There are few things more frightening than a home invasion. It is known as a burglary if it is a theft of property that takes place when the homeowner is away; the simple feeling of property violation can be extremely disturbing for the victims. However, home invasions can also take place when the home is occupied; these types of crimes can quickly escalate and become violent. Because home invasion is commonly not a specific crime (in most states, “home invasion” is often a generic term used before a definitive criminal charge is claimed), solid statistics are hard to come by. Still, there are some general facts and approximations that can prove useful in analyzing and understanding this criminal phenomenon:
Most home invasions happen to new homeowners; most people do not purchase or install an alarm system until several years after they move into a new home.
Nearly all criminals gain access through the common first-floor entry points: front door, back door, or window.
One of the easiest methods of entry is to simply force open the front door, putting extreme amounts of pressure on the strike plate.
While home invasions and burglaries may involve the use of force to gain access to a house, they are often successful simply because of homeowners’ forgetfulness to lock their doors and windows.
Having a strong neighborhood organization and sense of territoriality can deter home invasions by creating a watchdog safety net.
Burglars usually steal small, easy-to-carry items that have high value and can be sold easily: jewelry, guns, laptop computers, media systems.
It is estimated that close to 90 percent of burglaries go unsolved because police rarely catch burglars in the act.
The average burglary causes damages and loss of property of about $1,300.
Home invasions can be as minimally-damaging as theft; they can also turn into violent crimes.
However, there is good reason to be hopeful. In fact, FBI crime statistics report that crime rates in America are falling, even during the recession. Still, taking proper precautions is the wisest course of action to keep you and your family safe. Incidents of home invasion and burglary occur around three times fewer in homes with alarm systems, designated markings, and dedicated home security. Because home invasions are often a crime of opportunity, criminals who see signs of an alarm system may just pass by the house. Law enforcement agencies agree that having an active alarm system is a viable preventive measure against home invasions, and knowing the facts of the crime can help you stay safe and informed.