer. No one listens, no one cares. *sigh*

Maybe this will prove my point and they'll start listening .. and that will last maybe a few weeks.
Do you have anything in it of value? If so - get it out of there and make sure its all only their stuff. That way when it gets stolen they can whine and moan about it and you can just "told you"
 

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Sounds like nothing was stolen, which is good news. Also good to hear all is okay.
 

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Maintaining any security measures here is generally more of a battle with everyone else that lives here than I imagine it will ever be with outside threats.
My garage light kept getting turned off until I put tape over it. Now it's never turned off. I have two high def cameras pointed outside of my house, despite being in a safe neighborhood. We do occasionally get car break-ins and if anybody is stupid enough to try it on my cars with the garage lights shining down I'll have fantastic footage to give to the local sheriff. My guess is the lights alone would scare them off.

No idea why the rest of the people in the neighborhood appear uninterested in cameras or leaving their lights on, since they see the same facebook postings I do (we have a neighborhood facebook group).
 

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Dogs can find trails days after the fact. Half an hour is nothing.
 

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A dog's sense of smell is a fascinating thing. It's difficult for a human to comprehend perceiving scent the way a dog does. For example, their sense of smell is so strong that they can determine a scent's age in incredibly small increments of time... allowing them to determine the direction of travel of whatever left the scent... hence how they can pick up a trail and know which direction to follow it. It's been theorized that they can perceive scent in a way that is similar to how we perceive sight, or how a bat perceives sound - so, for example, a blind dog could learn to avoid bumping into a wall because he would smell that he is getting closer to it.

Then there's the other aspect of it: the fact that there are layers upon layers of scent that we simply cannot perceive. Poo to us just smells nasty, but as anyone with a dog knows, its smell is utterly fascinating to canines. We smell poo, whereas they smell a story that distinguishes identification of the poo-er, what they ate that afternoon, whether or not they may be suffering internal injuries, etc.

It'd be pretty interesting to experience a dog's scent perception capabilities.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Time for a dog of your own maybe, Even a little yappy mutt can hear and smell better than us and give you a heads up that someone or something might be somewhere they shouldnt.
We have one. A rotten little Jack Russel. He never made a peep until the K9 was barking , then he started in to play along. Though in my case we already did, I always dislike when I see the advice "Get a dog". So many people don't have the space, money.. and most importantly love to share to properly raise a dog. To me a dog is a member of the family and not JUST a security measure and I feel bad for dogs that might simply be considered as much. (this isn't directed at you timmyp, you probably treat your dog just fine..heh). In general though a dog is a hugely expensive long term commitment that requires the proper type of housing and amenities (many people don't own their homes, have any kind of lawn, etc) and far too many people unprepared for all that wind up selfishly getting one anyway. (Just like plenty of people who really shouldn't be having kids do that too)
(My fiance is a vet assistant and we have done abandoned animal rescues, so that hits close to home)

Do you have anything in it of value? If so - get it out of there and make sure its all only their stuff. That way when it gets stolen they can whine and moan about it and you can just "told you"
Essentially impossible. There isn't anything of tremendous value out there (what was truly valuable was all stolen by a worthless drug addict family member before I lived here years ago) That which is of any particular value though is all my large workshop tools and such that wouldn't have any other place. It's unlikely the large and heavy things would be snatched by your average 'get in and grab' kind of thief , but much of what has disappeared already were my small tools. Sets of screwdrivers, stuff like that. There are tons of boxes and such though. This is a three car garage that only houses only one car. The rest is My workshop tightly packed into one corner and pure storage packed 7 feet high all around. Setting up any additional security though, cameras.. whatever , on that area is sort of a moot point though and not worth spending more money on because unfortunately we'll only be living here until sometime in the spring. That's a long story, and something we're not at all happy about, but the point is that spending to upgrade anything right now isn't worth it.

Where was your pistol while you were speaking with the cops ? In the house, on your person in a holster ?
I had gotten dressed in 'everyday' clothing while I waited for them to arrive. They never asked me if I owned any firearms and nor did I feel compelled to volunteer such information. Whether I owned a pistol or not had no relevance to anything that had occurred, so why would I ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Oh, as for the K9 getting the trail though , there is one piece of information I left out in my original telling of the story. In the lawn, not far from the garage door, we had one of those .. I'm not sure how to explain it.. a glowing globe sort of thing with colored LEDS inside that is planted in the lawn via a stake. I hadn't at first noticed it (and neither did the cops in their initial sweep), but it seems the trespasser must have tripped over that in his flight. When the officer brought the dog by it he noted (to the other officer, not to me) that it was broken. The dog took particular interest in that and it's probably where he really got the scent from.
 
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