Lantana, Florida Homeowner Juan Flores, 27, has not had a good year, crime-wise, having been hit by the same gang twice in less than a month.
According to the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office (PBSO), Mr. Flores was hit by Nathaniel Rennard Lowe, 24, and an unknown assailant on 28 July. Mr. Lowe and his accomplice attempted to rob Mr. Flores by luring him outside with a false delivery. Mr. Flores apparently opened the door the accomplice and then Mr. Lowe assaulted the house with an AK-47-style rifle. The robbery was unsuccessful and they fled when Mr. Flores shut the door in their faces and had his family call 9-1-1.
Then different members of the same gang attempted to rob him on 13 August. Police say Tavaress Alexander Wilson, 26, and Obrian Simms, 23, waited until Mr. Flores was out of the house and attempted to burglarize his residence that evening.
Mr. Flores, sadly, came home to find both men still burglarizing his house. One of them pointed an assault rifle at Mr. Flores and he drew and fired four rounds from a .45 Springfield (type not noted) which killed Simms and struck Wilson’s face.
On questioning Mr. Flores about the gang activity, he informed police that he did not immediately identify the two men from the first attempted robbery as he had received threats from the gang.
The unanswered, elephantine question, of course, is: what does Mr. Flores have in his house that’s so compelling that gang members made two separate attempts to get in?
What lessons can we learn from this?
1. DO. NOT. OPEN. YOUR. DOOR. TO. STRANGERS. In this day and age, and with all he general criminal weirdness unique to that area of Florida, there is no reason for strangers to be coming to your door. In his case, especially, I would recommend never opening the front door to a stranger. And I think that perhaps he will follow this advice from now on.
2. A good security system is worth the expense. Even if it’s not connected to a monitoring service, the noise may be enough to clear intruders out of the house AND will let you know that someone has entered your house, and may still be there. Stay OUTSIDE and let the police handle this.
3. BE READY. In the event of a home invasion style robbery or a classic burglary, you may not have time to call police immediately or you may have to delegate that task to another family member while you’re busy getting the door closed after you violated rule 1 above.
4. As always, police responses take time. In both of these cases, semi-automatic rifles were leveled at Mr. Flores. In such an event, you can choose to fiddle with your phone or you can take Rapid, Positive Action to end the threat.
In the first scenario, Mr. Flores was surprised with a large-caliber rifle at close range and he chose to retreat and place a barrier between himself and his assailants.
In the second scenario, Mr. Flores was sharing the same space with his assailants and had no time to retreat. Even though he was behind the power curve, he employed Speed, Surprise, and Violence of Action to get ahead of his attackers, killing one and wounding another.
5. In both events, Mr. Flores took care of himself and summoned the authorities as soon as possible. You Are Your Own First Responder, make your decisions rapidly and then execute. You may not always win, but it beats standing around waiting to be injured or killed.