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.
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.
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.