A cautionary tale from Fort Wayne, Indiana, suggests that the season to be jolly is also one to be ready for anything.
According to WPTA-TV, two men singing Christmas carols last December had something other than spreading Christmas cheer in mind when they arrived at the door of a house in the Lincoln Village section of Fort Wayne, Indiana.
One man knocked at the door, something the woman inside the house found strange, according to WANE-TV. She decided not to open the door.
The woman and her husband told police the man then walked over to a car that had pulled up in front of the house, only to return to the door with another person. The suspects then started to shake the door handle and kick the door, allegedly attempting to break into the home.
The woman’s husband then pulled out his gun and fired shots through the door, unsure whether he hit anyone.
The two men fled, and police did not arrest anyone in connection with the incident. However, Fort Wayne police said someone showed up at a hospital with a gunshot wound following the incident, according to WIBC-FM.
Neighbor Lance Turner said the neighborhood was an unlikely setting for a crime.
“Kinda scary considering there was a gunshot about 200 yards, if that, from where I’m standing,” he said.
“I didn’t think that something like that would happen in this neighborhood,” he said. “I mean, seriously, we’ve only lived here about a year, never really felt any problems with the neighborhood. It was always welcoming, neighbors were fine.”
Turner said he had a video doorbell on his own home, but would still be shaken up after an incident like that.
“If something like that were to happen at my house, I probably would be not sleeping too well at night,” Turner said.
An unidentified neighbor who spoke to the homeowners relayed their story to WPTA.
“They heard the doorbell ring, they heard what appeared to be pounding on the door, and then they saw the door being kicked in or attempted to be kicked in. And that’s when this individual fired his weapon into the door or the door area,” the neighbor said.
So how can you better protect yourself during a time of year when scammers and criminals look for an easy mark?
One simple step is to make sure empty boxes signifying that expensive items may be inside the house are cut up for the recycling instead of placed on the curb, San Angelo suggests.
Security systems, leaving lights on, and locking doors are other simple steps that are often forgotten, the outlet noted.
The site also suggested that posting about expensive presents or upcoming trips on social media can be something that advertises to potential thieves where they might want to strike.
Responsible gun owners who keep weapons safely stored know their guns are also the last resort for protection when criminals come calling.
As noted by the Heritage Foundation, guns are used in self-defense somewhere between 500,000 and 3 million times a year.