Victims of Home Invasion Are Fighting Back!

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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.

* * *

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.

* * *

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 deathbut 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.

* * *

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.”

*  *  *

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.

* * *

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



  1. Charlie McKee says:

    If you are in a situation that is jeopardizing your life (or someone you are protecting); options appear to be 1. Move away ( if practical -distance is your friend)2. If in fear of your life or great bodily harm you may use deadly force(Firearm, Bat, Knife, or other deadly instrument to thwart the attacker, rendering the attack neutral. Use force until the attack stops. We shoot to stop the attack; but we must realize that deadly force might of any kind might cause death. Remember, The articulation of the attack and defense offered by you will have to be made before a court. Enlist an Attorneys help immediately following the incident Anything said to law enforcement can and will be used against you .When its over its over!

  2. Take no s..t Harry says:

    I was a victim of a home invasion when 3 drug dealers pushed there way in when my young brother’s girlfriend (who didn’t live at my place) opened the steel security door to get a better look at who it was.

    They barged into my house and went straight into my mother’s room were my mother was in bed and they started making all kinds of threats. They were looking for someone who didn’t even live at my address and they wanted cash–a lot of cash.

    I was told of the situation(by the girl who let the home invaders in) and so I told the girl to call the cops, I put on a decent padded jacket got my bolo machete and an escrima fighting stick and knocked on my mothers door, I’m 6’2″ and I was 220lbs at the time, I stayed in the doorway and politely told the 3 of them to get the hell out my place as the cops are on there way.

    In their rush to come into the house, they forgot there weapons in their car out front. They panicked when they realized that there was only 2 ways out of the room, one through the window and the other through me.

    They asked me to put the machete down and I just continued to tell them to get the hell out or it’s game time, a doorway is a great equalizer as only one can come at you at a time so I had the advantage and they knew it, they left out the door one by one and after the last one left I locked the steel security door.

    They went straight to their car to get their weapons but it was too late, the cops where almost there by then.

    That was one of the scariest situations that I have ever faced, I have had many years of hand-to-hand combat training and I am a specialist with lots of different weapons, however this was real life and it is a little unpredictable.

    The best defense is to make sure that they don’t get in in the first place, this would have been the preferred option, but you can’t control the actions of other people who don’t understand the risks involved in opening your front door to strangers. I had let my gun license lapse and so I had no firearms in the house at the time. I have since rectified that situation and I have moved to the countryside.

    • Thanks, for sharing, Harry…I’m glad you were able to keep a cool head, take control, and that the situation played out the way it did for you.

    • Soylent Green says:

      Harry, I don’t know where you live but it doesn’t sound like it’s any place I would want to live with ‘steel security doors’ and gun ‘licenses’. You need to think about moving farther than just the countryside to a ‘Blue’ state…like Oklahoma.

  3. Joseph-Lee Morehouse says:

    Good article , well my neighborhood so far this year has had 3 home invasions , 2 garages have been ransack , 5 assaults , 2 of the assaulted were police investigating a burglary , assortment of petty crime and 5 dogs have been shot. Those of use who have no choice but to deal with this crime on a day to day reality and have tight income have formed neighborhood watches, learn low tech ways of keeping our drug addicts neighbors out of our homes
    Leave porch lights on , install motion detectors with back up battery in-case of power outage, dead blots on all outside doors, peep hole to see who at the door, signs stating beware of dog, everybody in my group has everybody in the group contact numbers in-case of a emergence , nobody go’s outside without a second person or neighborhood watch are alerted, thorn bushes under all outside window , window have small piece of wood push into the frame of the window so it can’t be push open.This just some tricks we have learned , for the 2 in our group that are deaf we have pulled our resources and have alarm system that uses a lighting system hook to alarm system that alerts the neighbors.
    You would be surprise many cities have crime prevention programs that will help you protect your selves.
    Thank you again gave me something to think about.

