Home Security and Home Invasions


June 5 , 2013

Source: howstuffswork.com and crimedoctor.com

 While it’s difficult to protect your home from professional thieves, most home burglaries are done by amateurs. These thieves are more easily thwarted if you employ some of these simple security precautions:
Burglary
  • Plan to “burglarize” yourself. You’ll discover any weaknesses in your security system that may have previously escaped your notice.

  • Lock up your home, even if you go out only for a short time. Many burglars just walk in through an unlocked door or window. 
  • Change all the locks and tumblers when you move into a new house. 
  • For the most effective alarm system, conceal all wiring. A professional burglar looks for places where he or she can disconnect the security system. 
  • Your house should appear occupied at all times. Use timers to switch lights and radios on and off when you’re not at home. 
  • If you have a faulty alarm that frequently goes off, get it fixed immediately and tell your neighbors that it’s been repaired. Many people ignore an alarm that goes off periodically. 
  • A spring-latch lock is easy prey for burglars who are “loiding” experts. Loiding is the method of slipping a plastic credit card against the latch tongue to depress it and unlock the door. A deadbolt defies any such attack. It is only vulnerable when there is enough space between the door and its frame to allow an intruder to use power tools or a hacksaw. 
  • If you lose your keys, change the locks immediately. 

Safety-Door

  • Before turning your house key over to a professional house cleaner for several hours, make sure the person is honest and reputable as well as hardworking. Check all references thoroughly. If the house cleaner is from a firm, call your local Better Business Bureau to check on the firm’s reputation. 
  • Instead of keeping a spare key in a mailbox, under the doormat, or on a nail behind the garage, wrap the key in foil — or put it in a 35mm film can — and bury it where you can easily find it if you need it. 
  • Don’t leave notes for service people or family members on the door. These act as a welcome mat for a burglar. 
  • If the entrances to your home are dark, consider installing lighting with an infrared detector. Most thieves don’t want to be observed trying to get in a door. 
  • Talk to your neighbors about any suspicious people or strange cars you notice lurking about.
  • To keep your tools from being stolen, paint the handles. Thieves avoid items that are easy to identify. 
  • Trees located near windows or shrubbery that might shield a burglar from view can be major flaws in your home-protection plan. Consider your landscaping plan in light of your protection needs. 
  • Avoid a room with a view. A view from the outside, that is.

    Stand outside your house and take notice of what you can see through the windows.

    Is your 62-inch television in plain sight from the sidewalk? Can you see your computer or other valuable electronics from the doorway?

    If you can see them, so can thieves. If possible, move valuables out of sight of the street. If you can’t, then make sure the windows are always covered.

    Ask for credentials from any sales-person who requests entry to your home. Ask that their ID be pushed under the door. Many professional burglars use this cover to check out homes. If you’re doubtful, check with the person’s office before letting him or her in.

     

  • Do not list your full name on your mailbox or your entry in the telephone book. Use only your initial and your last name. 
  • If someone comes to your door asking to use the phone to call a mechanic or the police, keep the door locked and make the call yourself. 
  • Dogs are good deterrents to burglars. Even a small, noisy dog can be effective — burglars do not like to have attention drawn to their presence. Be aware, however, that trained guard dogs do not make good pets. Obedience training and attack training are entirely different, and only the former is appropriate for a house pet.

K9

Securing Doors

  • To help burglar-proof your home, install 1-inch throw deadbolt locks on all exterior doors. 
  • A door with too much space between the door and the frame is an invitation for the burglar to use a jimmy. Reinforce the door with a panel of 3/4-inch plywood or a piece of sheet metal. 
  • If there are door hinges on the outside of your house, take down the door and reset the hinges inside. Otherwise all a thief has to do to gain entry to your home is knock out the hinge pin. 
  • You can burglar-proof your glass patio doors by setting a pipe or metal bar in the middle bottom track of the door slide. The pipe should be the same length as the track.
  • It’s easy for a burglar to pry through rot. Replace rotted door frames with new, solid wood. 
  • It’s simple for a thief to break glass panels and then reach in and open a doorknob from the inside. A door with glass panels should be either fortified, replaced, or secured with deadbolts that can only be opened with a key.

