Home invasion rates are difficult to track because there is not a separate category for it in FBI data - it just gets lumped in with violent crime under the subcategories of robbery, assault, rape, or murder. However I've been hearing more & more reports that believe home invasions are on the rise. I did a quick google search for home invasion news stories over the past month & it returned over 10,000 results. Below are just a few of the hits from the first page of results, most of which took place in the past 24 hrs:
- Salt Lake City, Utah
- Bonneville, ID
- Adamsville, OH
- Port St Lucie, FL
- Loris, SC
- Newark, NJ
- Allentown, PA
- Greenville, SC
- Meridian, ID
. . . Here's what I think. Crime will be getting worse. The current economic situation is causing reductions in police patrols and cutbacks on law enforcement agencies. Note that I don't say that people who have been laid off will start committing crimes. I don't think that's what happens. If you are prone to crime, that's what you do, irrespective of the economy. When there are fewer police around, though, criminals are emboldened, and they come out more - in the daylight as well as at night . . .The Crime Doctor has an interesting article as well:
. . . 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 . . .If you've been putting off carrying a gun as well as obtaining self defense training, you might want to move those items to the top of your New Years Resolution to-do list. I keep our exterior doors locked 24/7, I holster my gun when I get dressed in the morning, and I don't take it off until I've turned on our perimeter alarm & gone to bed for the night. Even then I keep it loaded & ready in my quick open gun safe (digital) & I make sure I have a clear & fast path to it from my bed. I also keep a flashlight in my nightstand so I would not have to fumble in the dark.
Be sure to teach everyone in your household to never open the door for anyone they don't know, not even if the people at the door appear to be Police Officers (call your local PD first to confirm they are who they say they are, as Police impersonation crime does occur). Just some free advice from your friend in Arizona.
Update 1: Correction, it turned out that Bonneville CO stands for Bonneville County which is actually in Idaho, not Colorado. Thanks for the correction farmdad.