Home Invasion Caught On Camera, Part 1 - A Real-Life Example of the Misconceptions that Can Leave You and Your Family Vulnerable to Residential Crimes
As a home security expert, I've made it my mission to educate residents on the topic of residential crimes. In today's article I'll share with you a real-life example of some of the misconceptions people have about residential crime, and how sharing in these misconceptions can leave you and your family vulnerable to a burglary or home invasion.
Home Invasion Caught on Camera
The real-life example I'll be discussing in this article is the Los Angeles ABC7 news report about the home invasion caught on camera. I highly encourage you to view the video footage from this news report either before or after reading the remainder of this article. There are no violent or otherwise graphic scenes in the video footage. As terrifying as the home invasion was for the victims, no one was harmed. The video simply shows the crime as it happened and speaks to some of the misconceptions and home security mistakes I so often warn homeowners about.
Misconceptions About Residential Crime
The first thing that's important to note about this story is when and where this brazen crime took place—just after 11:00 a.m., in broad daylight, in an upscale neighborhood. Many residents believe the majority of burglars and other home intruders prefer to carry out their crimes in the dark of night. This is a common misconception that is often fueled by TV shows and movies.
According to the FBI's Uniform Crime Reports, approximately 65% of burglaries occur between 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., with the most common hours being 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. This is because most burglars prefer to carry out their crimes when no one is home. The daytime hours provide that opportunity when many parents are at work and children are at school.
Breaking into a home when people are inside is not only risky for the intruder, it is also a more serious crime that carries harsh penalties. Most common day burglars aren't up for the increased risk or jail time. But this is not how home invasion criminals think.
Intruders that knowingly break into homes when the residents are present are much more brazen and violent criminals. They intentionally seek out victims they can use as pons to get what they want, and their crimes often involve a weapon. The chance of being harmed during a home invasion is extremely high.
All of this is evident in the home invasion caught on camera. In watching the video, it was obvious to me that the knife-wielding intruders expected there to be someone home when they entered the residence. One of the first things they did was unplug the main phone line downstairs. They then began searching the house as if they were looking for someone. When they heard voices coming from the bedroom, instead of leaving, they went directly to the room and busted through the door in an attempt to get their hands on their victims. Thankfully, they did not succeed.
Another common misconception among residents, especially those who live in "good" or upscale suburban neighborhoods that are physically appealing to the eye, is that they are safe from crime. They often think that these types of crimes only happen to people who live in big cities or "bad" neighborhoods where gangs and drugs run rampant.
In a study funded by the National Institute of Justice, it was found that the perceptions that people form about their neighborhoods are strongly based on their immediate surrounding environment. Much of what goes on outside that environment is never considered. For example, if you live in a new housing tract with well-kept yards, clean streets and beautiful landscaping, you are likely to feel that your neighborhood is safe. On the other hand, if you were to drive through a neighborhood where the homes are old and dingy and the streets are riddled with trash, you will likely think you are in an unsafe neighborhood.
This type of thinking is a mistake, as it can cause homeowners who live in attractive neighborhoods to develop a false sense of security. As a result, they fail to take the necessary home security precautions, leaving their home and their families vulnerable to crime.
In sharing the home invasion caught on camera discussed in this article, it is my hope that it will help you to realize and eliminate your own misconceptions about residential crime. As this and many other news reports go to show, crime does not discriminate. No matter who you are or where you live, it's important to educate yourself and take your home security seriously.
In Part 2 of this home invasion caught on camera series, I will discuss the home security mistakes that the video footage from this crime reveals, and offer expert advice on how you can better ensure the safety and security of you and your family.
1. ABC7 Eyewitness News (2015). Home invasion suspects terrorize San Jose family with knives. ABC7.com. Retrieved from http://abc7.com/news/home-invasion-suspects-terrorize-san-jose-family-with-knives/719853/
2. Federal Bureau of Investigation (2014). Preliminary semiannual uniform crime report. FBI.gov. Retrieved from https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2014/preliminary-semiannual-uniform-crime-report-january-june-2014
3. Wilson R., Brown, T., Schuster, B. (2009). Preventing neighborhood crime: Geography matters. National Institute of Justice.gov. Retrieved from http://www.nij.gov/journals/263/pages/neighborhood-crime.aspx