A home invasion occurs when armed robbers force their way into a home and hold the residents hostage while they ransack the home. While burglars tend to work during the day when homes tend to be unoccupied, home invasions generally occur at night or on the weekends when the residents are at home. Armed home invaders rarely work alone and rely on overwhelming physical confrontation to instill fear in the residents. Most come prepared with handcuffs, rope, duct tape, and firearms. Some of these robbers appear to enjoy the thrill of intimidation, domination, and violence.
Home invasions, like carjackings, are on the increase. Since many commercial establishments have hardened themselves against attack (video cameras, silent alarms, and other anti-crime deterrence devices), residences are now considered “soft” targets. Home invaders know that security systems are often disarmed when the residents are at home.
In some instances, home invaders will attack the resident when he/she is entering the home and force them to disarm the security system. In other instances, the home invader simply knocks on the door or rings the door bell and hopes you will simply open the door. Many times, they will attempt to uses ruses such as impersonating a delivery person etc.
The beauty of a home invasion (from the criminal’s standpoint) is that they have plenty of time to rob the home. The odds of anyone surprising them are very small. Home invaders will try to increase their escape time by disabling phones and sometimes leave their victims bound or incapacitated.
Once the home invaders take control of a residence, they can force the occupants to supply keys to the family car, extract ATM card PIN numbers, and divulge the location of valuables including home safes. There have been a number of very scary and sometimes tragic incidents regarding home safes. While the homeowner assumed that the safe would protect valuables against burglary, they never imagined that they would be forced to open the safe while a gun was held to the head of their spouse or children.
Home invaders seem to be doing their homework lately. They are looking for wealthy targets, individuals in known cash businesses, diamond/jewelry/gold dealers, or individuals who are believed to be investors in gold/precious metals/diamonds or other items that can be quickly converted into cash.
Look for a future post on Home Invasion Survival Tips.
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