What's with the four home invasions in only four days in San Francisco recently? In 2013, 78 home invasions were reported in San Francisco, and in 2014, it was 69. A home invasion is when robbers intrude while the occupants are in the house. These numbers may seem small, but to the victims, they may as well be a million.
Each occurred on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, but police have no evidence that the same criminals are involved in any.
I'm very staunch about the dangers of answering a door when you're in a compromised state, sleepy, early a.m. etc and aren't expecting anybody. People who feel they must rush to the door every time the bell rings because "it might be a neighbor, or the police or a delivery" think my advice is overblown, but here we go again with why it's perfectly okay to ignore a doorbell under certain circumstances:
In Friday's attack, a woman's doorbell rang. At 8:15 in the morning. I'm going to go out on a limb and assume that the occupant wasn't expecting anyone at this hour, though maybe she thought it was a neighbor.
Anyways, the 26-year-old occupant opened the door and was met by a woman-yes, a woman-with a knife. The 30-something crazed woman forced her way in and robbed the victim. Then the attacker bound up the victim. It's highly probable that the attacker had previously cased the home to make sure that a man or large dog didn't live there and that the victim appeared that she could easily be overtaken.
Saturday. The home invasion victims was an elderly couple. The doorbell rang at 7:30 a.m. That's right: 7:30 in the morning. I'm in great shape and know self-defense, but even I have better things to do at this hour than answer a doorbell.
Yet the home's occupant, an 85-year-old man, opened the door. (Honestly, I'm struggling to wonder what he was thinking. Even if he was already up and about, wide awake, two cups of caffeinated coffee in him...he should NOT have opened his door unless he was expecting someone at 7:30 in the morning-which I strongly doubt was the case.).
So he opens the door but sees nobody. But at some point, the intruder got in and forced him and his 79-year-old female companion to take him to their valuables-which of course were then stolen. An accomplice made off with the man's car.
Though they weren't pistol whipped or anything like that, the man did report he had physical pain. An event like this could cause a heart attack in an elderly person. Though events like this don't happen often, they DO happen, but the kicker is that thugs like this aren't going to spend much time trying to get into a house where nobody answers the door-and the door has a top-flight lock system. If nobody answers, they typically move on to the next home.
In the Sunday attack, a 55-year-old sleeping woman got punched in the stomach and head by an intruder who had broken into her house. An accomplice taped her mouth, then stole her stash of money.
In the Monday attack, five men appearing to be in their late teens to early 20s, one with a gun, stormed into a home and ordered the young man and woman to lie face down. The thieves made off with some valuables and nobody was hurt.
- A home security system is crucial. Have it turned on overnight, when you're gone and even when you're home during waking hours. If there's a knock at the door, you have to make a decision to turn off your alarm and put yourself at risk.
- Don't be so trusting!! f you think "it might be a neighbor," you have to ask yourself, what earth-shaking reason could a neighbor be ringing your doorbell (at any time, for that matter) that you must risk your safety to answer it?
- Surveillance cameras that detect motion, connected to a DVR, and on every single minute. Put cameras at your front door so you can see exactly who is there.
- Peep hole. Simple. Install one.
- Special film on the windows that prevent invaders from penetrating
- A complete lock system on the doors, knob and deadbolt that are very difficult to disable
- Doors that are reinforced with steel and have other reinforcements on the hinges, frame, etc.