Burglary lessons to be learned
There's so much to learn for our own safety from "real life" crime. Three masked men attempted a burglary in broad daylight at the home of Philadelphia area Congressman Bob Brady. There are some lessons to be learned.
1. This was a burglary attempt, not a home invasion. The difference is in the criminal's intent and methods. In a burglary, the criminal does not want the residents to be home to confront him. He wants to get in, steal valuables, and get out undetected and unhurt. In a home invasion, the robbers WANT the residents to be home because they want the residents to show them where the valuables are and open any locked doors or safes. There is going to be a violent confrontation and home invaders bring the weapons and violent intentions to overcome all the residents no matter how much they fight back. When these three saw Mrs. Brady at the sliding glass door where they were trying to make entry, they were surprised and fled.
2. This is a wealthy neighborhood so the burglars expected an alarm system. That scares off most burglars, but these guys did enough prior surveillance to know where the utility lines came in and cut them before trying to make entry. Cutting utility lines is very unusual in burglaries in general, but common in burglaries in wealthy neighborhoods. This is a good reason to have an alarm system that is not connected to landlines, but uses cell phone technology to call the
central monitoring station. Note that these suspects were wearing masks and hoods -- video surveillance would've been of little to no use to police.
3. The burglars went straight for the sliding glass doors in the rear of the house to make their entry. If you have sliding glass doors, start there when upgrading your home's security. A wooden dowel cut to length and dropped into the door channel is better than nothing but a quality channel lock is better. Not only are the factory locks usually flimsy (easily pried open), the outer door can be lifted out of the track (uninstalled) even if there's a wooden dowel blocking the inner door. Check out this site (just an example) and the kinds of locks available. Buy and install the best/most expensive you can afford: http://www.allaboutdoors.com/index.php?cPath=74_82
4. The Brady's are well-known, high-income celebrities in the Philadelphia area. They are the kinds of targets professional burglars with a lot of skills, knowledge and experience target for theft and burglary. Therefore, they of all people should have the best security and well-laid anti-crime response plans. I doubt the quality of their security and the adequacy of their plans if Mrs. Brady's response to having the power and TV cables cut and seeing three masked men in her backyard is to go toe-to-toe with them at the sliding glass doors! Ok, she DID bang on the glass and I can assume she gave them a VERY disapproving look (and possibly waved a finger at them), but that wouldn't have done any good if violence and home invasion robbery/kidnapping had been in the suspect's plans!! If you haven't seen the movie "Fargo" you have to at least watch the scene where the woman of the house is frozen in fear and shock as she sees the two masked kidnappers breaking into her sliding glass door -- hilariously terrifying. (The struggle that ensues is not so funny, but equally terrifying.) My wife's response in Mrs. Brady's situation would've been to hit the alarm panic button, grab the nearest handgun staged for just such an occurrence, and take up a position of cover in order to shoot the first intruder through the door. (Instead of preparing to shoot, running out the opposite side of the house from the attack is an option, but you risk running into additional suspects waiting for that predictable response.)
See, wasn't that fun learning?! Do you see any other lessons here? Do you have a recent crime we can learn from?