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  • #50702
    Malgus
    Malgus
    Survivalist
    member8

    *Blunt talk posting. Stop reading if you are easily offended.*

    We recently made a drive to The City to make a purchase – living room furniture – and made arrangements to have it delivered to the Doomstead. We’re not opposed to spending money where it is needed most – on things that matter – so the place was fairly upscale. Nice showroom. Professional, friendly staff. Other customers in the store looked like they were doing fairly well, financially – not dressed in jeans, battered old boots and Carhartt winter coat like I was…

    Made our purchases and went for lunch. Not a bad day.

    Our stuff was supposed to be delivered towards the end of December, but we get this call that says our stuff is in now, and if they could deliver it early. We were pleasantly surprised and made arrangements for me to be home on the day our stuff was supposed to be dropped.

    So, this big truck backs into the driveway of the Doomstead and out jumps…. three very ethnic looking guys in their 20’s. Not quite black. Not your standard issue Mexican. Something tickled in the back of my head. I’ve seen these kind of guys before, I know I have…

    From the porch, I caught snatches of rapid-fire Spanish being spoken… the accent and dialect clicked in my head from 20+ years ago. These guys were Dominicans. Yeah, I knew I knew these guys – had some run-ins with them back in the mid-90’s.

    Now, in other places of the country, seeing three Dominicans jump off a truck isn’t any big deal. Common as rain. But here, in a very rural area of the South, being surrounded by Mennonite, Amish, and (mostly) Methodist farms, seeing that isn’t necessarily a cause for alarm, but my interest spiked. I was paying attention.

    I looked back into the house. What would a stranger see? Empty room. Older carpet, in need of replacement. Pictures of passed-on family members over the mantle in simple frames. Crucifix over the door. Simple table. Older laptop. Nothing special. Nothing ostentatious. No Christmas decorations up yet – hadn’t gotten around to it.

    In short – Nothing out of the ordinary. Plain blah vanilla. Good.

    I shut the door to the den – they didn’t need to be in there anyway.

    A 20-something Dominican came up to the porch, introduced himself and offered to shake my hand, which I did. On the inside of his arm, just above the wrist, was a tattoo I’ve seen before – it identified him as a member of the Latin Kings gang.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latin_Kings_(gang)

    The tattoo looked crude. Blue/black and no other colors. As in “not professionally done”. A prison tat.

    Great. Our furniture was being delivered by Latin Kings gang members, at least one of which was an ex-con.

    I became extremely aware of the carry piece behind my right hip. Thank God I put on a jacket.

    I decided to shift into “Harmless Bubba” mode – smiling, harmless and gregarious. (“Y’all want some coffee?”) – so I could watch them and what they do, how they act, their body language and most importantly what they say. They were speaking Dominican Spanish, but they didn’t know I spoke Spanish and could understand them…

    They delivered our furniture and – to their credit – were actually competent in moving it into the house, setting it up, etc. But I saw them eyeballing the room, the house… They were talking about the lack of Christmas decorations, presents, etc.

    “You don’t celebrate Christmas?”
    “We celebrate Christmas, but on the 24th. We’re Germans.”
    “That’s what we do. Celebrate on the 24th.”

    Make sure everything was correct, sign the paperwork and see them off. Harmless Bubba waving from the front porch (“Thanks fer bringin’ in our fur-ni-cher, y’all!”)…

    Great… now what?

    Calm your mind and think. After Action Report. Well, they weren’t stupid – shows a good bit of craftiness to get a job delivering high-end furniture to people. You can case target’s homes for future break-ins and robberies and the best part is you’re getting paid to do so and the target actually invites you in… especially during the Christmas season when people blow money they don’t have on expensive, shiny things they don’t need… gauge what the target has for loot as well as the locks on the doors, what kind of car he might have, etc… speak only in Spanish – except for Tattoo Guy, their leader – to see how the target reacts to that.

    I was thinking “what did they see”? Small farm – nothing unusual. Old, beat up sh*tbox 80’s-era Chevy Blazer. Even older 70’s-era Ford F250. Crap. They might actually want that. Seen more than a few good older trucks turned into some lowrider ghetto-sled abomination… why would anyone even do that?