    • Survival Diva says:

      If you were able to move to the sticks, you could leave that all behind, but I’m sure that wouldn’t be easy to do. There’s an inexpensive trick we used in Alaska that I still use since moving to Idaho for bear. It would work for 2-legged predators as well. Drive 12 or 16 penny nails into a wide board (a couple of 2 X 4’s would work if you don’t have wide-plank boards). Space the nails far enough apart that whoever steps on it doesn’t get the advantage of weight distribution. I put them on the stairs leading up to the cabin after a black bear came for a visit. The sourdoughs in Alaska use this to keep bears out of remote cabins and it works! Just don’t forget about it when you go outside in the morning : )

      • Moving out to the sticks, or the boonies, or whatever one may care to call them isn’t necessarily an always a solution, because home invasions, etc., can and do happen out there, as well. Also, since many people out in the boonies live 1/2 a mile or more apart from each other, and since police out in rural towns are not necessarily trained to deal with such events, and since the nearest police station could be several miles away, a a crime such as home invasion, assault, burglary, or arson could be committed even before the cops could/would get there.

        I also might add that, in the event that you get a flat tire or any other car-break-down even while driving on a poorly-lit back country road or highway, there’s no telling who may pull over to the side of the road. Therefore, it’s best to ride on the flat tire until you can get to an open gas station for help.

  4. Sue the Frugal Survivalist says:

    To deter home invasion, don’t flaunt your wealth. Live modestly and keep loud dogs. As long as your neighbors look richer than you, chances are a thief will target them and leave you alone, especially if you have pet dogs with access to both the house interior and the yard. Those who like to showcase expensive electronics/ boats/vehicles, who wear expensive jewelry, who brag about their recent winnings at the casino , are just making themselves targets.

    A few years ago in my neighborhood, an elderly couple told people at church they had won $4000 in cash at a casino. That night two young thugs broke in, holding the wife at gunpoint while the man was horribly beaten. If they had just kept quiet about their good fortune, they could have avoided such violence.

    My husband taught me years ago never to count my money in public. He said some people are so desperate they will target you for $50. Thirty years ago, our neighbor’s wife was kidnapped, stabbed, and left to bleed to death in the trunk of her car because someone kidnapped her after seeing her withdraw cash in a bank for a down payment on a house.

    I’ve learned to keep cash out of sight , look as poor as my neighbors, and not draw attention to our bank account and investments. Having loud, protective dogs who bark at anyone on the property helps , too. I’ve seen many a delivery man back down our sidewalk when he sees our dog facing him through the living room window ( the dog stands on the couch), barking an alarm that puts every dog on our block on the alert. Anyone going door to door sets off all ten dogs on our court . Thanks to the dogs, we always know when someone strange is in the neighborhood.

    • Survival Diva says:

      Sue the frugal survivalist,
      Your neighbors murder. . . all for money is horrific. The advice you share here is sound.

    • Sue the Frugal Survivalist, I need to go give my dog a treat. I’ve been annoyed at her barking, but you make me realize I need to look at it from a different perspective! She’s a good girl doing a good job. And you are right, thugs look for easy prey, so stay alert.

