I'm not really comfortable posting something this personal online, but I think someone else may learn something from it. That, and I've been thinking a lot about it since and this seems a good of a place as any to vent. Anyways, this weekend my girlfriends renter arrived home about 5pm (broad daylight) to find the downstairs door kicked in and the place ransacked. She called the police. Both I and my girlfriend had left probably 3 hours earlier... me to go home to my apartment and her to work. Long story short, about 7pm we were both back at her house, along with a few Lawrenceville cops going through her house, which had been pretty much ransacked. The renters downstairs apartment where they made entry caught the worst of it. The door, which I judge to likely be the MOST solid door in the whole house, didn't fail but the wall did. Nice. They made their way upstairs by either bypassing the cheapo locks between the upstairs/downstairs or they were possibly left unlocked. Doesn't matter, they were WAY easier to bust down if they wanted to. Proceeded to ransack the upstairs as well... doing the usual, pulling out drawers, rifling through stuff on shelves... doing what theives do. Opened every door EXCEPT the back door which had the German Sheperd and killer Jack Russell behind it. Again, nice. Luckily, nothing not easily replaced. The usual easily stolen items, MP3 players, playstations, some liquor bottles, cash laying around, camera.... they missed the hidden cash and the safety deposit box with important papers and such. Dogs were, of course, OK. Her .380 pistol was ON THE FLOOR... I have no idea why they didn't take it! No major structural damage except the door jamb which can be repaired relatively easily. They have "suspects". Caught a few teens earlier in the neighborhood drunk and fighting and put them under arrest. When the renter mentioned she had some of those tiny airplane bottles of booze stolen, the cop actually pulled some of those off the kids, brought them back and she identified them. They were probably fighting over divvying up our goods... again... nice. Of course, our goods are gone and they're going to interview the bastards today. Of course, they have previous records of burglary, are juveniles and I have no illusions that they will not be punished and our stuff has already been sold. They'll most likely do it again. And again. I dunno. I'm still kind of coming down off the whole thing. It wasn't "MY" house, but it might as well have been. I'm there often enough. I'm amazed that nothing of mine was actually stolen. Scary thing is, this week was the first of her new schedule, so we SHOULD have been home. If we were running errands, I would have had probably 2k worth of guns (I go shoot close to where she lives) for them to take. If we WERE home, either awake or asleep and the crooks made entry the way they did... man, there are very few regular criminals who would be prepared for what would have met them at the top of those stairs. That door being kicked in would have made enough noise to set a series of events into motion that would have been very BAD for them So... lessons learned? We're not safe. This was during the day. This neighborhood isn't 'bad' but my girl especially has been commenting in recent months it's going downhill. I bet they did all this damage and stole all this stuff in under 15 minutes. They are in and out that fast I bet. It can happen when you run out for milk. Don't make it any easier for them. Really hide or secure the stuff you can't live easily without. Birth certificate, social security card, passport, financial documents, etc. LUCKILY, hers didn't get jacked. That kind of stuff (especially nowadays) is especially difficult to replace. Bolt your safe into the foundation. We don't have that option, so I think we could use some kind of fake wall or cutout. Maybe cut a hole in the drywall, put one of those stick-out air-vents over it and we'll have enough room to slide a small fireproof safe in there. Doubt they'll look that far. Read up on Georga laws regarding self-defense, particularly that of defending your habitation. All the guns and preparations in the world won't help if you're not there to apply them. If you are there... I would apply them as liberally as possible. The cops at the scene suggested what I already knew. "They were reaching into their pants and I fired". Stick to the story. Again, what a weekend. The stuff they took isn't really horribly bad. It's the stress, worry and time taken fixing the stuff they broke, getting estimates, doing insurance, taking time of work to do all of it. I drove 200 miles this weekend alone running back and forth. I bet they probably stole 1500$ worth of stuff, got 200$ for it and caused 500$ in damage. Depressing. I'm just glad nobody was hurt because everything can be replaced. I don't really care about the dogs either, just my girlfriend... as long as she's ok, I'm not going to go into cardiac arrest or anything, but I'll be honest... I've been fighting the urge to walk the neighborhood and start strangling anyone who looks suspicious. I'm just going to kick back with a few beers, but man... what a pain in the ass this all is. We're going to be getting a house together soon and I'll try to burglar-proof it a bit better than hers is. As best I can, at least. It's really a sad state of affairs where they'll do this during the middle of the day in a crowded neighborhood and get away with it. Kinda makes me wish for a return of the lynch mobs that dealt with thieves the old-fashioned way. Oh well... guess we'll let 20th century "justice" work it's magic.... Thanks for listening.