    Mental note to pull the battery from the truck until I need it.

    The room – empty except for that laptop. Older model. Probably beneath their notice. They didn’t see anything other than what I showed them, and there wasn’t anything worth driving all the way out here to steal…

    But… but what is worthless to them, or reflect a big enough ROI, might not be necessarily worthless to some tweaker or pill head looking for only enough to get his next scrore… and now they knew where we lived. This was just getting better and better…

    So, the situation here on the Doomstead has been a bit.. heightened.. over the last week or so. Anything worth keeping or stealing has been locked up/bolted down/rendered non-functional.

    Was thinking how this dovetails into what we do – prepare for the worst, hope for the best and pray you survive what comes…

    – Information is power. The less an outsider knows about you, the better.
    – People talk. What might seem innocent or worthless to one person might be solid gold to another.
    – Don’t be “That Guy” – shut your mouth and don’t talk about stuff that ain’t your business.
    – “There is no spoon”. Perceptions are important. The power of an illusion. Misdirection. Get them thinking one thing, when the truth is 180 degrees opposite.
    – Few are adept enough to tell the difference between a good illusion and the genuine article. But, remember the old phrase “You can’t bullsh*t a bullsh*tter”… have a care.
    – To the best of your ability, be a chameleon to everyone except your closest friends and family – show only that which you want people to see.

    I’ve been contemplating the uniquely-American “angry phone call” to the place we bought our stuff, but those can be blown off too easy. I’ll be in The City soon for another, unrelated matter. Better to stop in and have a chat with the manager about my observations and concerns.

    Be well and Merry Christmas.

    The wicked flee when none pursueth..." - Proverbs 28:1

    #50703
    Profile photo of GeorgiaSaint
    GeorgiaSaint
    Veteran
    member9

    Malgus, you’re paranoid as all get out. Get a life. And yes, I was deeply offended.

    OR

    Nice spur-of-the-moment but necessary observations, very safe tentative conclusions as well as some fully justifiable ones. Nice after-action considerations and follow on precautions.

    It’s just very sad that we’ve come to a point where living out in the country would/could become a liability, a place we needed to not only keep locked but even “camouflaged” in some respects, and that distrust of almost anyone has become an intelligent and useful state of mind. We thought Reagan’s “trust but verify” only had to do with the Ruskies. But indeed, it has become a position too unsafe even for domestic use. Now we need to start from a position of polite (camouflaged) distrust.

    We can either play the game of burying our heads in the sand so we don’t have to see the steam roller approaching, or we can be aware, alert, and prepared for whatever could reasonably come our way – and then some. Sad way to live, but safer and therefore a bringer of comfort. Excellent observations, and beyond the thought processes of most Americans. Of course I have no idea whether you’re paranoid or not – I just know that they’re still out to get you regardless – you are just smart enough to know it, while not knowing for sure which ones.

    You’ve got no guarantees, but you’ve upped the odds greatly in your favor. All I have to do to know that is to watch on trash day immediately after Christmas, seeing all the large boxes that signify what large screen TV or other big ticket item(s) now lives in the associated house, or what expensive new cars suddenly appear, or watch on line with all the personal cr@p people post on Facebook, etc. And I notice how many email accounts get hacked, as indicated by the auto-sent emails I receive with links and/or attachments, that the “senders” never knew went out in their names. Nice tag- OPSEC indeed. A totally unknown concept to most people.

    Thanks, and merry Christmas. Good to see you back.

    GS
    "Ye hear of wars in far countries, and you say that there will soon be great wars in far countries, but ye know not the hearts of men in your own land."

    • This reply was modified 7 months, 1 week ago by Profile photo of GeorgiaSaint GeorgiaSaint.
    #50705
    Profile photo of MountainBiker
    MountainBiker
    Survivalist
    member10

    Malgus, if they were scoping out the place it more likely was for guns and how easy the place might be to rob. There’s plenty of electronics and other stuff to steal closer in to the city where they wouldn’t stand out in a crowd.

    When the druggie friends of my neighbor’s heroin addict son robbed them this past summer, it was the guns they went after. The son knew where the guns were and the robbers went right for them.

