The incidence of home invasions continues to rise throughout the U.S. The cause for the increase is probably related to the grave economic conditions present in the U.S. In addition, drugs are to blame in many cases where the assailants are looking for money to buy there next “high”. This week, someone in our local community was the victim of a home invasion.
On Thursday a resident of Baton Rouge, LA heard a knock on his door. When he asked who was there the assailants said they were looking for drugs, The homeowner said you’ve got the wrong place, locked the front door and hid in a nearby closet after noticing one of the men was armed with a handgun. Minutes later the men kicked the door in and proceeded to ransack the home in search of drugs and money.
Soon the criminals located the home owner hiding in the closet, they threatened his life and held him at gunpoint until a third suspect showed up and shot the homeowner. No doubt that the intention was to murder this man, fortunately his injures were deemed non life threatening. The suspects left his house in shambles and made off with cash, jewelry, and his vehicle.
We hear more and more about violent crimes like these and carjackings or even kidnapping. The truth is that crimes like these are on the increase and there doesn’t seem to be any relief in site.
So what are you to do? How can you make a difference in your neighborhood or community? You can start by educating yourself about crime and the steps you can take to significantly reduce your chances of becoming a statistic. Then you take what you’ve learned and educate others, your family and friends. Then some of them agree to help others…you get the picture.
Take time to review your homes security and to make the necessary changes that will keep you from becoming a victim. Spend a few moments walking the perimeter of your home and objectively evaluate its vulnerability. Look at it the way a thief or crook would. You are looking for potential opportunities for a criminal.
Make sure the outside of your home is well lit. Put bright lights over porches and walkways in the front and back of the home. Lock your doors! All doors to the outside should have working locks. Garage and shed doors need working locks too. All windows should have working locks. Keep all doors to the outside, sliding doors, and windows locked at all times.
Be sure that you can get out of your home in an emergency. Make sure everyone can open all locks from inside your home. Don’t have deadbolt locks that lock with an inside key. A missing key could trap you inside. Replace inside-key locks with deadbolt locks that have a “thumb turn” instead of an indoor key. Make sure everyone in your family can reach the “thumb turn” latch. Have window locks that open from inside. Do not nail windows shut. Make sure they open easily. If you have security bars on doors and windows, have a “quick-release” latch. This makes it easy to get outside in an emergency. Make sure everyone in your family knows how to use the latch.
Criminals love places they can hide. Tall weeds, untrimmed trees and shrubs can create such areas. Keep bushes and shrubs trimmed under windows so burglars can’t hide. Keep ladders stored in a locked shed or garage so they can’t be used to climb into your home. Keep shades or curtains closed over garage and shed windows. Keep shades or curtains closed over your home windows after dark. Don’t leave toys, tools and equipment in the yard.
Invest in a surveillance camera or system. If your on a fixed budget consider a “dummy” camera, they look and feel like just like the real thing, though they are not actual working cameras. Place the cameras in plain sight, but high enough that they can not be tampered with. Surveillance cameras are proven to be great crime deterrents.