Home Invasion ends in Death

A man died at the hands of two intruders who invaded his home in Sacramento County recently. The 30-year-old victim had been shot. According to witnesses, two intruders barged into the apartment, then shot the man, but not before stealing some of his belongings.

1BCan something like this be prevented? Most likely, even though we don’t have the details. How were the intruders able to force their way into the apartment in the first place? Did the man open the door, and that’s how they got in? Was the door unlocked, and the intruders simply walked in?

Tips to help prevent a home invasion:

  • Instruct your kids or any children visiting that they are never to answer a knock at the door or the doorbell ringing, even if pizza or some other delivery is expected. Your kids must know that they are forbidden from responding to the door even if you’re momentarily indisposed ( in the shower, on a ladder painting the ceiling, etc.).
  • Have an alarm system installed, and always keep it on, and yes, that means making it a habit to turn it off before you step outside to let the dog out, water the garden, retrieve the mail, take out the trash, etc. Kids, too, must learn this habit, since they are often in and out of a house many times in one day.
  • To make it easier to embrace the idea of keeping the alarm on at all times, realize that often, a burglar or rapist won’t even ring your doorbell or knock. They’ll just make their way in and creep up on you.
  • Install a 24-hour video surveillance system. If a burglar or rapist spots that camera, or even the system’s company’s warning decals, this will be a great deterrent. All doors and entry points should have a camera.
  • If a stranger is at your door, speak to that person with the main door closed, never through just the screen door.

Robert Siciliano personal and home security specialist to discussing burglar proofing your home on Fox Boston. Disclosures.

Home Invasion prompts Neighbors to invest in Security

The Lincoln-Highlands Association is a resident organization devoted to fighting crime in Oakland, California’s Dimond District.

2BA hundred residents are needed for the program, which would require $30 a month to fund a security guard to patrol the area five days per week.

Other neighborhoods have had success with private patrols, and the push for the Association’s private guard was spurred by an armed intruder who shot and wounded an elderly woman in her house.

However, not all residents are gung-ho on paying for the patrol. One resident says that keeping ahead of crime is the city’s responsibility, and one security guard isn’t omnipotent. On the other hand, how else can crime be deterred, wonder the supporters. The supporters say they’ve gotten a very warm response to the plan and will continue seeking out more supporters.

Home Alarm Systems: Can Do Everything but Handcuff the Intruder

Security systems these days can do just about everything save for apprehending your home’s brazen intruder. Modern-day systems come with all sorts of features that will either deter break-ins or make break-ins more difficult, plus also keep the homeowner aware of everything that’s going on with their property: inside and out.

Features include wireless cameras that have full web access to them, remote controlled and timed lighting, iPhone and Android apps to control and monitor video surveillance from anywhere, remote controlled thermostats, among others. A web dashboard allows the user to control all aspects of each feature, which includes programming in a reaction to a specified incident.

Despite all these features, it’s easy to program such alarm systems, which yield to the user significant awareness of their home’s internal and external environment.

Guard or no guard, don’t keep putting off getting a modern home security system. No intruder wants to wait for you.

Robert Siciliano personal and home security specialist to discussing burglar proofing your home on Fox Boston. Disclosures.

Can Home Invasion of Elderly Cause Heart Attack?

I’m a home security expert and have given many speeches on how to protect your home from an invasion, but one of the topics that doesn’t seem to get much attention is the possibility of a heart attack being triggered in an elderly homeowner by the stress of an intrusion.

2BHere are two alarming cases of heart attack in the elderly apparently caused by the stress of a home invasion.

Mildred Pollock, age 89, suffered fatal heart failure a week after two men robbed her inside her house, as reported by WALB News 10 of Mitchell County, GA.

Here’s how it all went down: Two men posed as salesmen and showed up at the elderly victim’s door at about 4:30 pm. The men ended up inside her house. (The report doesn’t say if she invited them in; if they invited themselves in and she accepted; or if they forced their way in.)

But for sure, they removed the elderly woman’s alert pendant and held her to a chair, taking her phones away. The men wanted money, found none, and then left.

Pollock called for help with a backup alert button, was taken to the hospital, and succumbed to heart failure a week later. The home invaders face felony murder charges, even though an autopsy showed clogged arteries in her heart.

However, reports the case of another elderly victim, age 76, who suffered a mild heart attack the night of a home invasion, after which her health rapidly declined and she died several weeks later.

The forensic examiner attributes the heart attack to the stress of the home invasion/robbery, even though the victim had a pre-existing heart condition.