    #50706
    Profile photo of GeorgiaSaint
    GeorgiaSaint
    Veteran
    member9

    Malgus, as I recall, weren’t there some significant basement flooding problems at your place? I hope the fix was permanent and satisfactory for you, and that life was able to return to normal mode, whatever that is, instead of “drop everything and go full-on” in crisis mode.

    GS
    "Ye hear of wars in far countries, and you say that there will soon be great wars in far countries, but ye know not the hearts of men in your own land."

    #50707
    Whirlibird
    Whirlibird
    Survivalist
    member10

    Malgus, long time no hear, welcome back.

    I know a couple of people from your AO who would have had a completely different answer to what happened, but then again they have hogs and would have no problem disappearing a box van. Preemptive strike as it were.
    “Roaches check in…..”

    Friend of mine who used to live outside Bakersfield CA, got hit.
    Waited until everyone was gone for the day, went in with a couple of cars and loaded out everything that wasn’t nailed down. Including the guns from the cheap “safe”.

    About two weeks later, they came back, and tried again to get the items that insurance replaced.
    This time they had to deal with a heavily armed, armored maniacal homeowner in an F350 chasing the cars off the road and then waiting for the Sheriff to arrive. At least that time, he got his stuff back. He was waiting for them. All illegals, we figure all the good stuff ended up south of the border.

    In your case, I’d keep a weather eye out for cars/trucks/people in the area that don’t fit in.
    Or another ‘delivery van’.

    #50711
    Profile photo of freedom
    freedom
    Survivalist
    rnews

    Malgus, Well it is the way they work. Some work on delivery of all types of products and others in the city work in construction companies like roofing were they can see everything that is happening around them for days before they hit the house. Some are gang members and some are illegals. Here in the city I pickup everything and do not let anyone in my house. Also try to use UPS, FedEx as much as I can. I have a large dog that doesn’t like people much, he is about 85 lbs. I also work at home so I have my handgun next to me all the time.

    Two months ago I had a SUV backup on my driveway and when the guy got off to see if he could get into my house throw the side door my dog got up on the window and went crazy and by the time I got up the guy was running to his SUV and left, was not able to get his license plate number. But maybe he was sent by someone else that didn’t know that I work at home. The trash guy, maybe the garden people that cut the grass around the area. Who knows but yes they are watching.

    #50712
    wildartist
    wildartist
    Survivalist
    member7

    An incident not far from here, in a pricey neighborhood: A (probably) illegal house-cleaning lady worked for a family for several months. Long enough to build up their trust. Of course she had a house key, since they both worked. Suddenly everything of value was gone when they got home, including the LEO husband’s gun (he should have known better…) And of course, including the cleaning lady. Who had scoped everything out well, including their schedules, and had her boyfriend and his buddies come in and help themselves. It pays to be paranoid sometimes….

    #50715
    Malgus
    Malgus
    Survivalist
    member8

    @ GS: Thank you much for asking. The fix was permanent and there are no problems to date. We’re not in full-on crisis mode, but I am tending to pay attention a bit more than usual. Who comes and goes and how often. The good thing is that we live on a dead end road and after 6 years here I know who lives where and what they drive.

    @ MB: No worries there. Like I said, everything worth the effort has been locked down. They would have to take out a significant portion of the house and need at least 4 NFL linemen to move that safe. And once moved, then what? It’s locked down and I have the only key and combination. I have given thought to leaving some cheap junk laying around as a diversion… if they’re looking for something, then give them something. The good stuff will be off the menu…

    And yeah, the Scumbag Telegraph is operational no matter where you go or who you are. Someone sees something, they tell someone else, who tells someone else… and on and on.

    @ Whirl Lots of folks gone missing in these deep dark woods over the years… these steep hills and hollers… it can get right dangerous if a body ain’t careful.

    Folks are clannish and tend to notice vehicles and people who are out of place. We keep an eye out for each other.

    I’ve taken proper precautions – as many as I can – for now. There’s some things in the works that will be implemented over the next year that will make this place a lot harder of a target. We’ve gained a bit of wiggle room with the current election – I’m planning on using this time wisely.

    Oh, and we don’t throw away boxes and such anymore. We burn them. Break them down, remove all plastics or packaging and then burn them in a burn barrel behind the house. Paperwork gets put through the shredder.

