Homeowners have been warned against confronting burglars as ‘Home Invasion’ incidents rise
While most burglars generally try to avoid confrontation with homeowners by approaching houses during the day or when they expect them to be empty, there has been a recent and disturbing trend toward ‘home invasions’, where a criminal forcibly enters a residence aware that someone may be home. Increasingly, in these difficult economic times, some desperate criminals will break down the door regardless of the time of day, or of who may be inside. The national news is frequently inundated with stories reporting incidents where criminals were disturbed in the middle of a robbery, resulting in catastrophic effects for the homes’ residents. Just this week, two men were arrested for the July murder of a man in Billerica, MA during a robbery attempt, while another man was held without bail in Newton, MA last week after being charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, while breaking and entering into a home in the daytime and causing extreme fear to its residents.
As such home invasions are reported under various crime headings including robbery, battery, assault or even murder, the FBI and most police departments do not have official statistics reporting the exact numbers of these events taking place each year. We have seen, however, that there has been a significant increase in the number of home burglaries reported throughout the US in the last number of months. While in the past many robberies had been commercially orientated with criminals targeting banks, gas stations and other stores, many businesses have now upped their security and such criminals have shifted focus to residential homes as these are often not equipped with alarms, video monitoring systems, or other anti-crime devices. In contrast to common place home burglaries however few ‘home invasions’ are random attacks. In such case many of the victims are targeted specifically as criminals know they keep cash or valuable assets from their businesses or at home.
Every police department in the US will advocate; NEVER EVER confront a burglar in your home. However, you may not always know if a burglar is in your home, particularly if you do not have a monitored alarm system which will alert the police or scare the burglar off. It can become a dangerous and frightening situation when you enter your home, and unwittingly encounter a potentially armed criminal stealing your cash and belongings. The Netwatch remote visual monitoring system detects any kind of unacceptable behavior on a clients' property and can intervene as soon as security is breached by verbally alerting intruders attempting to enter that they are being watched with a personalized warning. In 97% of cases, the intruders will flee the scene upon hearing the verbal warning – preventing such a crime from ever taking place. In other circumstances, the authorities and home owners are notified and Intervention Specialists are able to give them insight into the situation before the crime takes place.
While many states are now beginning to impose harsher penalties on criminals who break into homes and threaten or injure its residents, the onus is on residential homeowners to protect themselves from ‘home invasion’ by making sure all windows and doors which could provide access are kept securely locked at all times, by carefully guarding all information regarding your business, assets or personal belongings, and potentially considering installing a monitored surveillance system.