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Home Invasion Robberies on the Rise

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Recent Law Enforcement Studies have shown home invasion robberies are on the rise! What can you do to avoid being the next victim?

Frequently the invasions are the work of gangs who mark their victims at exclusive shopping centers or grocery stores. By lying in wait and using surveillance techniques, the predators watch for a potential victim driving expensive vehicles, or wearing exclusive clothes and watches. Women and elderly people are especially profiled because they offer little or no resistance when the armed attackers decide to strike. Frequently the predators will follow the victim home but not attack until they have had time to reconnoiter the neighborhood and determine their route of escape. The predators will take their time to ensure they have selected the right victim, and then plot when to strike and how much time to spend inside the residence.

Gardeners and vendors working in exclusive neighborhoods and in wealthy homes are sometimes working with criminals that line up the invasions. They have the ability to be quiet observers without being noticed. Some home invaders might have been in your home before as a delivery person, installer or repair vendor.

Home invasion robbers work most often at night and on weekends when homes are likely to be occupied. They rarely work alone and rely on an overwhelming physical confrontation to gain initial control. The violence usually occurs during the initial sixty seconds of the confrontation and home invaders frequently have handcuffs, rope, duct tape and firearms to subdue their victims.

What should you do to avoid being a victim?

First, always be aware of your surroundings and notice anything unusual. Avoid driving expensive exclusive vehicles to public areas and be particular where you park your vehicle. Underground parking garages are especially dangerous because they offer predators hiding places they are not afforded in open parking areas. When leaving a shopping area or any other venue and starting home, take the time to check your rear view mirror to notice if someone appears to be following you. If you detect what you think is someone tracking your vehicle, do not return to your residence, but drive to a police station or fire station. Attempt to get a description of the vehicle, occupants, and the license plate number. Be particularly suspicious of manned unfamiliar vehicles that are parked near your home on the street. Predators frequently wait for you to pull into your driveway and garage. They can be at your car door with a gun before you can exit your vehicle

Second, invest in and train a dog. Were not talking about a miniature poodle. A German shepherd, American Bulldog, Doberman, or other large but alert dog will provide aggressive defense of a home and provide early warning that your home may be at risk of being invaded.

Third, ensure that your home is alarmed and connected to a monitoring station, preferably the police department. Signage that your home is alarmed should appear in front of your home as well as at the rear of your dwelling.

Fourth, a fence and gate is helpful in forming a natural barrier to define your property line. Intrusion lighting is relatively inexpensive, but a great deterrent for someone creeping up on your home.

Fifth, always vet the person knocking on your door before opening the door. Install a peephole and if you do not know the individual have an intercom outside to speak to the person to determine their interest.

Sixth, keep pepper spray or a taser in your home unless you have small children. While pepper spray and a taser is not lethal, it could buy time to get away from an intruder to alert law enforcement or a neighbor. Likewise you may want to purchase and keep a firearm in the house, but again it depends if you have small children and whether you want to take the risk of having a lethal weapon present. If you do decide to purchase and keep a firearm in the residence, be sure that you visit a firing range and have a professional work with you and your spouse on how to fire the weapon and know the parameters of engagement and the legal consequences if you fire the weapon at an intruder.

Seventh, have a safe room in the house where you can retreat and lock yourself away from an intruder if you have the time. Be sure to maintain a charged cell telephone in the safe room to alert law enforcement.

Eighth, if feasible, have armed security on your estate or home. Although costly, an armed former police officer can deter intruders and help shield the family if there is an intrusion.

Ninth, place digital CCTV cameras on your property to conduct surveillance of the perimeter as well as providing a history of events occurring on your property.

Tenth, communicate with your neighbors and know their habits and vehicles. There is power and deterrence when your neighbors are watching your back and you are looking out for them.

Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.

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