What is a Home Invasion?
"Home invasion" has been used broadly to describe any crime committed by an individual unlawfully entering a residence while someone is home.
More narrowly, home invasion has been used to describe a situation where an offender forcibly enters an occupied residence with the specific intent of robbing or violently harming those inside.
Home Invasion Myths
- I have a gun; that makes me safe.
- It won't happen to me. I live in a "good neighborhood."
- I can't do this. I'm not a fighter. I'll be so afraid, I will panic and be paralyzed in fear.
Home Invasion Facts
- Home Invasion suspects are targeting the elderly and middle class.
- Offenders have come in contact with the victim before the crime was committed.
- Suspects look to see what kind of vehicle you drive. With this, they determine if it looks like you might have money.
- Offenders probably have been observing your residence before the crime was committed.
- Offenders may send juveniles or innocent looking people to your door before they target your residence.
What they are looking for:
- Gain entry and exit without your knowledge.
- Low expectation of resistance.
- Nice belonging.
- Seeking to avoid detection, injury or capture by others.
What can you do?
- Keep all doors and windows locked at your home.
- Don't allow strangers inside your home.
- Require ID before opening the door and make the call to verify who they are.
- When you do go to the door be ready to react.
- Keep valuables out of sight.
- Don’t depend on a door chain or screen door lock to keep strangers out.
- Set your perimeter alarm all times.
- Keep curtains or blinds closed at night or when you are gone to prevent strangers from seeing your possessions.
Evaluate your home:
- What about your home makes it vulnerable to a home invasion?
- What about your home may help inhibit a home invader from targeting your home?
- Do you have strong locks?
When you return home from being away:
- Scan the area
- Be vigilant when exiting your vehicle.
- Don’t occupy your hands with unnecessary “stuff”.
- Note if there are doors ajar or lights on that should not.
- Have a bright flashlight accessible in your car.
Have a Home Invasion Plan:
- Duties, who calls 911, what should the children do.
- Know your exits, know your house in the dark.
- Have a safe room. Which room in your house is the easiest and quickest for all of your family members to get to? The front of the house with a window is usually the best.
- Choose a rally point outside.
- Write out your plan, practice and review with your family members.
What Laws Apply?
- 21-3211 - Use of force in defense of a person; no duty to retreat.
- 21-3212, 21-3212a - Use of force in defense of dwelling; no duty to retreat.
- 21-3213 - Use of force in defense of property other than a dwelling.
- 21-3214 - Use of force by an aggressor.
Download Print-Friendly Version