It’s everyone’s worst nightmare. You’re brushing your teeth, getting ready for bed and suddenly you hear a noise and fear the worst. Someone is breaking into the house. While this scene is depicted in countless horror films, in reality, burglars typically target homes when they’re most likely to be empty. In general, this means the majority of thieves strike during the middle of a weekday when families are at home and school and their surrounding neighborhood is quiet. However, a smaller percentage of property crimes do occur in the opposite scenario: at night or when the residents are inside. Recently, a couple settling in for the evening was surprised by a bat-wielding thief attempting to rob their home. The terrifying incident ended in tragedy as the startled burglar attacked the pair, leaving both with critical injuries.
Though such incidents are relatively rare, they are more likely to end with fighting and greater destruction. If you encounter a similar situation, it’s best to diligently follow these guidelines to avoid a similar fate:
Confirm the break-in: It’s easy to jump to conclusions, especially if you’re home alone. Before taking any action, view your security cameras, if available. These handy devices are growing in popularity – for good reason. A homeowner can quickly quell any concerns by viewing footage on their smartphone.
Keep quiet: If you are certain that a prowler has entered the property, it’s best to stay silent. Engaging in a confrontation is dangerous, especially since the burglar likely assumed the home was empty. A startled thief may be prone to attack.
Call for help: Call 911 as soon as possible. A mother putting her young daughters to bed on an early Thursday night heard footsteps downstairs. Assuming it was her husband, she peered down to speak to him. Shockingly, she saw two masked burglars. She ran to a bedroom to phone the police, who arrived before anyone was hurt.
Leave the house: If feasible, exit the home and go to a neighbor for help. Wait at that location until authorities arrive and investigate the property. If you manage to call 911 while inside the house, follow the operator’s instructions. If you are on a second floor or other location where an escape is not quickly and safely accessible, a trained professional might suggest hiding inside a locked room.
Do not confront the intruder: Even those with defense training should not attempt to subdue a burglar. It is not always clear if a perpetrator is armed or violent. Some criminals are under the influence of substances and their behavior can be erratic.
Allow police to investigate: If you have a security camera, provide detectives with a copy of the recording. If you saw the burglar, provide a detailed description as soon as you can. Do not touch anything until police have cleared you to enter the home.
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