Tips for Preventing a Home Invasion

  • Always speak to strangers through a locked door, never a screen door, let alone open door.
  • Forbid children to respond to knocks and doorbells.
  • Keep a burglar alarm on at all times, but you must remember to deactivate it every time you open a door or window.
  • Install a video surveillance system: a marvelous deterrent to home invasion.

Robert Siciliano personal and home security specialist to discussing burglar proofing your home on Fox Boston. Disclosures.

10 Things Burglars Don’t Want you to Know

Burglars would rather keep their dirty little secrets to themselves. But today, Schlage, makers of the grade one Touchscreen Deadbolt, and I are revealing what they don’t want you to know.

  1. Burglars have jobs too. Your burglar was already in your house. He was there recently to repair the furnace, deliver the new flat screen TV or pick up old furniture you wanted to donate.
  2. Attractive ornaments or pricey “kids’ things” outside your home can indicate to a potential intruder that your house is full of valuables.
  3. Don’t let a service person use your bathroom. This may seem rude, but burglars have been known to visit the john so they could unlock or disable its window for future entrance into your house.
  4. Make sure your house alarm’s control panel is not visible through glass to someone loitering outside.
  5. Always have your newspaper and mail delivery put on hold when you’re away. And if you notice a flyer on your doorknob, immediately remove it so that the burglar who put it there doesn’t think you’re on vacation.
  6. Would you ever exit your house wearing only socks because you forgot to put your shoes on? Absolutely never! So make it a point to also never forget to lock your door after leaving.
  7. If someone is at your door, and you’re not expecting anyone, it’s not a crime to ignore them. That person on the other side may be a burglar casing your house (“Do you know where Clover Street is?”) and your demeanor to see if you’re easy prey.
  8. Hot spots for a burglar’s entrance include the window above the kitchen sink and the upper level windows. Have these spots set with alarms, and install motion detectors upstairs.
  9. Even a half-witted burglar knows to check medicine bottles for those diamond earrings, and scour through the sock and underwear drawer for more valuables. But he just might not bother going into the children’s bedrooms.
  10. Even though the sun’s beginning to set, you insist on keeping your blinds up or curtains open to milk what little daylight is left to lighten up the room. Meanwhile, a savvy burglar is strolling about the neighborhood, catching glimpses through windows that he can see through because it’s dusk (let alone night time). This way he can pick easy looking targets or ones with visible valuables.

Robert Siciliano home security expert to Schlage discussing home security and identity theft on TBS Movie and a Makeover. Disclosures. For Roberts FREE ebook text- SECURE Your@emailaddress -to 411247.

Home Invasion Ends in Gun Battle

So a recent Bay Area home invasion ended in a gun battle. You know why? Because it’s a home invasion. That’s often what happens when a person’s home is invaded. If the homeowner has a gun and can get to it, he pulls it out and starts shooting. But chances are the home invader has a gun too. Next thing you know, it’s like the O.K. Corral and bullets are flying all over the place. Not cool.

NBC reports: “Three suspects had entered the home and confronted a total of four people inside at the time. According to police, a gun battle broke out between the suspects and a 24-year-old man. When they arrived at the home, police said they found the 24-year-old with a gunshot wound. His wound is not considered life threatening. Police found guns, bullet holes and blood at the scene. They believe two of the suspects were shot during the exchange of gunfire. Some shots were fired outside of the home.”

This is what happens in small towns and big cities everywhere. Home invasions aren’t isolated incidents that occur out of the blue; they are planned by bad people who have bad intentions, and they are violent and often end in death. Some home invasions happen when the victim is known to the perpetrators, while others are complete strangers.

The best way to protect yourself from a home invasion is to layer your home with multiple layers of security, including:

  • A monitored home security system that is on when you’re home, gone and sleeping.
  • Motion-activated security cameras connected to a DVR recording 24/7/365.
  • Reinforced steel solid-core doors.
  • Door reinforcement technologies that beef up the frame, hinges, locks and jamb.
  • Strong locks that can’t be easily picked or broken off.
  • Shatterproof window film that prevents glass breaks.

Robert Siciliano personal and home security specialist to discussing burglar proofing your home on Fox Boston. Disclosures.

Summertime is Burglary Time: Lock up!

According to U.S. Department of Justice statistics, an American home is broken into about every 15 seconds. Summer marks a busy time of year when Americans need to be extra aware of heightened home security breaches. According to the FBI, July and August have the highest monthly burglary rates, as intruders look to take advantage of increased travel during the summer months.

