Police: Supermarket Owner ‘Specifically Targeted’ in Home Invasion

Robert Siciliano Identity Theft Expert

Everyday I see dozens of stories on home invasions. And there are unfortunately dozens of ways  and reasons why home invasions occur.  But one thing they all have in common is violence.

Targets of home invasions vary from the homeowner who just happened to be home all the way to the executive and his family who were purposefully targeted.

Moneyed individuals need to take additional precautions due to their stature in society and bank accounts. High profile individuals often have access to secure facilities, keys to the safe, passwords to databases and power that puts them and their families at risk.

“Several law enforcement agencies are pooling resources to solve the murder of a supermarket owner found gunned down at this home after an apparent robbery. According to police reports, family members said two men entered the house late Saturday and took them in the back, keeping them separated. Police have said the family members did not know the suspects. “In my opinion, he was specifically targeted,” police said. “It was pre-planned.”

However, the most vulnerable people are not the executives, but their spouses and kids who are more accessible and often the path of least resistance to “get to” the executive. For most people this isn’t much of a concern, but for all you c-level company officers and heads of corporations, security isn’t an option, it’s a requirement.

Security details in some cases at the executive’s home may be necessary. Evaluations should be made to determine whether family members should receive any personal security training or additional protection of their own.

In the least, all company officers must have a home alarm system that is monitored, surveillance cameras and one of my personal favorites, a trained German Shepherd. Another consideration is a home safe-room also known as a “panic room” where executives and their families can hide out in a relatively bullet proof, well stocked room equipped with wireless communications and wait for law enforcement to show up.

Robert Siciliano personal security expert to Home Security Source discussing Home Invasions on NBC Boston

Safety and Security on College Campuses

Robert Siciliano Identity Theft Expert

You’re in high-school and you’ve been having numerous discussions with friends and family about what colleges you want to go to. Maybe you’ve even applied to a few and have been accepted and in some cases rejected. Your search for schools generally involves the type of education you will receive, costs, location and the notoriety of the school. Choices like this weigh heavily on the student and the parent.

One of the most overlooked aspects of selecting a school is consideration for its safety and security on campus. When you or your child heads off into the real world, their safety needs to be the most important part of your decision making.

College is a mish-mash of people from all over the place from different cultures, backgrounds and ages. This melting pot can be a great learning experience. But things can go wrong too.

The stresses of college life can lead to violence at times. Additionally, college students are sometimes targeted by locals who know the students are in an unfamiliar environment. Then there’s dating violence, stalking, and way too much alcohol and sometimes drugs involved.

Another security issue here is that learning institutions are generally “open” and inviting opposed to locked down and secure.  Not doing your security homework can turn a student’s life for the worst if they don’t put systems in place to protect themselves.

The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (20 USC § 1092(f)) is the landmark federal law, originally known as the Campus Security Act, that requires colleges and universities across the United States to disclose information about crime on and around their campuses.

Do your research into the crime climate of the learning institution you plan on attending. Don’t sit idly back and hope everything will be OK. Educational institutions aren’t meant to be secure fortresses. They are meant to be open learning institutions. While many districts are beefing up security, others are doing less than their share of making it difficult for a predator to gain access.

  1. Directly call the institutions security office and get statistics for on and off campus crimes. You want to know exactly what has taken place in the last 3-5 years.
  2. If you go to the campus have an onsite meeting with the security office. It is in the best interest, and required by law for colleges to offer personal security training for their students.
  3. Determine what systems are in place to head off danger in regards to campus security personnel and technology.
  4. Ask if they have “threat management teams” (TMT) in place.  The sole purpose of TMT is to predict and prevent violence by having reporting systems in place that identify students and their behaviors who have the potential for acting out. Threat management teams intervene and provide those students with the necessary help they need.
  5. If they have a rape counseling center or any type of victim’s advocacy on campus talk to them too.
  6. Find someone on campus who has been there for at least a year. Ask around how people feel in general.
  7. Whether living on or off campus invest in your personal security. Wireless home alarms and portable home security systems are cost effective and an additional layer of protection. Security cameras are inexpensive and can greatly enhance your security too.

