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Lessons From a Break-In


I wanted to share a story about a break-in from a friend at work — something very real and very recent … and very frightening. This is exactly the reason why we can never live life thinking, “It will never happen to me.”

Here, in her words (but without giving away her identity, per her request), is what she experienced:

The Break-In

“In the early hours of Sunday morning [Jan. 5, 2020], after a fabulous Christmas party, I got a ride home from a friend. As we entered my driveway, I questioned why my back motion light was on, as we had not pulled up far enough to set it off yet. It was at that moment we witnessed two males on my property — one walking around the house toward the back of my property and the second walking out from behind my house toward the street (hence the light being on).

“We immediately exited my driveway, called the cops and drove to my friend’s house. The cops were there within minutes, which was awesome! They did not catch anyone but did see the footprints around my house. They checked around the house and found that my front door was ajar and asked me to come back to the house. I do have a door jammer that was placed on my front door from the inside for security. The door was able to be pushed open a bit, but not far enough to get in. When I got to the house, the officer walked me to the front door to show me how he found it. At that time, he gave it one good push and the door jammer collapsed and we were able to get in. I don’t know if the door had not been latched tightly enough or if they were able to use a credit card to unlatch it, but luckily, they did not get in.

“The responding officers cleared my house for me and then had me do a walk-through with them to confirm nothing was out of place. Needless to say, I did not stay at my house that night and crashed at my friend’s house. Had I been there and in the house, this could have been a totally different outcome!”

The Lessons

When I heard of the incident, I reached out to tell my USCCA co-worker I was glad she was safe and I was proud of her actions. I also asked if she’d be willing to let me share her experience. She replied, “Thank you so much for reaching out! I would love it if you used my story to bring awareness to others.”

But it’s not just the story itself that teaches us. My friend did so many things right. She physically prepared herself, and she took precautions to keep her home safe. She used good situational awareness and good judgment when she knew something was wrong.

But she also had the right mindset.

She continued, “The responding officer did compliment me on my gun safe and [the] setup I have in my bedroom in the event of a break-in. His comment was, ‘Well, you’re definitely prepared!’ I told him I might be prepared, but I would prefer to never be in that situation.

“I just keep thinking if my friend had dropped me off first, instead of last, I would have been in the house alone when this took place … and that would have been a completely different and much scarier situation! I am so thankful that our timing was, I guess, perfect that morning. Had we pulled in even 30 seconds later, they would probably have been in the house according to the officers.”

Bad things can happen to ANYONE at ANY TIME, ANYWHERE. Let this be a reminder. And let it be motivation for you to put aside the “it’ll never happen” excuse, because you are trained and prepared and always paying attention.

About Beth Alcazar

Beth Alcazar, author of Women’s Handgun & Self-Defense Fundamentals, associate editor of Concealed Carry Magazine and creator of the Pacifiers & Peacemakers blog, has enjoyed nearly two decades of working and teaching in the firearms industry. Beth is passionate about safe and responsible firearms use and enthusiastic about teaching others. She is certified as an instructor through SIG Sauer Academy, ALICE Institute, DRAW School, TWAW and I.C.E. Training and is a USCCA Certified Instructor and Senior Training Counselor.


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