Issue 46

Home Invasion

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It seems like we've recently been seeing a spike in the number of assaults and home invasion robberies here in the SF Bay Area.  At the beginning of June, there was an early-morning home invasion in Antioch that ended with both homeowners and at least 1 of the three invaders being wounded.  One of the home invaders was also killed.

What disturbed me about his incident is that the invaders were from Oakland.  These 3 guys figured it was worth the 60 minute drive out to the suburbs to commit this invasion.

Apparently, marijuana was being grown in the home (we still haven't heard if it was legal "medical marijuana" or not).  I can't believe this was the closest source of pot and cash to these criminals.  Still, driving 50+ miles was seen as the preferred approach.

Why would that be?

I believe it has to do with the perception that those of us who live in the suburbs are, "soft".  Criminals have seen that commercial businesses have gotten tough.  They fight back.  They have alarms, 24/7 security cameras, and cash-handling procedures designed to limit the amount of money kept at the business.

In the suburbs, many do just the opposite.  Many flaunt their fancy cars, expensive boats, and other stylish "toys".  We've worked hard for what we've accomplished, and we're proud of it.  

This is like waving a big chunk of meat in front of a hungry tiger. 

As we noted in Issue 23 of our newsletter ("Sheep, Wolves and Sheep Dogs") -

Wolves are the predators - individuals who live outside the norms of society and that prey on individuals they perceive as weak.  Like most wolves in the wild, they look for targets of opportunity on which they can pounce.  They take that which is not rightfully theirs.

Sheep are the victims.  They are individuals that end up being the targets of the Wolves.  Through either the conscious decision not to act in their own best interest, or the fear of aggravating the Wolves, they end up robbed, assaulted or worse.

We seem to be more focused on doing what "feels right" rather than taking practical steps towards protecting our lives and property.  The newspaper article had a comment that I think sums up the mindset of too many of us who live in the suburbs -

Tuesday's slaying in Antioch frazzled residents in a neighborhood that has signs declaring it a "Drug Free Zone."

They became "frazzled" because a feel-good sign declaring the neighborhood to be free of drugs didn't work?  Really?

Here are some suggestions that will do a much better job of keeping your home from being a target of home invaders -
  • Get a home alarm, and a sign for your front lawn from the monitoring company.  Use the alarm whenever you are away AND while you are in the home at night (there is a setting that allows you to move throughout your home without tripping the alarm).
  • Keep your garage door closed.  Don't advertise what you own.  Keep cars, boats and other motorized "toys" out of sight. 
  • Take a drive through your own neighborhood, and determine which home YOU'D rob if you were a bad guy.  Jot down what tipped you off, and make sure you're not projecting that same image.
  • Fortify your doors and windows.  Install long-screw dead bolt locks, window locks/stops, expanded "peep" holes, video surveillance cameras (very inexpensive nowadays).
  • Get training on what you would do in the event you were the victim of a home invasion.  Have a Personal Safety Plan and the knowledge and tools necessary to make it a successful plan.
Your personal safety is up to you.  No one else.  Not the police.  Not a neighbor.  Not your spouse.


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Next issue:  Training "Outside The Comfort Zone"

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