The primary purpose of home security is to prevent home invasion — that’s why we think it’s so important to set up your home automation and security system as soon as possible.
So many burglary stories could have been prevented by a decent security system. Here are 8 crazy home invasion stories to inspire you to look into DIY or professional home monitoring.
Barefoot Burglar Gets His Final Sentence
You may recall the story about Colton Harris-Moore, who as a teenager was busted for committing over 100 burglaries in the Pacific Northwest.
He stole cars, speedboats and airplanes and is known as the "Barefoot Burglar" because he kicked off his shoes running through the woods from the police.
After two years of running, Harris-Moore was busted in a chase that involved police, boats and bullets.
Most of these stories usually end up with the perpetrator being dead. But this now-20-year-old will live to tell another tale-from prison.
Last summer, he signed a movie deal to make $1.3 million with 20th Century Fox.
However, he won't earn any money from this, as all the funds will go to restitution.
Fox News reports, "The young man known as the 'Barefoot Bandit' pleaded guilty to burglary Wednesday in a Washington County court, perhaps closing the lengthy saga involving a run from the law in stolen cars, boats and airplanes.
Judge Rickert acknowledged Harris-Moore's difficult childhood and lack of parental support that led him to start breaking into cabins and stores as a teenager and that ended with dozens of felony convictions.
"'This is the high cost of low living,' the judge said. 'If you can fly an airplane by a manual,' the judge said, 'I guess you can pass a GED in three weeks.' Browne said it wouldn't be the last chapter in the Harris-Moore story, 'because you're going to hear a lot more from Colton, but in positive ways.'"
There is only one Barefoot Burglar, but there are thousands of others breaking into the business every day.
- Lock your doors and windows.
- Install a monitored alarm system.
- Give your home that lived-in look.
- Leave the TV on LOUD while you are gone.
- Install timers on your lights-both indoor and outdoor.
- Close the shades to prevent peeping inside.
- Use defensive signage.
Burglar Seen on Video Hovering Over Baby
What was going through the head of a burglar as he was hovering over a baby after breaking into a house? Did he momentarily pause to take a breather and find a sense of peace and calm at the sight of an innocent baby? Or...was he contemplating harming the toddler or kidnapping?
One thing we know for sure: The 19-year-old actually hovered over the sleeping baby, as this was caught on tape. The man admitted to involvement in two other Houston burglaries, and in one of those he had stolen a gun.
The latest crime occurred on April 5 and the video went viral.
The burglar's name is Christopher Gomez; he confessed to being the star of the video.
His arrest record includes breaking into a car and marijuana possession.
Gomez committed the April 5 crime while the baby's family was asleep.
Nobody heard him enter (makes you wonder what kind of home security the homeowner had, but that's a whole new article).
A laptop computer and briefcase, property of the homeowner, were found later in a neighbor's yard.
Gomez's lawyer stated that he's not sure that the man in the video is his client (even though Gomez confessed).
Furthermore, the lawyer, Ralph Gonzalez, pointed out that even if his client is the intruder, he didn't harm the baby or anyone else. Gonzales added that the video makes the crime seem worse than it actually was.
Gomez is in jail meanwhile, but if he gets out, he's ordered to remain within a thousand feet of his home and wear an ankle monitor.
Interestingly, as bailiffs escorted Gomez from the courtroom, he mouthed "Hi Mom," to his family members. It's safe to assume that his mother then thought, "Where did I go wrong?"
Don’t Mess with This Pint-Sized Woman
April Marchessault got attacked just after midnight inside her bathroom. At 5-1, she wasn't intimidated by the 5-7, 200 pound man.
Edgardo Montes, 47, got his clock thoroughly cleaned.
He was charged with breaking and entering and intent to rape, plus other charges. It all began when April took out the trash, reports eagletribune.com.
She left the back door open. What are the odds that this formerly convicted rapist just happened to be out there? Well, it happened.
Never leave doors unlocked!
She went into the bathroom to clean the sink.
Edgardo crept up from behind and wrapped his arms around her chest so hard she couldn't turn around. But when he tried to force her face into the sink, she kind of hulked out.
April turned around and pushed him back, but somehow he struck her in the jaw.
She pushed him again and pulled his shirt off (which was already partially pulled up to conceal his face). He headed for the back door but April got there first, pushing him out.
Then she started beating him, making him fall down some steps.
"I ran down the stairs and I kept hitting him in the face and head with my fist," says the Massachusetts woman. "I was stomping on his knee." She "kept hitting him" as he was trying to get up. April then began hitting him in the head repeatedly with a trash can.
