HomeUSAN.J. Family Man From Quiet Suburbs Speaks Out About Home Invasion

N.J. Family Man From Quiet Suburbs Speaks Out About Home Invasion

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It’s difficult to appropriately set the stage when talking about New Jersey, especially since pop culture does a good job of painting the Garden State as a chemical wasteland that’s filled with the mafia. While the New Jersey of “The Sopranos” is a real thing, we can’t forget that the state is called the “Garden State” for a reason. There are plenty of areas that are rural or semi-rural. Historically quiet bedroom communities, which are removed from the urban element, have been dealing with an influx of imported crime. John Kabourakis is from low-crime Monmouth County, New Jersey, and he recently used a firearm for self-defense in his home.

John Kabourakis is a small business owner, husband, and loving father. I spent one morning with Kabourakis at his office and we talked about his background, “So I’ve lived in Monmouth County, New Jersey for more than 30 years now. I live in Howell, New Jersey, currently, I’ve been here for about 15 years, and got married when I first moved down here.” Kabourakis continued, “I have two kids now, a 13-year-old and a 10-year-old. I own a construction business. And I’ve been in business for 23 years.”

Kabourakis talked about his community and how the location is perfect for an active family that enjoys doing things and staying on the go.

“It’s a quaint, suburban area. Howell itself is very rural. And it’s a great place to live. We have everything we need right here. We’re close to the beach, or an hour outside of New York City. Our family is big into skiing, we go skiing in Pennsylvania quite often – takes two hours to get there. We’re also just over an hour away from Philadelphia. So we’re in a great location geographically, and it’s a fantastic little town. We love it here. My kids… it’s all they know, they’ve been here since they were born.”

Monmouth County, New Jersey has traditionally been a very low crime area. The unfathomable act of leaving doors unlocked and keys in cars is still practiced by some locals, though that’s been changing over the last few years.

“So I would say, probably within the last two to three years, roughly, around the time of COVID, we started hearing more and more alarming news about cars getting stolen out of people’s driveways, which is something that you never heard. Like I said, I’ve been living here for 15 years, we never had anyone had a car stolen out of the driveway, it’s mostly happening a little bit further up north. 

“And then what happened is people started to adapt. They stopped keeping their key fobs in their cars – which made it easy pickings for the criminals – and once they did that, then these criminals started to move further down [south], because the majority of the people that are perpetrating these crimes are coming from the northern parts of the state, typically the the inner cities. And again, when people stopped leaving the key fobs in their cars, they started to move their way further and further south.

“So now we’re pretty much at the point where everyone’s got the message. No one leaves their key fobs in their car anymore.”  – John Kabourakis

The once quiet communities of New Jersey are being invaded by the criminal element from other areas. Let’s face it, people want to steal nice stuff, they don’t want to rob people who don’t have valuables. Middle-class America and safe communities are not immune to crime.

“It’s starting to escalate. Now what we’re seeing is burglaries [and] home invasions…for the most part, these criminals are looking to steal cars, they want key fobs.” Kabourakis observed, “It’s been escalating and who knows where it will end.”

I asked Kabourakis about his journey to becoming a gun owner. He told me that he purchased his first firearm about 15 years ago. Since then, he’s acquired a few more firearms, but nothing of a “super user” level. He said he lives “as a pretty typical gun owner. I own a few  guns…since [buying my first pistol] I bought a shotgun [and] I own a couple of rifles.”

Training and heading to the range became something that Kabourakis enjoyed. He said that he finds it interesting and enjoyable. I prodded him on his level of involvement, asking if we’ll be finding him repelling off the sides of any buildings doing tactical training, and he said, “Yeah, I’m not a police officer. I’m not in the military.” Still, getting some training and going to the range has become a recreational thing, even if he has not made “gun stuff” his entire life. Every four to six weeks Kabourakis likes to get to the range to practice because he enjoys it.

Kabourakis then talked about the early morning of February 29, 2024. After hearing a loud noise, Kabourakis retrieved his handgun and went to investigate. Having children in the home is cause to investigate things that go bump in the night, and Kabourakis said he walked down a hallway to a second story landing in his home. While on the landing he said, “I’m looking down into my kitchen area and I see a flashlight moving my kitchen, and all of a sudden a person came into my focus, wearing a hoodie, a mask, gloves, and [was] carrying a flashlight.”

“I kicked into survival mode instantly. And said to myself, ‘Now this is real, I need to act. And I need to be very cautious and careful about what I’m doing.'”

Kabourakis said that the person must have seen him and tried to hide the flashlight. When the person looked up at him, Kabourakis said, “I turned on a weapon mounted light that I had on my handgun, I pointed it at the person, and that person instantly turned and ran away.”

The encounter was captured on his home security camera system and can be viewed HERE or at the end of this article in an embed, in the middle of our interview.

While recounting the event that unfolded, Kabourakis went into detail about it while discussing the moments after he confronted the home invader, and beyond:

“Turns out there were two other people; one in the house, one just outside the house, peering into my dining room window. They all just immediately fled once I raised my gun.

“Fortunately, it didn’t escalate beyond that. But disheartening, and not something that any one wants to ever wake up to.

“Turns out these criminals showed up in a stolen car. They broke into my dining room window, by prying it open. Just a pretty egregious bunch of acts that led to this situation. 

“I always heard about burglaries in the past, where typically burglars come into your house, they don’t want you to be home…they come into the house in the middle of the day, right? So we didn’t normally leave the alarm set at night because we felt like we were relatively safe. Yes, I had a gun. I was always trying to be diligent. We have cameras. However, we felt like we were relatively safe.

“We talked about Howell, what a great community it is. There were a lot of people that, up until recently, were leaving their key fobs in their cars. People leave their doors to their house open at night, while they’re sleeping. We always felt like we were not going to ever fall victim to something like this. Now, that’s all changed. 

“Obviously, we sleep with the alarm on at night. Now we’ve taken other steps and security [measures] to make sure that we’re safer. We have a lot of layers of protection in place right now.” – John Kabourakis

Kabourakis said that he was prepared for the encounter, but admitted, “ I didn’t think that it would ever happen.”

One of the biggest things Kabourakis stressed to me when I asked him his advice to others was to be prepared. He noted that so many people in his circle who were not gun owners stated they wanted to become gun owners after learning about his experience. He encourages people who become gun owners to become acquainted with their firearm, learn how to use it, and get some training as well. 

“But safety is key. And also proper storage is a big thing, especially if you have younger kids around, you have to store that gun properly,” he said. “I encourage everyone to go to the range to train, because, you know, shooting a gun…anybody can pull the trigger on a gun, but being accurate, that’s a whole nother ball game.”

When I asked Kabourakis to address non-gun owners who are hostile to the thought of gun ownership, or just on the fence, he said, “I can’t imagine what it would be like to be in a situation like that and not have a gun.” The experience certainly changed the way Kabourakis and his family lives and thinks. “I just turned 50 years old in January…I’ve never in my life, until February 29, needed a gun to defend myself. And I’m thankful that I had one.

John Kabourakis is one of the millions of Americans annually who successfully self-defend with a firearm. Since there were no shots fired, will this event be recorded appropriately in the statistics? Who knows. What we do know is that everyday Americans, like John, have firearms to level the playing field for those times when malicious individuals wish to exert their will on others.

If you’re interested in catching my full interview with John Kabourakis and seeing the video footage of his encounter, you can check that out HERE, or in the embed below.

Read the full article here

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