    You and yours be well and Merry Christmas.

    The wicked flee when none pursueth..." - Proverbs 28:1

    #50716
    Profile photo of GeorgiaSaint
    GeorgiaSaint
    Veteran
    member9

    Malgus, the “full-on crisis mode” I was referring to was what all you had to go through with the water leak. It sounded like you were handling the recent “delivery service” issue quite rationally. If I remember correctly, you had to RE-move all your things back out of the basement for a re-do, or something like that, after it was already “fixed” once. Can’t remember for sure, but I do remember thinking about how much you guys were having to deal with that was well beyond the “inconvenience” stage. Glad that’s over.

    As for your current concerns and general procedures, I could not agree more with the following:

    we don’t throw away boxes and such anymore. We burn them. Break them down, remove all plastics or packaging and then burn them in a burn barrel behind the house. Paperwork gets put through the shredder.

    Same for us. There is absolutely no sense flagging to everyone that drives by about what we got for Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries, or whatever – even just replacement things. And I’ve personally watched prisoners on the backs of trash collection trucks (that’s who does trash pickup around these parts) looking through paperwork that they dump in the back of the truck before pulling the lever to compact it up with the rest of the trash already in the truck. I’ve even seen pieces of paper go in their prisoner pants pockets (and reported it with truck number and collection time – but only a general block location so as not to be personally identified). There’s almost no such thing as being too careful anymore – things that USED to be bat guano crazy paranoid years ago.

    And a very merry Christmas to you and yours, also – in the true spirit of the Holiday.

    GS
    "Ye hear of wars in far countries, and you say that there will soon be great wars in far countries, but ye know not the hearts of men in your own land."

    • This reply was modified 7 months, 1 week ago by Profile photo of GeorgiaSaint GeorgiaSaint.
    #50722
    Profile photo of MountainBiker
    MountainBiker
    Survivalist
    member10

    I shred credit card receipts, invoices, and such. As for garbage, we don’t have garbage pickup in my town but rather a transfer station where everything is compacted and hauled away, so nobody can get into my trash. I put the trash into one compactor and recyclables down a shute into another compactor.

    I live on 26 acres near the center of a small hamlet with the far end of my property being on the road that’ll bring you up and over the mountain out of this valley. My house and most of my frontage (1/3 mile) is at the beginning of a different road that feeds into the main road. There are a couple dozen homes further up my road over the next couple miles, so we get quite a few cars either coming past the house or that we can see at a distance heading up or down the mountain. In other words, pretty much everyone in this hamlet and beyond it in this valley goes past my place on a regular basis. This would be several hundred people I’d guess.

    We do have 4 near neighbors that can see our house. We’re good friends with 3 of them and we watch out for each other. Two of them have keys to my house and us keys to their homes, and we always tell each other if we’re going to be away. The 4th neighbor are the parents of the druggie son, the ones who were robbed. Them we maintain just a cordial hi how are you doing kind of relationship but no socializing at all. The other 3 neighbors don’t interact with them at all. After that neighbor was robbed we stopped having our friends pick up our mail when we’re away on account we don’t want the 4th neighbor to even know we’re away. Now we have the post office hold our mail. The druggie son doesn’t live there but that didn’t stop his parents from being robbed (8 guns and a few other things). Interestingly, the thieves left one hand gun behind.

    The Deputy that services our town from the Sheriff’s Dept sometimes likes to park down at the corner of my road and that main road. I’ve told her to hang out there as much as she wants. There’s even a porta potty there at the baseball field all season long, which could make it a destination if she is out on patrol all day. That one person represents our full regular coverage, and is shared with a couple other towns giving her about 100 square miles in all, so not much patrol coverage here at all. The Sheriff’s Dept or State Police would respond to an actual call, but even the State Police don’t have 24/7 patrols in this State. Good thing there is virtually no crime.

    #50724
    Profile photo of GeorgiaSaint
    GeorgiaSaint
    Veteran
    member9

    And which planet is this on, MB? LOL (sorta). I’m sure you know how fortunate you are, and that there are few that can relate to that (except in distant memories for us older folks). I’m happy for you (and trying not to covet…. ;-) ).

