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Home Invasion - How to Prevent and What to Do During

By NaughtyMonkey ·
Saturday night my family was a victim of a home invasion. My mother-in-law has a separate house in our backyard and as me, my wife and her walked out to it, we were confronted by two armed men. As I opened the door they walked out and put a gun to my head and my wife and had us lay on the ground.

While one watched us, the other took my mother-in-law inside and stole a large sum of money she had withdrew from the bank that morning. After they got the money they left. All the while my 3 kids were in the main house.

I have been robbed at gunpoint before, but for my wife and kids to be in danger and it happening at our house is 100 times worse. The fact that they were after one thing and one thing only surprised me. They did not care about anything else.

I spent the rest of the weekend strengthening our defenses by reinforcing locks with steel plates and longer screws on the strike plates. I also replaced all the flood lights and have an electrician coming to install a few more next week to eliminate some dead areas in our lighting system.

We had talked about getting an alarm system last year but did not have the money at the time, but I believe I will call a few people Monday to get some quotes. I am definitely getting some wireless cameras to put up this week.

Saturday and Sunday night we spent the night at my sister-in-laws house because we just don't feel safe. I don't know how long it will take before we feel right again.

Have any other Tech Republic members been through this sort of thing and if so, what did you do to feel safe again.

Also, if anyone has some other ideas to secure our home I would be glad to hear them.

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Panic buttons

by mjd420nova In reply to Home Invasion - How to Pr ...

Short of having a security system that allows the use of panic buttons and having each family member carry one in their pocket, there isn't much you could do to prevent this in the future. You were obviously targeted at the bank where the money was withdrawn and then followed home and the theives just waited for the opportune moment. Prevention has to go beyond the home as is evident in this case. Possibly the bank security cameras will reveal some persons of interest or someone you could identify.

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Wouldn't have helped in your situation but

by JamesRL In reply to Home Invasion - How to Pr ...

I don't live in the richest area, ok it isn't a slum but its not the greatest. But there are very few breakins of houses because we have less to steal. Cars are another story, we have some kids in the neighbourhood who regularly check the doors and steal any CDs or money in cars.

What I do recommend is motion sensitive outdoor lights.

I also have a dog. She wouldn't hurt a flea but not everyone knows that.

I once lived in a rough area of Toronto, so I have a steel front door with only a tiny view hole, and a strong deadbolt with very long screws and an upgraded plate. We also have a baby alarm on the inside of the door. Turn it on and any movement of it emits a high pitch alarm. Yes its a pain when we come home but its worth it. We paid $20 at a garage sale. Its also a good dog training aid.

Sorry to hear about your misfortune. An alarm system wouldn't have helped you in this case, they probably waited for you to go outside to avoid all that.

I've been robbed while I was working at a seven eleven, but nothing like your scenario.

Take it easy and hope you can get your MIL and the family through this.


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Have to not look like a target

by jdclyde In reply to Home Invasion - How to Pr ...

and it seems clear that the withdrawal was seen by someone at the bank.

The idea of having the police check the cameras at the time of the withdrawal is right on, because that has to be where they spotted the money, unless she stopped at another store and let someone take a glimpse of the wad of cash.

Lights with motion sensors, good.

Get a dog that will bark at strangers, loudly. It is a pain to listen to, but will help scare away crooks that don't want anything drawing attention to them.

Carrying a weapon would do you no good in a situation like this because you are covered before you would ever have a chance to pull your own. People forget that by the time you know about a home-invasion, it is often to late to get a weapon.

Make sure your neighbors know all about this, as well if their is any kind of neighborhood watch program.

Good luck with this.

I have had my house broken into a few times, but never while I was there. Both times I couldn't find anything missing and had to assume they didn't want to pet the nice doggie that was inside. ( Black lab/boxer ).

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I have a Shar Pei....

by NaughtyMonkey In reply to Have to not look like a t ...

too bad he wasn't loose, he hates people he doesn't know.

