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Law enforcement officials in small towns and urban areas alike are calling for stricter penalties against home invasions due to the brutal nature of these crimes. Many times, instead of taking valuables and moving on, there’s now an element of violence against the homeowner. Even so, it is difficult to get statistics on home invasion statistics. F.B.I statistics reported that between 2000 to 2004, home robberies rose 29 percent. 2005 saw another 9.7 percent increase, and the numbers jumped another 8 percent in 2006. Since 2006, the F.B.I. no longer reports on the statistics of home robberies.
(David’s note: Interestingly enough, there are reports that I’ve referenced before that “home invasions” occur 8x more often than home fires [8,000 per day vs. 1,000 per day], but there is no FBI Uniform Crime Report or NIJ category for “home invasions” and dependable definitions, as well as accurate statistics, are hard to come by. This is definitely an area where personal experience and local stats mean everything and national stats mean nothing. Stats may spur you to action, (that’s good) but if you happen to be the victim of crime, then it doesn’t matter whether local or national stats say that crime is on the rise or on the decline–the only thing that matters is what happened to you. All of that to say, don’t get tied up on statistics…just take action and be prepared.)
We Preppers can learn from victim reports of home invasions. During a crisis that lasts more than a week, most of us would agree that looters will be a huge problem for most of us who don’t live so far out in the sticks that it takes a compass to find our way home. I don’t think it’s a stretch assume that a portion of looters will not be satisfied with walking off with whatever they can grab.
In addition, in a slow crash, prolonged recession, prolonged depression, or a prolonged period of high unemployment, simple robberies and home invasions will increase in frequency if history repeats itself.
Here’s a look at how some home invaders gained entry into a home, so you’ll be able to spot the warning signs should this ever happen to you . . .
In the most brazen home invasions, the criminal enters through the front door. If the door is locked, they proceed to kick it in. Often, one kick is all it takes. (This is why David stresses simple, inexpensive, and proven ways to harden your doors in the Survive In Place and Fastest Way To Prepare courses.)
Some home invaders prefer to use social engineering to gain the homeowners trust by doing one of the following:
- They may knock on the door claiming to be a survey taker
- They may pretend to be delivering pizza, but happened to get the “wrong” address
- In more than one case, the home intruder posed as a UPS driver
- Victims of home invasion are sometimes fooled by the criminal posing as a maintenance worker or a municipal worker
- Some home intruders claim they were in an accident–in some cases, claiming to have hit the homeowner’s car–and ask to speak with the owner or use their phone
- Others claim their car broke down and request to use the phone
- The criminal may pose as a police officer or some other authority figure to establish the trust of the homeowner and gain entrance
But, it doesn’t always require that the homeowner’s door be broken in or that a home invader feel the need to fool the homeowner to get through the front door. Sometimes it simply takes the homeowner’s opening the door to let the family dog out. In areas where home invasions are the heaviest, authorities are advising residents to switch on a porch light before going outdoors and to always ask to see I.D. before opening the door. (PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE install motion lights on your house.)
Homeowners Have Started To Fight Back
As more and more accounts of home invasions hit the news, a number of homeowners have chosen to take matters into their own hands and the criminals don’t always come out the winner.
The following are home invasions that did not go as planned . . .
On June 11, 2014, the St. Louis Dispatch reports in the article Husband and Wife shoot gunmen who try to enter their St, Louis home, killing 1, police say
One man was killed and a second taken to a hospital in the incident, which happened about 11 p.m. in the 4600 block of Newport Avenue.
Police say a 17-year-old girl who lived at the home was outside retrieving something from her car when she was approached by two masked and armed men who forced her into her house, using her as a shield.
The teen’s father, 34, saw the men walking up with his daughter, got his firearm and fired several shots at them, striking both of the men as they entered his home. The teen’s mother, 34, also retrieved a gun and fired once at the men but did not hit either, police said.
One of the men, Terrell Johnson, 31, of the 4500 block of Natural Bridge Road, collapsed on the living room floor and was pronounced dead at the scene.
The second man, Cortez McClinton, 33, was standing behind Johnson when Johnson was shot. McClinton pointed a gun inside the doorway and also was shot. McClinton then ran away and got his brother to transport him to a hospital, police said. He was treated for gunshot wounds to the chest and both thighs.