    GS
    "Ye hear of wars in far countries, and you say that there will soon be great wars in far countries, but ye know not the hearts of men in your own land."

    #50728
    Malgus
    Malgus
    Survivalist
    member8

    Malgus, the “full-on crisis mode” I was referring to was what all you had to go through with the water leak. It sounded like you were handling the recent “delivery service” issue quite rationally. If I remember correctly, you had to RE-move all your things back out of the basement for a re-do, or something like that, after it was already “fixed” once. Can’t remember for sure, but I do remember thinking about how much you guys were having to deal with that was well beyond the “inconvenience” stage. Glad that’s over.

    OH! I remember now! You’re talking about The Second Battle of the Basement! Sometimes I forget things… deal with a crisis and then often dismiss it once it’s over with…

    Short version: Water vapor was creating mold on everything downstairs. We had to take everything – literally – out of the basement, wipe everything down, then clean the basement itself. Even installed some secondary ventilation. Painted every shelf with mold-resistant paint, put all of our stuff in these huge storage bins, and then installed what I refer to as “The R2 Unit” – a dehumidifier on it’s own little custom platform and fitted with a 1/2″ discharge tube that leads straight to the sump pump in the corner. Just turn it on, set it for 50% humidity and then go do something else. Nothing to empty, no filters to change, and you can tell it to turn itself off after 50% humidity is achieved. Biggest headache was installing the discharge tube so that the water ran out smoothly (the basement floor is not level – R2 is where we need him on one side and the sump pump is way over in the corner – if the tube were simply on the floor, then water would have to run uphill to get to the sump pump hole…), but, victory was declared and now we’re in business.

    As for your current concerns and general procedures, I could not agree more with the following:

    we don’t throw away boxes and such anymore. We burn them. Break them down, remove all plastics or packaging and then burn them in a burn barrel behind the house. Paperwork gets put through the shredder.

    Same for us. There is absolutely no sense flagging to everyone that drives by about what we got for Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries, or whatever – even just replacement things. And I’ve personally watched prisoners on the backs of trash collection trucks (that’s who does trash pickup around these parts) looking through paperwork that they dump in the back of the truck before pulling the lever to compact it up with the rest of the trash already in the truck. I’ve even seen pieces of paper go in their prisoner pants pockets (and reported it with truck number and collection time – but only a general block location so as not to be personally identified). There’s almost no such thing as being too careful anymore – things that USED to be bat guano crazy paranoid years ago.

    Exactly. If you’re going to put the intact packaging for your Brand New Super Expensive Useless Crap out on the front stoop where literally anyone who casually goes by can see it, then you deserve to have someone try to steal your stuff.

    Imagine going down to Bubba’s Gun Hut on the search for a brand new rifle. You’ve been saving for two years for this moment, and you’re going to buy the most awesome tricked out M-Forgery you can find, along with some truly b*tchin’ sights, etc… You end up buying:

    – a Genuine Colt 6920
    – an EOTech 552/A65.1 holosight
    – the G33 magnifier for the sight
    – 25 mil-surp 30 round magazines
    – 4 cans of Lake City M855 ammo to go with it.

    You are now reasonably well-prepared for the Golden Hoard.

    After opening all your stuff, you take all the packaging and – oh shoot, the garbage can is full… guess I’m going to have to pile all these boxes and such on top or right next to the can… hope Pedro The Garbageman doesn’t forget them on garbage day…

    SMDH…

    Yet, people do stuff exactly like this every single day, then sit in wonder after they get robbed…

    EVERYTHING gets burned or shredded. Or shredded AND burned. Even the innocent looking stuff – like the little paperwork that comes with my vitamin B1 supplement from the VAMC? Shredded, then burned in the burn barrel. Someone sees that, then they might get to wondering what ELSE does that guy get?

    I thank my wife for that bit – she shreds everything. Even went and got one of those good shredders that doesn’t care if you put staples in it or not…

    And a very merry Christmas to you and yours, also – in the true spirit of the Holiday.