Securing Windows

  • Protect your windows with one or more good locks, an alarm system, burglar-resistant glass, or many small panes instead of one large area of glass. 
  • When installing a window lock, drip some solder on the screw heads. It will stop a burglar from unscrewing the lock after cutting a small hole in the windowpane.

Garage Security

Garages present special challenges for security. Here are some tips for keeping your garage secure.

  • If you frost or cover your garage windows, burglars won’t be able to tell if your car is gone.

Sportscars

  • Keep your garage door closed and locked even when your car is not in the garage. 
  • Install a peephole in the door separating the house from the garage. If you hear suspicious sounds, you can check without opening the door. 
  • Are you worried about someone entering your house through your attached garage? If the garage door lifts on a track, a C-clamp can provide extra security since the door cannot be opened if you tighten the C-clamp on the track next to the roller.

What else?

Alarms, etc.

Burglars can’t steal what they can’t see. This simple concept is the key to a burglary protection system.

Home Invasions

One of the more frightening and potentially dangerous crimes that can occur to a family is a home invasion robbery.

A home invasion is when robbers force their way into an occupied home, apartment or hotel room to commit a robbery or other crimes.  It is particularly frightening because it violates our private space and the one place that we think of as our sanctuary.

Home invasion is like the residential form of an automobile carjacking and it’s on the rise. Like the crime of carjacking, most police agencies don’t track home invasions as a separate crime. Most police agencies and the FBI will statistically record the crime as a residential burglary or a robbery. Without the ability to track the specific crime of home invasion, little can be done to alert the public as to the frequency of occurrence in their community or devise a law enforcement plan of action to control it.

Criminal Profile

Residential burglars work mostly during the day and when a residence is more likely to be unoccupied. Most burglars work alone and tend to probe a neighborhood looking for the right residence and the right opportunity. Alarm signs and decals, bars on windows, strong locks and doors, big dogs, and alert neighbors can sometimes deter burglars. Also, burglars will avoid a confrontation and will usually flee when approached. Most burglaries do not result in violence unless the criminal is cornered and uses force to escape.

Home invasion robbers, in contrast, work more often at night and on weekends when homes are more likely to be occupied. The home invader will sometimes target the resident as well as the dwelling. The selection process may include a woman living alone, a wealthy senior citizen or a known drug dealer, for example. It is not unheard of for a robber to follow you home based on the value of the car you are driving or the jewelry you are wearing. Some home invaders might have been in your home before as a delivery person, installer or repair vendor.  Home robbers rarely work alone and rely on an overwhelming physical confrontation to gain initial control and instill fear in you. The greatest violence usually occurs during the initial sixty seconds of the confrontation and home invaders often come prepared with handcuffs, rope, duct tape, and firearms. Some in-home robbers appear to enjoy the intimidation, domination, and violence and some even claim it’s a “rush.”

Dangerous Trends

The act of committing a home invasion is escalating much like carjacking. The reason for the increase seems to follow a similar pattern. Much like automobiles, the traditional commercial targets for robbers like convenience stores and fast-food restaurants have hardened themselves against criminal attack and have reduced available cash. Technology has allowed commercial establishments to install affordable video surveillance systems, silent alarms, and other anti-crime deterrent devices.  A residence, by comparison, is now a more attractive choice.

Home invaders know that they won’t have to overcome alarm systems when the home is occupied or be worried about video cameras and silent alarms. Unlike robbing a retail store, home invaders expect privacy once inside your home and won’t have to deal with the police suddenly driving up or customers walking in. Once the offenders take control of a residence they can force the occupants to open safes, locate hidden valuables, supply keys to the family car, and PIN numbers to their ATM cards. Home invaders will try to increase their escape time by disabling the phones and sometimes will leave their victims bound or incapacitated. It is not unheard of for robbers to load up the victim’s car with valuables and drive away without anyone in the neighborhood taking notice.

