In July of 2007 the state of Connecticut was rocked by the report of a home invasion in Cheshire that resulted in arson and murder. It took over three years until the first of the two perpetrators was convicted and sentenced – but shortly after the event occurred, the State of Connecticut toughened its law regarding home invasion.:
Within months of the July 2007 crime, state lawmakers passed a bill that made home invasion a Class A felony punishable by 10 to 25 years in prison; Gov. M. Jodi Rell signed the bill into law the following January. Through the end of June, 2010, 11 people had been convicted of the offense in state courts, including one person in Danbury, and most in conjunction with other crimes. More than 200 cases remained pending.
The Cheshire case (or Petit case, after the name of the family that was victimized) was particularly heinous. While it’s rare for a crime that so directly intersects with home security to make the headlines, this one was truly the exception, as you can see in this excerpt (click here for the full report: I warn you, it’s a tough read).
The killings, which drew comparisons to the 1959 slayings portrayed in Truman Capote’s book “In Cold Blood,” were so unsettling that they became a key issue in the death penalty debate in Connecticut’s governor’s race and led to tougher state laws for repeat offenders and home invasions. Gov. M. Jodi Rell cited the case when she vetoed a bill that would have abolished the death penalty.
This story does offer a more direct connection to the alarm industry, in the form of another enforcement action taken by the state. After the crime was reported, a large national alarm company distributed fliers in the neighborhood where the home invasion occurred. Local residents complained, and the state’s Consumer Protection Commissioner investigated. Part of the story is below (here’s the link to the full article):
ADT Security Services Inc. left its fliers in the neighborhood in the days following the killing of three members of the Petit family, a move that angered many neighbors who felt the solicitations were in bad taste so soon after the tragedy. Consumer Protection Commissioner Jerry Farrell Jr. looked into the matter and ruled earlier this month that the advertisements were a violation of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act. The department has jurisdiction over false advertising under the act, Farrell said.
“When I heard about ADT leafleting the neighborhood, and saw the flier in question, I was outraged,” Farrell said in a statement released Friday. “While one cannot say that this advertisement was false, the timing and nature of it was totally inappropriate.” Farrell said ADT agreed to an “assurance of voluntary compliance” that included an order to cease and desist. In that order, ADT pledged not to solicit or advertise “in close proximity to an area in which a tragic event took place, in a manner which could be construed as capitalizing upon a tragic event,” Farrell said.
With today’s headlines, it is fairly easy to see why a wireless home alarm system is a logical approach to protecting your home and family. But FrontPoint also understands why it’s important not to cross the line, as happened after the case in Cheshire. We’d just as soon focus on fire monitoring, interactive features, and soon-to-be released control of light, locks, and thermostats, since those are great features, and are what make FrontPoint the leader in interactive, wireless home security. But, we are in the business of providing peace of mind – and that starts with your home alarm system.