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On April, 20 2014, Click 2 Houston Mila Radford reports in the article and video, Homeowner shoots, kills man during home invasion that a 20-year-old man kicked in the door to a home on Glenheath and Ruby around 4:59 a.m. Houston police say the husband feared for his life and shot the intruder twice in the abdomen. The assailant was rushed to Ben Taub General Hospital where he later died.
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Q13Fox reported in an article/video reported by James Lynch on May 13, 2014 titled It’s him or us! Husband, wife fight intruder to the death—but considering how petite this young mother is, the story appears to be more a miracle of sheer will power!
(David’s note: I’ve got to ADAMANTLY disagree with Diva’s statement about the woman’s “petiteness” making her ineffective. Readers of the Journal of Tactics And Preparedness know that it takes less than 20 psi to rupture the ear, eye, or testicles and 15 pounds (applied correctly) to break the knee joint–all of which can EASILY be done by a petite woman. For more on this–especially if you’re weaker, older, or more petite and want a scientific and proven way to defend yourself–check out Target Focus Training.)
Police report that this incident that occurred in North Bend, Washington, a small, rural town east of Seattle was a two phase attack that first happened Mothers Day afternoon when the intruder robbed and physically attacked the young mother while her 7-month-old baby and mother were in the home. The man returned 12 hours later and entered through an open window just before 2:00 a.m. The husband, Kyle Jacobson, was alerted to the intruder by the barking of his dogs and a life-and-death struggle ensued. His wife, Tennyson, tried to help her husband fight the assailant, but when that didn’t work, she went to the kitchen and grabbed a steak knife, which she used to stab him, saving her husband’s life in the process. The intruder died of his injuries.
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Although not all home defense turns lethal, some are effective nonetheless. Here are a few stories of homeowner’s using what was available to stop a home invasion.
Detroit WXYZ reports on an 82-year-old man who wielded a mean hammer on a home intruder in this March 10, 2014 article and video titled: 82-year-old protects family, attacks home intruder with hammer to head
“Detroit Police say an 82-year-old man struck an intruder in the head with a hammer at a home on Whitfield on Sunday, March 9.
Officers from the 10th precinct responded to the scene and found a 52-year-old woman running from her home screaming for assistance.
The woman told police there was an intruder in her home.
Officers found the 33-year-old male suspect in the living room with blood dripping from his head.
The 82-year-old victim, George Bradford, who was inside the home, struck the suspect with the hammer in an effort to protect his family. George says his mother was in an upstairs unit and that he’s owned the duplex on Whitfield since 1968.
The suspect was treated for injuries at the scene and was arrested for home invasion.”
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November 29, 2012 KFOR News Channel 4 Adam Mertz report and video: Burglar picks wrong house, boxer fights back
OKLAHOMA CITY – A suspected house burglar was left bloodied and beaten after a fist-fight with the homeowner.
Oklahoma City Police arrested Jonathan Wise, 19, for burglary.
When officers took him into custody, Wise had two black eyes and needed stitches.
Norm Houston, the homeowner, told police he found Wise inside his garage.
“I heard a thumbing noise on my garage door,” Houston said. “I swung open my backdoor and somebody was standing there.”
Houston was face to face with Wise.
According to Oklahoma City Police, that’s when Wise attacked Houston.
“The burglar started out by apologizing to him for getting into the garage and said he had fixed the damage only to follow that up by punching him in the face,”OKC Police Master Sgt. Gary Knight said.
Although he didn’t throw the first punch, Houston beat up Wise.
Houston works as a personal trainer and specializes in boxing and kickboxing.
“You know I ain’t the toughest but I can hold my own,” Houston said.
Houston held Wise down on the ground until police arrived.
Before he was taken to jail, police took Wise to the hospital for treatment.
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Sometimes people get lucky when a home invasion happens, but I strongly encourage you to get solid empty hands and weapons training AND PRACTICE OFTEN. Going to a 2, 3, or 7 day class is great, and it will get you to where you can perform on command during the class, but it takes practice, practice, and more perfect practice to develop the muscle memory that you can depend on under extreme stress without having to consciously think about all of the micro-movements involved.
Have you ever had to defend yourself or another from a robber or a home invasion? Have any tips on how to best handle a would-be thug? Please sound off by commenting below!
God bless and stay safe,
David Morris and Survival Diva