All across the US, more homeowners are confronting burglars – and the results can be deadly. In this prior post, I described a police officer being shot in his own home by two intruders. Happily, the police officer survived. But with increasing numbers of burglaries being committed by drug users looking to support their habit, the odds of your emerging unscathed from a chance encounter with a bad guy are getting worse.
It seems there are two basic scenarios where confrontation occurs:
1) The homeowner comes home and surprises a burglar in the act. Instead of calling the police and waiting, some homeowners take matters into their own hands. By the way, it’s good to remember that having a monitored alarm system generally prevents this scenario in the first place, since the burglar would have either fled when the alarm was triggered, or been apprehended by police.
2) The homeowner is at home, and the intruder may (or may not) not have expected anyone to be at home. Since most burglaries happen during the day, when the home is more likely to be empty, we know that the average intruder wants to avoid the confrontation. Depending on your neighborhood and your comfort level, you may even want to arm your alarm system when home during the day – lots of FrontPoint customers do.
FrontPoint Customer Speaks Out
Recently one of our customers sent me an email with a link to another violent burglar confrontation story – one that ended badly for the property’s occupant. The customer who sent the link is named Jean, and she’s been a loyal subscriber since early 2008. In fact, I helped her with her original system. Here’s her email:
When I read this article, I realized how lucky I was this didn’t happen to me a few years ago when I rushed to the scene of a break-in at my property when I got the FrontPoint Security text message alert after 1 a.m. one winter morning about breaking glass at my store! In hindsight, I should have just let law enforcement do their job rather than put myself in danger to protect my property and maybe catch a thief in the act. In the rural areas of our county, the property owner can often react faster to a remote alarm than the local sheriff’s department, since they have so much territory to cover. A lot of thieves are looking for scrap metal these days to support their drug habit, which makes them desperate and dangerous. By rushing to the scene myself, and getting there before law enforcement, I could have potentially confronted an armed intruder. Also I may have confused law enforcement when they arrived on scene with their canine unit, since I had already begun checking doors and walking around the premises….I could have even been mistaken for the intruder!
Jean clearly gets it: let the police do their job, even if you can get there first. It’s just not worth the risk. Here’s the article Jean sent, which provides the tragic details on a man in Pataskala, Ohio who responded to his alarm system before police could get there.
When Thomas Miller went to check on a burglar alarm Sunday morning at a barn on Mink Street, he didn’t even have a chance to get out of his car. Miller, 69, had gone in response to a burglar alarm at the barn around 6:40 a.m. Pataskala Police Chief Bruce Brooks said Miller had installed an alarm at the barn because it had been broken into multiple times in the past. Police received a call from the alarm company a minute before Miller did, but because Miller lived closer, virtually across the street, he made it to the barn first, Brooks said. Investigators think Miller was shot six times through the windshield of his car at the scene, Brooks said. “He didn’t even get out of his car,” said Brooks, adding the car remained running when firefighters and police arrived at the scene. The would-be robbers had been in the barn, Brooks said, and a metal wheel and various tools were ready to be loaded into the suspects’ truck when Miller pulled up the lane to the barn.
Police have arrested and charged two suspects in the case: one is a juvenile. The elder suspect has already served 13 years in prison for other crimes. And what were they stealing from the barn that morning, resulting in a murder? Scrap metal…
Of course, FrontPoint would like to see every home with a monitored alarm system – especially one based on safer cellular monitoring – to avoid these confrontations. We’re the leader in wireless home security, and the #1 ranked alarm company in the US. With a burglary occurring every 14 seconds, crime is on the rise in many parts of the US: it just makes sense to get the protection you want, need, and deserve. When you’re ready for a home alarm that’s safer, smarter, simpler, more affordable, and virtually impossible to defeat, you’re ready for FrontPoint: no hidden fees, the best interactive, wireless home alarm technology at the best price, and world-class service. And when you suspect there’s an uninvited guest in your home, please dial 911 and wait for the police.