Just in the last few days I’ve seen a number of news stories concerning home invasions. It seems to be the crime of choice any more.
Here is a sample of a few of them.
- Resident kills intruder in Puyallup home invasion
- Residents tied up in Ft. Bend County home invasion
- Tacoma man turns shotgun on home invaders, kills one
- One man killed in reported home-invasion robbery in Pierce County
As recently as a few years ago the term ‘home invasion’ was rarely heard of.. By way of explanation “home invasion” is a term coined by police departments to describe a home burglary when the residents are home. As you may know most burglaries happen when the residents are not home.
Since the possibility of a confrontation is drastically heightened, the odds of injury or death or injury to the residents are high. That’s what is so scary about these crimes-the very real possibility of assault, injury, rape, or even death to you and members of your inner sanctum-your family. Imagine you are at home for the evening, sitting in your chair listening to the news, and all of a sudden your door is kicked in at your staring at a thug with a gun. This is happening more and more each week.
The Cold Facts
According to the FBI, every 12 seconds a home is invaded by going right through the front or back door.
According to most crime data, one of the main targets for this crime are elderly or physically disabled citizens. Criminals who commit home invasions often target the weak and unprepared. They often use a weapon such as a knife or other cutting instruments to intimidate or even assault their victims. While in most cases this is the intended crime to be committed, in several cases home invasions occurs with the intent to commit a rape, an assault or even a murder. Money and expensive belongings may be the motivation behind most break-ins, but sometimes it is a secondary intention of criminals. Because the reasons, methods and intentions of home invasions are so varied it can be difficult to define reliable statistics on the crime. According to a report by the United States Department of Justice, 38% of assaults and 60% of rapes occur in the home during an invasion.
There are different methods used to gain entry in a typical home invasion to be aware of, which I have cover in previous blogs (Knock, Knock – Home Invasion Tips). For instance, a perpetrator may use deception as their way to get into someone’s home. This type of invasion usually takes place during the day or early evening. . Once you open your door to them, the perpetrator smashes their way into the home.
Another more abrupt method is to simply use force to gain entry. In this scenario, the home invader approaches a doorway and proceeds to kick the door in. A solid kick aimed just below or above the doorknob will often break open most doors, even those with a dead-bolt installed.
A more traditional approach is when the invasion starts out similar to a break and enter. The assailant uses a lock pick or pry bar to defeat a door or window lock, then slips into the house and surprises the homeowner in another room. These methods can take place at anytime day or night
It’s doesn’t have to be
According to my crime experts, the average burglar will spend no more than 2 minutes trying to get in. Just think about that. If you can find a way to keep a robber out of your residence for two minutes chances are pretty good they’ll find another target. As we stated earlier, most home invasions happen right thru the front door. Seriously! Either the residents open the door or the door is forced open. No matter-THE FRONT DOOOR, If you have a peephole – use it! If you don’t install one!
We no longer live in a world where you can have your doors open or unlocked when you are home. You can no longer just open the door when someone knocks or rings the bell. Once you open the door an inch or two it doesn’t take much to force it open all the way.
Make sure you have a peephole, dead-bolt locks, or a door stop that you actually lock and if possible solid hardwood doors. Lastly, your residenceshould have at least two maybe three locations (one by the front door) where you keep non lethal self-defense weapons such as pepper sprays, stun guns, or maybe even a Taser.
Remember that the home intruder, like the burglar, has three big enemies light, sound, and time. The more obstacles you can put in his way the safer your home will be. For sure keep your front door locked and don’t open it until you know who it is.
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