  5. David,
    As usual, you expand our preparedness on this threat via your research and insights. It’s very illuminating to get an updated probability on the likelihood of facing a home invasion. So true that the bad guys are very resourceful at gaining access. Just yesterday, local TV station showed an internal home security camera capturing how a burglar reached thru a doggie door to unlock the home door.
    I always check out the window to confirm there is the associated vehicle to go with the unexpected person knocking at the door.
    My niche on this discussion is firearm security… from children. I trained my wife and daughter to be expert pistol shots. No problem there. But now I have grand kids (8 and 11) regularly around my house. They are aware of firearms…but we still have the responsibility to secure them. My house has two floors and fairly spread out. So I keep several defensive firearms in service. Quick access is key. One uses a biometric safe. Others are kept with an empty chamber, requiring cycling the slide.
    As for having to use the firearm… I would shoot to stop the threat. Have never had to do so… but I have bagged nine wild boars with a handgun, and one squared off with me when I was primarily deer hunting. Not a bad as a home invasion, but certainly threatened. As for handgun effectiveness… shot placement is key, not power alone. That was a 300 pounder… one shot stop (front facing) at 25 yards with a 44Mag Desert Eagle thru the heart. BUT, note on another engagement, I shot a 175 pound porker twice thru the chest broadside with 44Mag 200JHP with no apparent effects. Needed a third (neck) shot to put him down.
    Getting back on subject, I will defend myself or family from the immediate threat of serious bodily harm/death. I want to stop the threat. In California, we cannot use deadly force to protect property. So, other than a home invasion, I use a secondary barrier to isolate a burglar. I have a video surveillance system, perimeter alarm with central monitor. With only the wife and I typically in my home, if the alarm goes off once we retire to the locked bedroom, we will dial 911. Simultaneously we will arm ourselves and stay on the line with the police. The burglars can take anything they want. If they come thru the Master Bedroom door, they are coming after us. We have lots of knives in the kitchen butcher block. Given the close quarters defined by the bedroom dimensions, immediate ID and engagement would be necessary.
    Sorry. Back on subject. I fully agree. We may not always have access to “equalizing” tools. Hence, in addition to my Aikido, Judo, Karate training, I most strongly endorse the Target Focus Training option. Tim and Chris are awesome.
    Plan and Train for the worst while hoping for the best. California is currently reevaluating a court ruling to relax CCW availability. In the mean time, my Florida, Nevada, and Utah CCWs allow me to carry in about 30 states….sadly not my own state.
    Check Six. There’s always one more bad guy.


  6. Our neighbors have been broken in to twice in the last year. They have brand name alarm and bars on downstairs windows. Burglars used bars to climb in second story window. Bothered my wife and me alot! We researched and came up with high tech deterrent. Perimeter cameras with motion sensors and another camera at front door that sends text to me when someone approaches. We have remote app on phone and can see and talk to this person from anywher there is cellular or wifi access. They do not know if we are home or not!

    • Survival Diva says:

      I hadn’t heard of this technology. Just the fact that your neighbors security bars were used to climb to the second story of their house shows they’d be capable of anything.

    • Great Grey says:

      One thing about cameras is too often they are all put so high that you never get a good view of the face. Put one near the doors that maybe only 4-5′ high maybe hidden with one visible up higher. That way while they may try to hid their face from the visible one or take it out, you get their picture anyway.

  7. Sam in OK says:

    I have remote motion sensors to tell if someone is moving in my yard, before they approach the house detectors. My dog can hear and alerts to neighbors arguing inside their houses. It is a quiet neighborhood.

  8. I have what I consider a good intruder system. TWO DOGS AND A 45.

  9. Beth in TX says:

    As a senior female in less than perfect health, my ability to run away from a threat is very limited. That’s one of the many reasons I recommend Target Focus Training to every adult I know, especially women. I would encourage parents to teach their children TFT, when they are of appropriate age. Tim Larkin is an excellent instructor — drilling awareness, avoidance, and morally responsible behavior, as well as what to do when faced with unavoidable, asocial violence. Further, he emphasizes minimizing the risk of damaging yourself, such as breaking your hand striking a hard skull with your closed fist. If medical attention is no longer available, Preppers, his techniques are even more valuable.

    Yes, my husband and I have CHLs, big dogs and an alarm system on the well-lit house. However, TFT goes with me everywhere, when I leave the castle. It affords me confidence and a fighting chance in the supermarket parking lot.

    All good wishes.