Homeowners are advised to take action and prevent intrusions by strengthening home security. The best defense against burglary is preventionand with proper planning you can help make your home unappealing to burglars. Burglars watch to see when you are traveling on vacation and even look for signs you are gone for minutes or hours at a time.

Here are a few tips to keep your home secure during summer months:

  • Protect your home’s main point of entry by installing a strong lock like the Schlage Touchscreen Deadbolt. I like this product because it offers the highest grade residential security available and has a built-in alarm, anti-pick shield and is even easy enough for you to install on your own.
  • Don’t leave windows open and unlocked while you are gone. Close and lock them even if you are just leaving for a few minutes. This will cut off easy access to your home.
  • Don’t leave outside lights on 24 hours a day. Using timers on indoor and outdoor lights is an easy way to give the illusion that you’re home – even when you are not.
  • Don’t leave your driveway empty and even ask a neighbor to park their car in your driveway while you are gone.
  • Don’t allow your overgrown grass to grab attention. Schedule time for a landscaper or have someone trusted mow your lawn if you’re going to be gone for weeks at a time.
  • Don’t pack your car openly before a trip. This should be done in your garage or late at night under the cover of darkness.
  • Do have trusted friends, family, or neighbors collect your deliveries and let the police know you are traveling.
  • Don’t list your vacation plans on social media. Burglars love when you tell them you are 2,000 miles away and wait until you get home to post all those photos.
  • Lock all your doors and unplug garage door openers.
  • Don’t share your travel plans on a voicemail outgoing message and make sure to collect all your voicemails so the “mailbox is full” messages don’t play.
  • Don’t leave valuables sitting on dressers or in unlocked draws and make sure to lock everything of significant value in a safe.
  • Use a home automation system like Nexia Home Intelligence to check in on your home from afar. By using a system like this with a Schlage Camera, homeowners can monitor unusual activity to spot anything out of the ordinary.

Summertime doesn’t have to be burglar time if you follow these dos and don’ts!

Robert Siciliano Home Security Expert to Schlage discussing home security and identity theft on TBS Movie and a Makeover. Disclosures.

Home Invasion Victims Fight Back

The term self-defense in general means fighting back; by definition, it means “defending oneself.” However, I’ve always preferred the never-used term self-offense, which in my mind means attacking the attacker before he has a chance to attack you.

Anyway, two recent home invasion stories demonstrate a little self-defense and self-offense as the “victims” become victorious by taking control over the situations.

As SFGate reports in its article, “Home invasion victim holds suspect at gunpoint,” “Authorities in south Alabama say the victim of a home invasion robbery held a suspect at gunpoint until sheriff’s deputies arrived.”

Apparently this 20-year-old kicked in the front door and the homeowner’s dog went after him as the homeowner got out his shotgun! Love that! A shotgun and a dog! (It would have been even better if the owner had a home security system that blared when the door was kicked in.)

Australia’s Herald Sun reports in its piece, “Home invader stabbed as victim fights back,” that police were called to a house after reports that three men armed with knives had assaulted the victim and stolen jewelry and a mobile phone. The resident allegedly fought back, stabbing one of the home invaders in the torso.

There are proactive ways to prevent a home invasion such as these.

#1 Have a home security system installed and turned on while you are home.

#2 Install signage such as “Home Alarmed” or “Beware of Dog.”

#3 Install solid-core doors and strong locks.

#4 Install door reinforcement technology to make the door harder to kick in.

#5 Never open the door for strangers.

Robert Siciliano personal and home security specialist to discussing burglar proofing your home on Fox Boston. Disclosures.

Home Invader: ‘I Have Torn Apart Families and Ruined Lives’

Home invasions are the nastiest of all burglaries. They usually involve some type of force, and there is often a weapon involved. In this one particularly brutal and deadly home invasion, the perpetrator and his cohorts used a machete.

Back in 2010, the Boston Globe reported, “A woman hacked to death with a machete and knife in her home was alive for all 32 slash and stab wounds that split open her skull, sliced through bones and pierced organs, a medical examiner testified.”

Steven Spader, who created a gang called “Disciples of Destruction,” was 17 years old at the time of his murderous rampage. Spader’s gang broke into the woman’s New Hampshire home while she and her daughter slept.

