A few weeks ago I was relaxing at home alone. It was around 4:30 in the afternoon. I was sitting quietly in my living room enjoying my kids’ Goldfish crackers when I heard something strange. I got up thinking someone must be delivering a package at my front door. But when I reached the entrance, I didn’t see anyone. Then I looked to my left and saw an individual standing in our indoor/outdoor patio.

Close Call: No Knock, No Card, No Business

As my heart started pounding, I quickly realized that the only way an individual could enter this completely enclosed space – surrounded by a wooden fence and further enclosed by screening – was to remove the wood and cut the screening. I calmly walked over, unlocked the door, opened it and asked, “What in the world are you doing?!” The individual stammered and stuttered some ridiculous answer and said he thought it was his friend’s house as he slid back through the sliced screen. I followed him out as he retreated, trespassing across my neighbor’s yard.

I got in my car and pursued him while taking pictures. (Of course, I am leaving some details out to maintain my “man of peace” image for posterity.) After my impromptu spy mission, I retreated home and called the police. They handled the situation from that point to a just conclusion.

Home Security: Does this Include Outdoor Security?

Like many homes, I have home security and take pride in my set-up. Although this individual wasn’t actually INSIDE my house, who knows what he was planning to do had I not caught him in the act.

I’ve spent several years of my post-Olympic career working in the security industry and with companies that provide many services to the business community, from threat and violence risk management to technical security countersurveillance. I’ve learned a lot of lessons along the way, but one of the most important is the value of a careful residential security assessment. In fact, it’s a topic I discuss with clients almost daily. Not only do we help identify vulnerabilities, but we also provide recommendations for future security enhancements to help our clients protect what matters.

As for me, my porch has since been repaired and I’ve asked a few trusted security experts I know pretty well to take a look at my current residential security system. There’s another lesson at hand here – at least for the other guy: don’t try to break in to a former athlete’s home; you won’t outrun them.