Method of Operation

The most common point of attack is through the front door or garage. Sometimes the home invader will simply kick open the door and confront everyone inside. More common is when the home invaders knock on the door first or ring the bell. The home invader hopes that the occupant will simply open the door, without question, in response to their knock. Unfortunately, many people do just that.

kidnapping

Home invaders will sometimes use a ruse or impersonation to get you to open the door. They have been known to pretend to be delivering a package, flowers or lie about an accident like hitting your parked car. Once the door is opened for them, the home invaders will use an explosive amount of force and threats to gain control of the home and produce fear in the victims. Once the occupants are under control the robbers will begin to collect your valuables.

Some home robbers have been known to spend hours ransacking a residence while the homeowners are bound nearby watching in terror. Some robbers have been known to eat meals, watch TV, or even take a nap. A major fear is that the robbers might commit more violence like sexual assault or even murder. Some robbers have kidnapped and forced a victim to withdraw cash from their ATM machine or take them to their small business to rob it as well.

Prevention Steps

The same tactics used to prevent daytime burglaries will go a long way to preventing forced entry home robberies. If you can delay a home invader at the point of entry then you have a chance of deterring them or have time to call the police. A solid core door, strong locks with reinforced strike plates, and reinforced window devices will stop most forced entries. See my web page on Home Security Tips for more information. Some homeowners build safe rooms inside their home to allow them to retreat or escape the violence while giving them valuable time to call the police.

The weakest home security link is the home occupant who fails to lock doors or windows or who will open the door without question at the sound of a knock. The best defense against home invasion is education and planning. Parents should hold a family meeting to discuss how to answer the door when someone knocks. Another important topic is how to act should your home or family be invaded. Once you know how home robbers work, you can effectively prevent most occurrences.

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Carjacking Facts – Robbery Prevention Advice


Source: crimedoctor

Carjacking is Robbery

Carjacking is the violent form of motor vehicle theft. It is a serious threat to our personal safety because the thief uses force and fear to rob our car from us. Sometimes the car owner or other occupants are kidnapped during a carjacking, and if lucky will be dropped off nearby unharmed. The worst case scenario occurs when you are transported to a secondary crime scene, which is usually more dangerous than the original confrontation. Those not so lucky victims have suffered other crimes like rape, aggravated assault, and even homicide.

Since the mid-1980s, carjacking has captured the attention of the media with reports of these sudden and violent attacks. Carjackers have unknowingly driven off with infants still in the backseat of the car, leaving behind a screaming and emotionally distressed parent. Other drivers have been violently pulled out of their seats and left lying on the road, terrified by what just occurred.

The crime of carjacking can be traumatic to our everyday lives because it creates fear in the common act of driving a car. Victims of carjacking have reported being unable to drive a car again while others required months of therapy. Others have become so hypersensitive, that embarrassing and dangerous situations have arisen in response to their fear when someone unwittingly approached their car on foot.

How Carjacking Got Started

Carjacking has always been around, especially in large metropolitan cities, we just rarely read about it. The crime of carjacking “took off” in the 1980s after the media published stories of bizarre situations and the violence associated with the crime. The media coined the phrase “carjacking” and the crime of auto theft took on a new identity. After a rush of publicity, other criminals “copied” the crime of carjacking. These copycat criminals must have said, “Hey, I can steal any vehicle I want without damaging it, I get the car keys, and I can rob the owner too. What a concept!”

Another reason carjacking got started is because of the sophistication and prevalence of new anti-theft devices and alarm systems. New car alarms and steering wheel locking systems made it tougher on the auto thief. Chip-integrated ignition switches, engine cutoff devices, and stolen vehicle locators are now more common in cars. Unfortunately for us, poorly motivated and unskilled car thieves have adapted by becoming more violent to get the cars they need and don’t think twice about using force against us.

