Archive for Thursday, July 24, 2008

Chief’s Corner

July 24, 2008

Home invasion is one of the more frightening and potentially dangerous crimes that can happen to a family. It is a crime that is often motivated by a variety of criminal intentions, which is on the rise.

It is common for the intruder to suddenly pull a weapon and burglarize you on the spot after posing as a repairman, delivery person, sales person, police officer or a Good Samaritan. Home invaders often operate at night and on weekends when homes are more likely to be occupied. Most invasions take place simply because the intruder knocked or rang the doorbell and the homeowner opened the door. They have also been known to walk in through an open garage or basement door.

Home invaders know that they won't have to overcome an alarm system or be worried about video cameras and silent alarms like they would in commercial businesses. The attack can be swift and violent. The greatest violence usually occurs during the initial 60 seconds of the confrontation. Their primary goal is to gain control and instill fear in you. Once the occupants are under control the invader will begin to collect your valuables.

A major fear at this point is that the invader might commit a more violent act like sexual assault or even murder. If you find yourself in a situation where the invader has made their way into your home comply with their request in order to try and prevent physical violence and bodily harm.

Some other ways to help prevent home invasions are to make sure that your doors and windows are locked even when home, install solid core doors with strong locks and reinforced strike plates, use the peephole before opening the door, and never open your door to strangers, no matter how trustworthy they may appear. The best defense against home invasion is education and planning.

If you should become a victim of a home invasion and the intruder has left your home, call the police immediately and give them an accurate description of the individual and the vehicle they were driving.

By knowing how home invaders operate, you can prevent most occurrences.

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