We know from reading just a few police reports on burglaries what the bad guys like to steal from you: cash, jewelry, electronics, guns, and prescription drugs top the list. The non-cash items can be turned into cash easily, which is what the thieves want – and the goal is often to feed a drug habit, which is driving increased home intrusions in many parts of the US. But a report I just read from the Philadelphia suburbs shows that the penalty can fit the crime – or as in this case, the crimes.
A Towamencin man will not be preying on Montgomery County residents for a long time. Christopher Homoney was sentenced to 17 1/2 to 35 years in a state prison for burglarizing 41 residences in the eastern and central parts of the county in 2009. President Judge Richard J. Hodgson, who handed down the sentence, also ordered Homoney to pay his victims a combined $32,000 in restitution.
Stealing Heirlooms to Feed an Addiction
The judge noted that some of the jewelry, which Homoney stole to feed his drug addiction and has never been recovered, had sentimental value to the victims. “You have taken away their memories, pieces of their lives,” Hodgson told Homoney. “You have also stolen their peace of mind. They can never again enter their homes without wondering what awaits them. That is an awful fact of life.” One victim testified that Homoney stole the engagement ring he gave to his wife, a ring had been in his family for three generations and that he and his wife had hoped to pass down to their daughter.
Even Worse – Damaging Psychological Effects
The victim also testified that his 17-year-old son still has trouble sleeping at night. The teen wakes up in the middle of the night and cannot go back to sleep until he checks to make sure all the doors and windows are locked, according to the victim.
This is a common theme for burglary victims: the sense of violation and loss of security can be lasting. Just one more reason why it makes sense to protect your home using reasonable safeguards – like a monitored home alarm system with cellular monitoring.
The Burglar Mentality
“When you are on drugs, you do not think about anyone or anything else,” said Homoney. “You only think about your next fix and where you will get the money for it.” “The stark fact is that you didn’t do anything about your addiction,” the judge told Homoney. “If you had, we probably would not be here today.” County Assistant District Attorney James W. Staerk argued for a stiff state prison sentence, claiming that Homoney “violated the sanctity of the home, one place where people go to feel safe” and “needs to be taken off our streets.”
The burglaries to which Homoney pleaded guilty earlier this year began in July 2009 and continued until his arrest in December 2009. They primarily involved daylight break-ins at apartments and townhouses. Authorities did recover a “large stash” of stolen items at a Whitpain residence where he was staying. The items included jewelry, coins and similarly small, easy-to-grab articles.
For homeowners everywhere, these stories are frightening to read. And of course, the best way to deter a burglar in the first place is with a monitored home alarm system. If the perps are not scared away by the loud siren, then the police will deal with them. More and more homes are choosing peace of mind with a home alarm, and that’s where FrontPoint can help. We’re the leader in wireless home security and the #1 ranked home alarm company in the US. 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 you can have the peace of mind from knowing that your home and family are more secure. Sadly, there are plenty of burglars still out there.