Local news reports constantly confirm that burglaries, housebreaking, robberies and home invasions continue with worrying regularity. It’s not often a victim can stop a crook. For one thing the victim has to be present when the crime is being committed. Just that fact alone, puts the incident into the category of a home invasion and that turns the perpetrator from an opportunist into something entirely more dangerous.
Most residential crime is committed by thieves whose worst nightmare would be a confrontation. With these guys, a barking dog, a nosy neighbor, an alarm company sign will stop a crook. But for other criminals, desperate and hard-bitten – the victim, and anything else is just an obstacle in the way of their goal.
Sometimes the Victim Wins
Last month, things went very wrong for one brazen criminal when he targeted a three-story townhouse in broad daylight. The victim was upstairs, when he heard his dogs barking in the kitchen and looking out the window, he saw a stranger in his yard with a brick in his hand.
There was the sound of glass breaking and he heard the burglar telling the dogs to shut up. The victim yelled “Get out!” but could hear the intruder walk up the stairs …
Scrambling to his bedroom, the victim called 911, realizing that this guy didn’t care about the dogs and he was going to keep coming. Frantically looking around for something to defend himself with, the victim spied an empty ceramic flower pot waiting to be taken downstairs. The pottery planter became his weapon of choice – as the crook rounded the corner on the staircase, one floor below him, the victim hurled the planter at his head. That proved to be an effective way to stop a crook – the planter scored a direct hit, the criminal collapsed, fell back down the stairs and beat a hasty retreat.
The suspect was nabbed when he called 911 for help for a serious head wound. The injury required several staples and two trips to hospital.
And the Moral of the Story
So what are the takeaways from this true story? The victim was already prepared to stop a crook by being clued up to some of the basics of home security:
- The house was locked, even though the owner was home (intruder had to break window)
- The owner had dogs.
- The owner kept his head, calling 911 before anything else.
But there was a lot of luck involved in this case as well. What if the owner had been downstairs? There’s no assurance that he’d have been able to stop a crook, the guy may have been armed. The victim may not have had a chance to call 911…
The news reports don’t mention if the home had an alarm system or not, but one thing is evident, if there was an alarm system in place, it wasn’t armed! And without an alarm system, there’s no backup plan.
Don’t take unnecessary risks when it comes to personal safety. Create layers of security for when you’re home and when you’re not and remember… a home alarm system calls the cavalry even when you can’t.