Sometimes criminals will carjack a vehicle for use in another crime like armed robbery or for a drive-by shooting. These carjackers prefer to have a set of car keys and not have a visibly smashed window or damaged ignition switch that can be easily spotted by the police. This class of car thief is the most dangerous because they are usually heavily armed and are not concerned with your welfare.

How Often Does Carjacking Occur

National carjacking statistics are not available. However, the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS)* made a telephone assessment of 221,000 households from 1992-1996 to gain an understanding of the extent of the carjacking problem. The biggest problem of tracking carjacking incidents is current police agency reporting practices. Most criminal codes have not adopted this new crime type nor do they track it statistically. Most police jurisdictions charge the crime of carjacking as a robbery since force or fear was used to steal the vehicle directly for the owner. Many police agencies record multiple charges like aggravated robbery, auto theft, assault, battery to one event but usually only the first charge (robbery) gets indexed and statistically tracked. Some jurisdictions charge the crime of carjacking as only an auto theft since a vehicle was stolen.

Since the crime of carjacking is not indexed in the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports, it is unlikely that we will soon see a national statistic on frequency that is generated from police reports. What we have to work with is the NCVS telephone survey as the source of our data.

From the study of 1992-1996, the NCVS learned that each year 49,000 carjackings and attempts occur in the United States. About half of the reported carjackings were failed attempts. Of the completed carjackings, 92% had weapons where only 75% were armed during the failed attempts. Unfortunately, this statistic tells us that carjackers must be armed to be taken seriously by victims. A handgun was the weapon of choice followed by a knife. Males were responsible for 97% of the carjackings and attempts and were usually carried out by either one or two perpetrators.

Where Does Carjacking Occur

Carjacking can occur anywhere, but is largely a big city problem like traditional auto theft. See my web site on auto theft facts for more information.

Carjacking occurs most often in a busy commercial area where cars are parked and when the owner is entering or exiting the parked vehicle. Most carjackings or attempts (65%) occur within five miles of the victim’s home. The carjacker wants the keys readily available and the car door unlocked for a quick getaway. Carjackers tend to rob lone victims more often (92%), for obvious reasons. According to the NCVS, men were victimized more often than women, blacks more than whites; Hispanics, more than non-Hispanics; and divorced, separated, or never married more than married or widowed. This trend is not surprising given the fact that younger single males tend to take more chances and go to higher risk locations than do married persons. It is unclear whether household income or the value of the vehicle is a criterion in carjacking as the statistics are spread throughout the income levels. However the $35,000 to $50,000 income range had a slightly higher carjack victim frequency.

Surprisingly, the NCVS study indicates that 64% of the daytime carjackings were actually completed, while less than half of those at night were completed. This may be reflective of who is being victimized and who is out at night. About 62% of all carjacking victims took some form of action to defend themselves or their property. Victims were injured about 20% of the time in completed carjackings and about 16% during attempts. Although the statistics aren’t clear, each year about 27 homicides are reported related to auto theft. Also interesting is that 100% of the completed carjack victims called the police, whereas only 57% called to report an attempt carjacking. This variable in reporting is probably related to the desire to get their property back and for insurance purposes.

Popular carjacking locations are parking lots, shopping centers, gas stations, car washes, convenience stores, ATMs, hotels, valet parking, fast-food drive-thru, and outside of retail stores. Close proximity to a freeway onramp is a desirable escape factor from the carjackers prospective. A risky, but popular location for the carjacker is a roadway intersection with a stoplight. A carjacker will jump out of another vehicle, pull open your unlocked drivers’ door, and force you to get out. The type of carjacking allows for a quick escape but increases their risk of being followed by other drivers armed with cell phones. There have been incidents where well-meaning citizens got into a high-speed chase following carjackers and ended up being victims themselves.

