With upwards of 8,000+ home invasions happening every year in the United States, it is important to know how to protect yourself and your family, and how to secure your home to better resist becoming a victim.
There is a difference between a burglary and a home invasion. A burglary takes place when no one is home, while a home invasion takes place when you are. Most home invasions happen in the early evening hours through early morning on weekdays and weekends.
It is important to understand the criminals of a home invasion and some characteristics of these potentially violent people. They like to target homes where they are less likely to face resistance and they will gain access to important information such as jewelry, cash, pin numbers and safe codes.
Unlike typical home burglars, home invasions require time, forethought and homework. These criminals will typically spend the time to properly target a person or residence. They will pay attention to things such as your routine, when neighbors are usually away, the types of places you shop and what person in typically at home at what time.
These criminals are known to use deception to approach your residence posing as a delivery man or salesman. Always be suspicious of those that you allow into your home. If something doesn’t feel right ask them to leave and request someone else or go with another company, if that doesn’t make them leave, call the police immediately and alert your neighbors of the incident.
Know your neighborhood—if you notice something is out of place or suspicious, report it to the local authorities. It is better to be safe than sorry.
Home invaders typically look for what is referred to as a soft target. Single women, women with children, elderly and the disabled are prime targets. This is because they typically put up less resistance, mostly out of fear or inability.
Method of Operation
The most common point of attack is through the front door or garage. Sometimes the home invader will simply kick open the door and confront everyone inside. More common is when the home invaders knock on the door first or ring the bell. The home invader hopes that the occupant will simply open the door, without question, in response to their knock. Unfortunately, many people do just that.
Home invaders will sometimes use a ruse or impersonation to get you to open the door. They have been known to pretend to be delivering a package, flowers or lie about an accident like hitting your parked car or an animal (do not open the door and offer to call the police for them, if they become persistant, irritated or if you notice they move on to the next residence, call the police immediately.) Once the door is opened for them, the home invaders will use an explosive amount of force and threats to gain control of the home and produce fear in the victims. Once the occupants are under control the robbers will begin to collect your valuables.
Some home robbers have been known to spend hours ransacking a residence while the homeowners are bound nearby watching in terror. Some robbers have been known to eat meals, watch TV, or even take a nap. A major fear is that the robbers might commit more violence like sexual assault or even murder. Some robbers have kidnapped and forced a victim to withdraw cash from their ATM machine or take them to their small business to rob it as well.
So how do you protect yourself from these sort of crimes? The same tactics used to prevent daytime burglaries will go a long way to preventing forced entry home robberies. If you can delay a home invader at the point of entry then you have a chance of deterring them or have time to call the police.
Now a few statistics about home invasions and why you should take steps necessary to protect you and your family from them:
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