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I rep such systems too

by Oz_Media In reply to Home Invasion - How to Pr ...

While I can't work with US clients I can offer you some first hand industry knowledge. First of all, the locks on your home were not breached, (according to your post it happened out back). If someone was IN your home and their exit was slowed by a lock or added deadbolt they couldn't get past really quickly, chances are someone would have been hurt. It's that fight or flight mode they are in, exits must be clean and why I always tell people to simply LET INTRUDERS LEAVE WITHOUT CHALLENGING THEM.

Your wife was obviously targeted and followed. $20 - $40 from bank machines, always get big money from inside the bank itself. As suggested, the bank will be able to monitor your wife's withdrawal and PERAPS a camera will show someone in the background, but that's really dodgy unless you can identify the person absolutely bang on with no hesitation.

Seeing as a break-in was not the case here, a good outdoor surveillance system requires high quality low lux cameras, a WELL HIDDEN DECENT DVR designed specifically for surveillance (which you can control through remote infra red emitters, easy and cheap solution)TV filtering and modulation will broadcast the signal to a TV channel of your choice for viewing in any room or even remotely via webaccess (not expensive and a great investment). Of course you need good outdoor lighting too, thieves don't like lights.

THINGS TO AVOI Alarm companies that offer free systems or free installation with a monitoring contract, The contract usually only covers one room or two contact points, the equipment is bottom of the barrel (they buy it through me and want the cheapest low end garbage available).

Get a decent alarm, it will include key fobs for remote activation, activation display (you'll never wonder if you turned it on or not) and also a PANIC button to set off the alarm. YOU probably don't need one of those monthly monitoring systems, in this recent case it wouldn't have helped you anyway.

You can PM me anytime if you get dealer questions or need other info.

Sorry to hear it happened, glad nobody was physically hurt.
You'll soon relax enough to return home, it's YOUR home and THEY left it, not you.


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You know Oz

by Tig2 In reply to I rep such systems too

You can't spell for beans but your heart is in the right place! That is just one of the things that I love about you.

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by Oz_Media In reply to You know Oz

Tig, I can spell just fine, in fact I have always had a far better command of English than most others I've known.
I just can't TYPE worth a damn. When I was in school, typing was for f*gs, all the cool kids were in shop.

Just like piano, keyboards, I could always play just fine but my improper use of fingering made my music teachers cringe.

I have played with typing tutors but never stuck with them, no time for improvement, I have to type. :)

My common mistakes:

I orpha nletters.
I reveres letters ('teh' is popular for me)
I use English/Candian words, coloUr or rationalise.
And I often miss letters as I fumble along too quickly.

But for the most part, my spelling is good (in handwriting for example, my handwriting has always had many fans and jealous girlfriends)

SOMETIMES, i will actually spell check a post, but these forums usually do not warrant enough of my attention to keep going over and reviewing posts. My big PO is when I DO edit a post and then submit corrections, only to quickly notice more typos. I

usually just don't bother, writing copy is something I have always done for a living, I also have a couple of editors who go over it as well before submitting, so I have learned to get lazy with spell checks over time. I just come up with the copy, typing is not my job.

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by LocoLobo In reply to Spelling

Typing may be for f*gs, but when I took it in the 70s I was the only male in the class.



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by Oz_Media In reply to HEY!!

That's just what it was like when I was in school. I am not stating it myself as how I feel today.

I did take mini foods a GREAT way to meet girls and, at the time, make 'magic mushroom' pizzas in school(Hey it was a long time ago now, okay?) .
They had a program with 3 shop classes (wood, metal, drafting) and mini foods, so you could get a feel for each. But back then, it was MEN were in shops and 'not so manly men' were in home economics classes.

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"But back then..." You're right!

by OnTheRopes In reply to HEY HEY

And if I knew then what I know now I'd have taken home economics, just to bake a few cookies.

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