Home Invasion: Dangerous Criminals Rely on Scare Tactics
Imagine it is the end of a long day. You and your family are spread about the house: your spouse in the study, your son in his room playing video games, your daughter dutifully doing the dishes, and you tinkering with your train set in the garage. You hear the doorbell ring; you go to answer, glancing at your watch and wondering who could be dropping by unannounced at this hour. You look through the peephole and see a nicely dressed man who claims, by yelling through the door, that his car broke down and he needs to use the phone. You open the door.
You just made a big mistake.
That nice young man has two buddies hiding out of sight, and the instant you open that door, all three pounce on you. You are pushed to the ground. Your screams bring your family running, though inside you desperately wish they would hide or even escape. But it’s too late. You are the victim of a home invasion, and now you and your family are in danger.
Regular burglars work doing the day, breaking in during daylight hours when the home is usually unoccupied. They want to get in and get out with the loot, avoiding confrontation.
Home invasion criminals are different.
Home invasion criminals do their dastardly deeds at night, and their target is more than just the loot: it is often the residents. Single women, the elderly, or the wealthy are common home invasion targets. Home invasion robbers do it for more than just the spoils of war. Many get an adrenaline rush from the violence, the domination, and the fear they instill in you. Home invasion criminals are the most dangerous kind of criminal, and you must protect yourself and your family from home invasion with dedicated vigilance. There’s a reason people say the home is a castle –- it needs to be a well-secured battlement to protect you from home invasion.
The first sixty seconds of a home invasion are the most violent; this is when the attackers often beat, subdue, or bound you and your family. Threats are made against your life, and the home invasion criminals stalk about your house looking for valuables to steal. They could take their sweet time, while you tremble with fear, bound and gagged on the floor, wondering what will happen to you and your family. Will there be sexual assault? Murder? You are helpless. All you can do is pray and wait for them to leave, and then try to get help.
But you can prevent a home invasion.
The same steps you take to secure your home when you are away are useful when you are at home.
1. Lock all doors and windows at all times.
2. Arm your burglar alarm even when you are there
3. Stop forced entries with solid doors and reinforced locks.
4. Create a home invasion panic room at the center of your home, with a deadbolt lock, sturdy door, first aid supplies, and a charged cell phone. Home invaders often cut the phone lines to prevent you from calling for help. Keeping a cell phone in your panic room allows you to call for help if the regular lines of communication are cut.
5. Instruct your family to never open the door for an unexpected stranger. If someone comes to the door asking to use the phone, offer to make the call for them. Harmless people who really do need help understand that you are just being safe. Home invasion criminals, luckily, often just give up.
6. Hold a family meeting and create a plan in the case home invasion. Make sure each family member knows what to do: escape out the back door if they can, or head for the panic room, and don’t fight back. Violence only escalates if the home invasion criminals become angry.
It may seem like home invasions are impossible to prevent. Any criminal who really wants to get inside your home can just kick the door in. But precautions and common sense can keep most home invasion criminals from trying their luck with your home. You can enjoy your pleasant evenings home, knowing you and your family are safe in your well-fortified castle.