Edgardo was so beaten he couldn't get up, and by then, April's father stood guard over him while waiting for the police.
Amazingly, April's three young sons slept through everything.
Points of Interest
- April has no martial arts training; what enabled her was anger and wit.
- Martial arts training, however, can reprogram a woman's way of thinking so that if she's ever assaulted, she could maintain her wits and think tactically rather than in a panicked state.
- Never leave your doors unlocked even for a moment, especially at night. It takes just seconds to lock the door right behind you after you re-enter your home!
Burglars Use Distraction to Rob Elderly Woman
If some kind of service person shows up at your door-tree trimmer, roofer, alarm company rep, sewer man, water man, this man, that man...THINK FIRST.
Service personnel from reputable companies don't just show up unannounced at your door seeking out your business. A tree man showed up out of the blue to a 70-something woman's home recently in Delaware.
He claimed to be cutting trees for a neighbor and wanted the woman to step outside and discuss her tree line.
The woman didn't lock the door behind her and went outside with the unsolicited stranger. He then left.
The next day, she discovered her jewelry was missing. She told police she did not see anybody else with the man
However, it's highly likely he was a crook, and his accomplice was hiding somewhere, waiting for his chance to slip into the woman's house.
It's possible this duo tried a few dozen times to pull off this stunt before finding this home occupant.
You can see how easy it is to pull off a crime like this: a crime of distraction, which may have initially come in the form of flattery-complimenting on the woman's yard and trees, then offering a discount for some trimming since the guy was (allegedly) cutting a neighbor's trees.
Sometimes the bogus tradesman talks his way inside the house, and steals things while he's there after asking the occupant to fetch him a glass of water.
Or, he asks to use the bathroom, and once in there, unlocks the window and screen to create an entry point for a near-future burglary.
Prevention of Distraction Burglaries
- Never feel you must jump up to answer the door every time someone's there. If you're not expecting anyone, let the doorbell ring or ignore the knocking.
- Even if the visitor is legitimate, it's a good bet they aren't offering something that you desperately need or aren't a representative of your grandfather's brother's estate there to inform you you've just inherited half a million dollars.
- You've heard of "Just do it," right? Well, how about "Just don't do it"? Just don't answer the door, especially if you live alone and have a lot of valuables.
- Whenever you leave your house, lock the door, even if you'll be back in a minute.
- Be very suspect of home security system salespeople. Lots of scammers out there.
Robber Takes a Snapchat Selfie with Victim
Now this guy is about as sharp as a bowling ball: He and two or three accomplices robbed four people at gunpoint, and then he took a selfie with one of the victims.
Like his image would never lead to his arrest.
And who is this genius? Victor Almanza-Martinez. The 19-year-old Einstein committed the crime this past December in Pacific Grove, CA.
The victims were in a parked car when the alleged gang members ordered them out of the vehicle, then robbed them.
Before taking off in the car, Almanza-Martinez made one of the victims, a woman, pose with him for a selfie. He then sent her the photo. One report says it was via Snapchat, while another said it was via email.
Either way, it's a shining example of a "dumbest criminal."
At the time of the selfie, the victim was probably either petrified or repulsed, but hopefully, she also was aware of the light at the end of the tunnel during this stupid move and hence stayed calm while trying to hide her smirk-because she knew she'd get him with the evidence.
So what did Genius think she'd do with the image once he fled?
Just delete it and nothing more? Hah! She contacted the police.
And that's how this worthless thug was captured. Interestingly, he had covered his face with a bandana for the shot, but too bad for him he didn't know that that's not good enough-what with today's imagery technology.
His mugshot photos were already in the system, and helped the police nail him in under 12 hours-right at his home.
As of this writing, his accomplices are still on the loose. But hopefully they'll do something just as stupid and get themselves caught.
Almanza-Martinez isn't the only crook to spin a web that eventually traps him.
More and more, lawbreakers are incriminating themselves via the lure of social media.
The range of how this is done is broad, including using stolen smartphones to upload selfies.
So before you curse the detriments of social media, remember that it's responsible for getting a lot of bad guys caught.
Idiot Burglar Takes Selfie
About 7 a.m. on a Saturday a burglar entered a home through an unlocked side door (how anyone can sleep overnight while a door stays unlocked is a whole new article).
The dumb criminal saw an iPhone and unknowingly triggered a video selfie-showing him standing in the living room during this recent L.A. crime-while three residents were fast asleep including two teen girls. (Again, why didn't the adult of the home, a woman, lock all the doors...)
