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Home Invasion - A Terrifying Crime

A home invasion is one of the most frightening and potentially deadly crimes that can happen to an individual or family. Home invasion is the forced entry into an occupied residence to commit robbery or other crimes. It is especially frightening because it violates our home and our personal space. In addition, if someone survives such a catastrophic crisis, he or she often experiences stress reactions for years. Unfortunately, many home invasions end in assault, rape or murder.

How do they happen? In contrast to burglaries, home invasions occur more often at night or on weekends when we are more likely to be home. Home invasions target the resident, as well as the dwelling. Targets of home invasion robberies may include a woman living alone, a wealthy senior citizen, or they may occur because of the value of the car we drive or the jewelry we wear. Robbers rarely work alone and rely on surprise and overwhelming physical confrontation to gain control and to instill fear. The highest level of violence usually occurs in the first minute of the confrontation, and invaders come with equipped with handcuffs, rope, duct tape, knives, and firepower.

How do the home invaders get in? Home invaders know that most people, if they have a security system, do not arm the system while they are home, and most homeowners do not have video cameras or silent alarms or panic buttons. So, unlike robbing a business, home invaders expect privacy once inside our home and know they won’t have to deal with the police suddenly driving up or customers walking in.

The most common point of attack is through the front door or garage. Occasionally, invaders will simply kick open the door and confront everyone inside. More commonly though, home invaders knock on the door first or ring the doorbell. They know that many of us will simply open the door, without question, in response to their knock.

Home invaders will sometimes use tricks to get us to open the door. They pretend to be a delivery person or tell us they accidently hit our car. Some home invaders may have been in our home before, such as a delivery person, installation technician, or service person. Others use children who pretend to be selling something for school to get us to open the door. Once the door is opened, invaders will use an explosive amount of force and threats to gain control and to produce fear in the occupants. Once things are under the robbers control, they begin collecting our valuables.

Some home robbers spend hours searching and destroying a residence while the homeowners are bound nearby, watching in shear terror. Some robbers have eaten meals, watched TV, and even taken a nap! A major fear is that the robbers will commit even more violence, like sexual assault, rape or murder. Some victims have been kidnapped, forced to withdraw cash from their ATM machine, or taken to their business to rob it as well.

How can home invasion be prevented? The same precautions used to prevent daytime burglaries also go a long way toward preventing home invasions. If home invaders can be slowed at the point of entry we have a chance of deterring them from entering; giving us enough time to call the police. All exterior entry points should have solid core doors with strong deadbolt locks and reinforced strike plates. Also, windows should be closed and locked. Visit my website and print the Burglary Safety Tips.

The weakest link in home security are people who fail to lock doors and windows, open the door without question, and do not use their alarm system. The best prevention is knowledge and planning. Have a security system installed, and use it; have a plan in case the unthinkable happens; and finally, get your family together to discuss the importance of security and how to answer the door when someone knocks, especially with young children. For additional information and tips to prevent home invasion, visit my website and print the Home Invasion Safety Tips.

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About the Author

David Murphy, Xpress Protection Security Solutions, Inc
10575 N. 114th St. #103
Scottsdale, AZ 85259

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