Spader, who stated, “Through my impulsive actions, I have torn apart families and ruined lives,” was resentenced last month to life in prison plus 76 years. His resentencing was required due to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that mandatory life sentences for those under the age of 18 at the time they killed amounts to cruel and unusual punishment. It’s amazing to me that any law would consider any punishment of any kind for this kid as cruel and unusual.

Superior Court Judge Gillian Abramson stated on the April court date, ‘‘The circumstances of these horrific crimes and the extent of the defendant’s planning and participating warrant the imposition of life without parole and maximum consecutive sentences.’’ Senior Assistant Attorney General Jeffery Strelzin stated that Spader is a ‘‘psychopath. It’s not a phase. It’s not something he’s going to grow out of; it’s who he is.’’

The chances of something this nasty even happening to you is slim. But there is a chance, so at least install a home security system and keep it turned on while you are at home.

Robert Siciliano personal and home security specialist to discussing burglar proofing your home on Fox Boston. Disclosures.

Like Mom Said, “Don’t Open the Door for Strangers”

Someone successfully posing as a health inspector, police officer or even a Secret Service agent happens every single day. Posing as a water inspector, I once gained access to people’s homes by saying I needed to “check the colorization of their water,” as I demonstrated on The Montel Williams Show here. A fake badge and a uniform of any kind can do wonders.

The Baltimore Sun reports that Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. is warning customers about scams in which people pose as BGE employees in person or over the telephone to steal money, valuables or credit card information. The article states that according to BGE, “Impostors also might appear at a home or business wearing official-looking clothing and showing fake credentials. BGE workers usually only require entry into a home for a gas or electric emergency, to check equipment, read meters or start or stop service. All BGE employees and contractors carry company identification badges showing their name, photograph and identification number.”

People can easily pose as city officials, delivery or service people, or as someone whose car broke down and needs assistance. The moment you open that door, you are risking your family’s safety.

My family’s number-one rule is that we do not open doors to strangers. That’s it, end of story. My younger ones want to show how big they are by getting the door, but they now know better that they aren’t at all allowed to open it without a parent’s permission.

The rules apply to grown-ups, too.

  • Always have your screen door and your entry door locked at all times.
  • Install a surveillance system at each entrance that gives you a facial and full-body view of visitors.
  • If you order products to be delivered to your home, specify “No signature required.” This way, you can set up a place for the deliveries that allows delivery people to drop the package off.
  • Any time a city worker knocks on your door, call city hall to verify that the person should be there.
  • It’s not enough to check a badge, license or credentials. IDs can easily be faked.
  • Have your home alarm system on all day—even while you are home.

Robert Siciliano personal and home security specialist to discussing burglar proofing your home on Fox Boston. Disclosures.

Home Invasion Was “The Ultimate House of Horrors”

In a 2007 home invasion Steven Hayes and Joshua Komisarjevsky, the 2 men found guilty of a home invasion in Connecticut, brutally attacked and killed a mother and her daughters. The father was left for dead in the basement. Their crime began when they saw the mother (who was eventually murdered) in a parking lot and followed her home.

The home was invaded at 3am. The father was immediately beaten and tied up in the basement. He was held captive for a time but he escaped alive. The kids were tied to their beds and the mother was forced to go to the bank and withdraw money.

While at the bank the mother told a bank representative what was happening. The bank called the police who sent cruisers to the scene. It ended badly.

Hayes was sentenced to death and the prosecution has just rested in its case against Komisarjevsky. The AP reports the prosecutor said in his closing arguments “It was shockingly brutal. It was evil. It was vicious,” adding the men created a “hellish inferno.” The prosecutor continued by describing the murderous plan that involved “greed, sex, death and destruction.” He showed them the masks, bat and BB gun Komisarjevsky used.”

Here are 6 tips to help keep you safe and help prevent a home invasion:
1. Never talk to strangers via an open or screen door. Always talk to them through a locked door.

2. NEVER let children open the doors. Always require and adult to do it.

3. Install a home burglar alarm and keep it on 24/7/365. With a home alarm system on, when someone knocks on the door, a conscious decision has to be made to turn off the alarm. Most people will keep it on.

4. Not all home invaders knock, some break in without warning.  Just another reason to have that alarm on.

5. Install a 24-hour camera surveillance system. Cameras are a great deterrent.  Have them pointed to every door and access point

6. Install strong locks and solid core doors. Back up your door with door reinforcement technologies that make it difficult to kick in a door.

Robert Siciliano personal and home security specialist toHome Security Source discussing Home Invasions on Montel Williams. Disclosures