A similar scene played out in the UK when a woman tried to unlock a hot iPhone. It had an app called iGotYa. This application automatically sends a photo to the owner.
Another case has the owner of a phone receiving an email of a photo of a man who tried to access the phone with a wrong PIN.
These "got ya" moments can happen to an innocent finder of a lost phone.
There's yet another case of a man who apparently stole a phone on the beach while its lax female owner went skinny dipping.
This occurred in Dubai, and the thief was not able to figure out how to switch off the auto-photo upload tool. As a result, a video ensued called "Life of a stranger who stole my iPhone."
There are easier ways to locate a lost phone than a "got ya" type app, though this application might one day come in handy for the woman whose unlocked door let in the burglar-who is still at large and nameless.
- Google has a "Find My Phone" tool. Just type this into the Google search engine and take it from there.
- There are many paid and free apps that provide numerous commands for remote control such as wiping data, locking the phone, setting off an alarm and resetting the passcode.
- Apple has "Find my iPhone".
- The lost phone is tracked.
- Users can remotely wipe it.
- Just locking it (without wiping it) can still leave messages viewable to anyone who comes upon the phone.
A "kill switch" would allow the phone's owner to remotely wipe all data and render the phone unusable. In California a new law was passed mandating that, starting this past July, all mobiles sold in the state must have a kill switch.
Burglar Apprehended By Homeowner, Hogtied
Picture this: It's 6:00 a.m.
You're getting ready for work, having your morning coffee, when you hear glass breaking near your daughter's bedroom.
You quickly head over to investigate and see a crackhead breaking into your garage.
What do you do? Call the police? Evacuate? Get a weapon? Or bum-rush the idiot, hogtie him with rope, call the police, then leave him in your front yard for your wife to watch over while you go to work?
If you chose "bum-rush," then you might be from Oklahoma. Because that's exactly what happened when a burglar chose the wrong home.
NewsOn6 reports, "'I was like, "That's my man!" I was really proud of him, he's like a superhero,'" said Denay Houston of her husband, who apprehended the burglar.
As soon as the burglar was tied up, Houston said her husband turned to her and said he had to leave to go work. So, he called the police and let his wife watch over his catch. "That's just the type of person he is, you know? Business is business. 'I got to take care of business, he's safe, the police are coming, I got to go,'" she said.
It's hard to say what you'd do in this situation. I know if my family were in danger I'd probably head toward the dangerous individual while instructing my family to escape out another exit.
I'd more than likely have pepper spray in hand, as they are all over my house.
But if a gun or knife had been involved, it may not have turned out so well.
But! The broken window in this scenario would set off my home security alarm due to "glass break" sensors, and any intruder coming within 100 yards of my home would be alerted to me by my dog, who would also go after the idiot.
It's nice to see a little justice taking place. Nice job, Mr. Houston. Now get a home security system. Please, sir.
Preacher Charged with Burglary
Can you believe it? A man of the cloth was up to no good.
What has the world come to?
A pastor from Tennessee was caught on a security camera trying to break into the home of one of his parishioners.
It's not the prison-heading pastor's first pass with the po-po; it seems he's got a nasty drug habit that's seemingly hard to break, and he's been busted before.
USA Today reports: "[The suspect] was already on probation after pleading guilty in 2011 to aggravated burglary in Rutherford County, avoiding a four-year prison sentence by begging a judge for mercy, forgiveness and a chance to treat his addiction."
His victim was a 70-year-old spitfire named Jewel, who was quoted saying, "I opened the back door and there he stood in the kitchen. I grabbed him by his shirt and I said, 'I got you now, you ain't goin' nowhere,'" she said. "He kept saying, 'Jewel, let me go.' I said, 'No! You stole my medicine.'"
Drugs, man. Drugs. Drugs make people do stupid, desperate things.
Lucky for Jewel, the pill-popping pastor wasn't violent, but he apparently still has his own demons to exorcise, and it seems he needs to cast aside his evil ways and practice what he preaches.
Jewel and her fellow church goers need to understand they can only pray for protection so much, but then they need to take action too. Much of society sits back and keeps their fingers crossed, hoping such a thing won't happen to them. And when it does, even after their pastor was busted years earlier and they invite him back, they wonder how and why this could've happened-because that's his "normal."
Bad, as we know it, works in mysterious ways.
About the Author:
Robert Siciliano is a personal and home security specialist for BestHomeSecurityCompanys.com.