    The same to you and all of us here. And also Selco & Co. Without them, we wouldn’t even have this place…

    The wicked flee when none pursueth..." - Proverbs 28:1

    #50729
    Malgus
    Malgus
    Survivalist
    member8

    I shred credit card receipts, invoices, and such. As for garbage, we don’t have garbage pickup in my town but rather a transfer station where everything is compacted and hauled away, so nobody can get into my trash. I put the trash into one compactor and recyclables down a shute into another compactor.

    I live on 26 acres near the center of a small hamlet with the far end of my property being on the road that’ll bring you up and over the mountain out of this valley. My house and most of my frontage (1/3 mile) is at the beginning of a different road that feeds into the main road. There are a couple dozen homes further up my road over the next couple miles, so we get quite a few cars either coming past the house or that we can see at a distance heading up or down the mountain. In other words, pretty much everyone in this hamlet and beyond it in this valley goes past my place on a regular basis. This would be several hundred people I’d guess.

    We do have 4 near neighbors that can see our house. We’re good friends with 3 of them and we watch out for each other. Two of them have keys to my house and us keys to their homes, and we always tell each other if we’re going to be away. The 4th neighbor are the parents of the druggie son, the ones who were robbed. Them we maintain just a cordial hi how are you doing kind of relationship but no socializing at all. The other 3 neighbors don’t interact with them at all. After that neighbor was robbed we stopped having our friends pick up our mail when we’re away on account we don’t want the 4th neighbor to even know we’re away. Now we have the post office hold our mail. The druggie son doesn’t live there but that didn’t stop his parents from being robbed (8 guns and a few other things). Interestingly, the thieves left one hand gun behind.

    The Deputy that services our town from the Sheriff’s Dept sometimes likes to park down at the corner of my road and that main road. I’ve told her to hang out there as much as she wants. There’s even a porta potty there at the baseball field all season long, which could make it a destination if she is out on patrol all day. That one person represents our full regular coverage, and is shared with a couple other towns giving her about 100 square miles in all, so not much patrol coverage here at all. The Sheriff’s Dept or State Police would respond to an actual call, but even the State Police don’t have 24/7 patrols in this State. Good thing there is virtually no crime.

    [attachment file=”jeremy.gif”]

    Kidding… I’m envious. Sounds nice and you sound like you’re all set.

    Arm up, tribe up, watch each others’ back… that’s the way to do it.

    The wicked flee when none pursueth..." - Proverbs 28:1

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    #50735
    Profile photo of MountainBiker
    MountainBiker
    Survivalist
    member10

    And which planet is this on, MB? LOL (sorta). I’m sure you know how fortunate you are, and that there are few that can relate to that (except in distant memories for us older folks). I’m happy for you (and trying not to covet…. ;-) ).

    Sometimes it feels like I’m living in a bubble or time warp, though at the same time it is feeling like the bubble is cracking and the world is starting to intrude. My neighbor being robbed this summer is one reason. The Syrians on the way to the nearby shire town (unless Trump puts a halt to that program on day one) is another. How the social justice warriors can possibly think that will be good for the area is beyond me.

    #50834
    Profile photo of Brulen
    Brulen
    Survivalist
    member9

    ah Xmas when all the thieves come out to prey. From what I’ve heard the top acquisitions are :
    Guns
    Cash
    Meds
    Jewelry
    Booze
    Food

    There was a burglary here a few years ago for valuable paintings. They hit the place at night during a big snowstorm when the owners were on vacation. The house had an alarm system to the local cops and a security firm. The local cops got there in 10 minutes but the thieves were already gone. They knew what they were doing. Can’t say I like inviting people into my house anymore especially since at least half our relatives turned out to be crooks. But since they’re democrats that really wasn’t a surprise.
    My old Sony tv is so heavy it would take two linebackers to carry it off. Of the two objects that would make a good gun safe it would be the Sony tv or our very old piano. The piano weighs a ton.

    Our neighbor has hired the security firm or so he says. I put a trail cam out so it watches his back door. I imagine he has an indoor security system that alerts the cops if anyone is inside the house without authorization. This isn’t a high crime area afaik. Crime info though is hard to get. There are certainly a lot of things happening we don’t hear about because we’re not in the gossip clique. When we go away for the winter we will probably take the security company deal. Especially since there was a major unsolved arson right down the street from us. That’s what we worry the most about, not about our stuff being stolen.

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