Tom and Peggy McElvoy sat watching a rerun of JAG last week in their Mansfield home, using headphones because they are hearing impaired.
While they were watching TV a burglar broke the glass of a patio door about 20 feet from where the couple, both 79, were sitting, unaware of what was going on.
The burglar entered their home and went into the bedroom. The burglar took money, credit cards, necklaces, rings, watches and an assortment of other jewelry, including the first ring that Tom McElvoy gave his wife.
Then he left unnoticed. The McElvoys didn’t realize they had been burglarized until they found the bedroom door locked.
“I picked it open, and that’s when we saw that someone had been there,” Tom McElvoy said.
They say the burglar made off with more than $20,000 worth of jewelry and cash.
No one had been arrested as of yesterday.
This is the third burglary in less than two weeks in the Walnut Creek area. It’s the first home invasion where the intruders entered, knowing that someone was at home.
The couple said they had no reason to feel threatened since they had not had any problems in the 32 years they have lived in the house, on the Walnut Creek Country Club golf course, so the alarm system wasn’t on.
“We don’t feel threatened when we’re at home,” Tom McElvoy said Thursday. “So we don’t turn it on until we go to bed.”
He said the burglar broke in between 9 and 11:30 p.m. The drapes at the patio were open, and a light was on, McElvoy said. “He had to have seen us.”
Most law enforcement officers and concealed carry permit holders never leave home without their firearm. But where is your firearm when you’re at home? It takes less than five seconds for a burglar to enter your home. How long would it take for you to get to a gun in your home? Could an intruder get between you and your firearm? Could an intruder enter your house through a door or window and take your firearm without you knowing it?
Elderly people are the most likely group to be the victims crime. If you’re hearing impaired or have any other disability, you are more vulnerable to criminals. Criminals always want to take advantage of those who are most vulnerable.
If you’re not carrying at home, you’re not carrying in the place that you are most likely to need your firearm. I’ve made it a habit to carry my Sig P238 on my person while I’m in my home. It weighs just over a pound loaded, in a holster. I keep any firearm that I’m not carrying or have immediate access (arms length) locked up in a gun safe.
Just about any firearm, including a .22 pistol or rifle can be an effective home defense firearm. But no firearm is effective for home defense if it’s not readily accessible.
Most of us live in neighborhoods where we feel safe and crime is relatively low. These are exactly the neighborhoods that criminals target because they feel less threatened and can usually score the most valuables.
Odds are it won’t happen to us. Odds are we won’t ever need a firearm to protect ourselves or our loved ones. But if I learned anything playing poker, it’s that anything that can happen, will happen, no matter the odds.
There is nothing so likely to produce peace than being well prepared to meet the enemy.