The “Bump” and Carjack

Another copycat scheme used by carjackers is to bump your car from behind to get you to pull over and stop. We have all been trained to always stop following an auto accident to exchange license and insurance information. What a perfect scenario for a carjacker!

The carjacker, and his accomplice, will follow the intended victim to a suitable location with good escape routes and few witnesses. The carjacker will crash into the back of your vehicle at low speed and “bump” you with enough force to make you believe a traffic accident had just occurred. Beware of the Good Samaritan. Typically, the drivers of both vehicles pull over, stop, and get out discussing the damage. At this point the carjacker robs you of your vehicle, its’ contents, and drives away. The carjacker’s car gets driven away by the accomplice. Hopefully you won’t be injured during the exchange.

What Should You Do?

Carjacking of parked vehicles depends on the car owner being inattentive to their surroundings. Carjackers, like street robbers, prefer the element of surprise. Most victims say they never saw the carjacker until they appeared at their car door. To reduce your risk of being carjacked, I have listed some common sense steps below:

  • Always park in well-lighted areas, if you plan to arrive/leave after dark
  • Don’t park in isolated or visually obstructed areas near walls or heavy foliage
  • Use valet parking or an attended garage, if you’re a woman driving alone
  • As you walk to your car be alert to suspicious persons sitting in cars
  • Ask for a security escort if you are alone at a shopping center
  • Watch out for young males loitering in the area (handing out flyers, etc)
  • If someone tries to approach, change direction or run to a busy store
  • Follow your instincts if they tell you to walk/run away to a busy place
  • As you approach your vehicle, look under, around, and inside your car
  • If safe, open the door, enter quickly, and lock the doors
  • Don’t be a target by turning your back while loading packages into the car
  • Make it your habit to always start your car and drive away immediately
  • Teach and practice with your children to enter and exit the car quickly
  • In the city, always drive with your car doors locked and windows rolled up
  • When stopped in traffic, leave room ahead to maneuver and escape, if necessary
  • If you are bumped in traffic, by young males, be suspicious of the accident
  • Beware of the Good Samaritan who offers to repair your car or a flat tire. It’s okay to get help, just be alert
  • Wave to follow, and drive to a gas station or busy place before getting out
  • If you are ever confronted by an armed carjacker don’t resist
  • Give up your keys or money if demanded without resistance
  • Don’t argue, fight or chase the robber. You can be seriously injured
  • Never agree to be kidnapped. Drop the cars keys and run and scream for help
  • If you are forced to drive, consider crashing your car near a busy intersection to attract attention so bystanders can come to your aid and call the police
  • Call the police immediately to report the crime and provide detailed information

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Domestic Violence and Parental Abduction


Source: Examiner.com

Parental abduction is a severe form of parental alienation and can be prevented with more education provided to the victim and the justice system starting from the police dpeartments, to the staff of the courts and finally the judges.

Men, who believe they are entitled to an on-going relationship with their partners, or that they “own” them, view their partners’ departure as ultimate betrayal which justifies retaliation, including abduction of their biological child(ren).

Bryan Lee McGlothin, was one of these children, abducted by his father at the age of 2. He was taken from town to town, by his father, keeping their whereabouts unknown. Bryan consistently asked about his mother, and where he could find her, but was fed lies continuously by his father. After 30 years away from his mother, Bryan finally reunited with his mother, however, it was not the reunion he had hoped for. His mother, Angie, attempted suicide, and instead of dying, became severly brain damaged.

Not only did Bryan have to endure reuniting with his mother in this condition, but also suffered the many negative efects that happen to adult children of parental abduction. Many of these negative effects include: depression, anxiety, lack of trust, low self -esteem, guilt, feeling vulnerable and troubled relationships. Bryan has written a book called, “Have You Seen My Mother,” emerging from  years of research since finding his mother after 30 years apart.

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One key to ABP World Group`s successful recovery and re-unification of your loved one is to use all necessary means available

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