Robert Siciliano personal security expert to Home Security Source discussing Self Defense on Fox Boston

Family Starts Rebuilding After Home Invasion

Robert Siciliano Identity Theft Expert

Imagine you’ve lived at your home for a number of years, but it doesn’t feel like home anymore. It used to be a place that was comforting and soothing; a place of security where you didn’t have to “worry.”

But then your home is burglarized. Your home is ransacked; your home life has been violated. The sense of home security is gone. This is what happened to the Bastyr family.

“I hear every little noise,” Colleen Bastyr said. “I’m always looking through the windows to see if someone is there. When someone knocks at the door – or we hear a sound – my daughter hides.”

Imagine. It makes me want to break something when I read that. People who have worked their whole lives, raising a family and doing the right thing are made to feel fear in their own home because someone needed to get a fix, or for fun or some other stupid reason. It’s just not fair.

The family had left the home, locked, but apparently no alarm, to take the husband to the hospital for a surgery. When they came home the lights were on and a ladder was leaning up against the home with a window open.

The house was in shambles. Tables, chairs, dresser draws, everything turned upside down.

“The burglar(s) had scribbled all over the walls, cabinets, floors, chairs and couches in red fingernail polish, Colleen recalls. The curtains were all torn up and the couches had been cut apart with a knife.

The burglar(s) then took ketchup, mustard and salsa out of the refrigerator and poured it all over the Bastyr’s bedroom mattress. Colleen also found that her cabinets, refrigerator and oven range had been smashed, holes were kicked in the doors, and dresser drawers had been dumped on the floor, along with all the shelves and clothes in the family’s closets.”

All told there was $30,000 in damage done. The only stolen item was a laptop computer. Seems the family came home and scared the burglars/vandals away.

From now on the home is a reminder of that terrible day. Some say, it could have been worse, fortunately nobody was hurt, they have their health. Yes, and that is all true. While gaining perspective certainly helps cope, it doesn’t change what happened.  When a person’s sense of home security is violated in that way, their sense of life is no longer the same.

“At this point we have each other and that’s what matters,” she added. “We won’t let them bring us down. We won’t let them win.” And life goes on.

Robert Siciliano personal security expert, to Home Security Source discussing home invasions on the Montel Williams Show (Disclosures)

Attorney General Leads Senior Anti-Crime University

Robert Siciliano Identity Theft Expert

Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses” was written in a poem as part of a declaration that we, in the United States, protect those who need protecting. It’s an unfortunate statement about society that the weakest are often the most vulnerable, as opposed to the most protected. Even today, the elderly are often targeted by ruthless and heartless criminals who have no remorse.

“Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard leads a team of experts in consumer scams, investment fraud, personal safety, elder abuse, financial exploitation and other issues affecting seniors. The Senior Anti-Crime Universities are designed to teach attendees to detect fraud and other consumer abuse commonly perpetrated against seniors. Each university offers a half day of classes in consumer fraud and scams, identity theft, life care planning/health care directives, Medicare/Medicaid fraud, financial exploitation, elder abuse and neglect, Internet safety and charitable giving. Learn more about the anti-crime universities from Goddard in his video message available at

20 years ago I was walking on the side of the highway because my vehicle broke down. A man in a car pulled over near me and asked if I needed a ride. I quickly accepted and got in. I don’t think I’d recommend doing that today, but that’s not the point of the story. After a minute in the car, I could see the man was handicapped, and only had one leg. I was moved by this mans generosity and going out of his way to help me. I asked “why did you pull over and pick me up?” he then responded, “sometimes people just need help.” A simple act of kindness like this had a profound effect on my life. I don’t think any other words have ever impacted me so much.

Protecting the elderly from various abuses and crimes begins with getting involved. Everyone knows someone who needs help in some way. Reach out. Get involved in your local senior community center. Look in your own neighborhoods and determine if there is someone that could use an extra pair of eyes to watch out for and over them. Get familiar with all the scams, crimes, and potential issues they may face. If there are people who need a home security system, call on your local dealer and do a charitable event where the community donates to help out those in need. Work with local law enforcement and become a local expert in crime prevention. Put on your own events and give your time to those who need help.

Robert Siciliano personal security expert to Home Security Source discussing becoming a home security on NBC Boston. Disclosures