    Beth in TX

  10. Segarolow says:

    Three thing to remember.
    1. Be ready at all times.
    2. Know how to use your gun.
    3. IF you shoot someone. Shoot to kill

    • 4bravo1 says:

      Shoot to kill is bad legal advice. No laws allow anyone to shoot to kill unless it is a court approved firing squad. Shoot to stop the threat or until the threat is reduced by flight, surrender, or inability to harm due to injury. Of course, if you shoot to stop the threat effectively chances are good it will lead to their death, but offering “shoot to kill” as advice will clearly get people in trouble. First two suggestions are solid.

      • tReeMaN says:

        I disagree, if you are going to shoot, you are not shooting to wound the person, you have to prepare yourself mentally that if you pull that trigger your intent is to kill the threat. This is why you need to understand use of force laws in your state.

        • Treeman,

          PLEASE contact a local trial attorney who has experience in use of force cases. In most jurisdictions in the country, I think that you’ll find that if you face a situation where you are in fear for your life, your approach needs to be to stop the threat and not to kill the attacker.

          Here’s an example…let’s say that a bad guy is coming at you with a tire iron. You aim center-mass but miss and happen to shoot his wrist, causing him to drop the tire iron. You get lucky and he immediately decides to give up and curl up in the fetal position on the ground protecting his shattered wrist.

          You have stopped the threat. If the intent is to kill the threat, what do you do? What will your mind tell your finger to do if your stress level is so high that your frontal lobe is shut down and you’re simply reacting? It’ll do what you’ve programmed it to do. I won’t tell you what to do or what your attorney will tell you, but I have the mindset that I will continue the fight until I realize I have stopped the threat and no more.

          • Soylent Green says:

            David, I agree. As 4braov1 says, shooting to kill is bad legal advice. You shoot as much as you have to in order to STOP the attack. As long as you are in fear for YOUR life, you have (in FREE states) the ability to use deadly force to stop the threat. I read all kinds of ignorant advice about self defense. Like ‘drag them inside the house’ and etc. Everything else Segarolo wrote is correct and he may have been just stating the obvious such as ‘shoot to kill’ and not to ‘wound’. If you’re just shooting to ‘wound’ his lawyers will say you could have found a better way to stop him and now he’s traumatized from getting shot and you’ll need to support him the rest of your life when you get out of prison. Other than that, the rest of his advice is good. I would only add that the FIRST thing you ask for when you call should be for medical aid, THEN for the police.

  11. Ordinary Joe says:

    Home Invasion? You really don’t want to fight them inside the wire. Whatever you can do to make you a less juicy target, you will sleep better at night. The way too many deal with this threat is with self-delusion: it won’t happen to me, b/c: I’m a good person, I have no desire to hurt anyone, the police will protect me, etc. Don’t rely on fantasy.

  12. Not all invasions have happy endings for the invaded.
    The training is a very smart idea, but one must keep up with the training.
    Once or twice to the range to target practice, before hunting season or minor efforts to “Train” with your defense firearm does not cut it for an actual situation of assult to yourself or family.
    With ammo sometimes tough to find dry fire training or some of the systems this site markets are a big help.
    It takes a devotion, similar to being a real prepper to also be trained in self defense.
    I would rather be confident and armed and never have to use my concealed pistol than face a terrible situation and for that split second say “Damn why did I not have it on me!”
    This works with the other prep situations, having food, water or filtration, bugout bag packed, vehicle bag in the vehicle at all times, and keeping up with the supplies and multiple plans for the multiple situations that “MIGHT”, (I think will) happen.
    I sleep better and walk my daily tasks with confidence.
    I pray nothing “BAD” will happen but believe I am smarter than that…
    Be careful and picky who you decide to prep with as well, it is a very important decision.
    Get off your A_ _ and complete those Preps people!


  1. […] safe harbor against intruders offers peace of mind and safety.  An earlier July 17, 2014 article, Victims Of Home Invasion Are Fighting Back! discussed the rise in home invasions.  What I found most alarming when I went in search of […]

  2. […] Survive the Coming Collapse: Victims of Home Invasion are Fighting Back […]

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