As my friend was telling me about their home invasion, I tried to imagine how anyone would cope with the feeling of being violated - while you were sleeping. She was thankful they did sleep through it or it could have turned ugly.
While they were waiting for the police to arrive, they took inventory. Vicky's purse was gone as well as their cell phones. But both iPads were untouched that were sitting next to the phones. All the office drawers had been opened and a small amount of cash taken. Vicky's car keys were used to steal her car out of the driveway. It was driven to the closest gas station a block away and parked, undamaged. The invader left several lights on in the house and had searched through drawers and cupboards. They assumed that the last room he entered was the bedroom and when he realized they were asleep, left in a hurry.
Trying to put the pieces together as to how this happened, Vicky's husband remembered he had left his car unlocked a few days earlier and now realized his garage door opener was missing.
Since this happened, they have installed an alarm system which they did not feel was needed in this upscale, quiet neighborhood.
I found the suggestions the police gave for protecting yourself were nothing short of humorous and dangerous. This is how I would have responded to what the police told her:
Police: It is a good idea to keep a baseball bat on the floor, next to your bed.
Me: Let me get this straight. Someone comes into my home, even into my bedroom and I am supposed to roll out of bed, find the bat in the dark and hopefully get the opportunity to swing it at the intruder. But wait, it gets better.
Police: When you hit him, you cannot hit him in the head. You need to aim it behind the knees.
Me: Got it! I roll out of bed, grab the bat, then ask the invader to turn around so I can hit him behind the knees. Sounds easy enough.
|Not THAT'S my idea of a bat|
Me: Is this why my weapon of choice should be a bat? I assume this would be the lesser weapon in each scenario. If I don't see what type of weapon he has; i.e., a gun or a knife, should I ask him in hopes it will give me time to run down to the kitchen and get a knife? Am I allowed to use a bigger knife than the one he is using? If he has a switchblade, am I allowed to use a meat cleaver or must I find the paring knife that is in the dishwasher?
Police: If you catch the thief red handed and he is leaving, you may NOT, I repeat....NOT attack him from the rear.
Me: So, do I shout "Have a nice day!" as he is carrying off my purse and jewelry?
Police: The best mode of protection against home invasion is to leave all the lights on inside and outside the house 24/7.
Me: Are you on crack? You are telling me that if someone is watching my house, preparing to rob me, they won't notice I never turn my lights off? And do you suggest I wear eye pads so I can sleep with the lights on? Do we leave the lights on so the thieves can see what they are doing? And what about conserving energy?
Police: Under no circumstances can you maim or kill the intruder. You could get sued.
Me: I love this one. Think about it. My small children are sleeping in another room. I do not know how many intruders are in my house. A man is approaching me with a knife or gun and I am not supposed to defend myself? Should I call my accountant first to see if I would have enough funds to fight the lawsuit?
And a question I would have for the police -- What about a guard dog? You did not even suggest that. Do you not like dogs? Don't you think that is a much better mode of protection instead of leaving the lights on? And if my dog attacks the intruder, does he need to follow the same rules? Does he have to wait for the intruder to bite him first?
Now, I ask you several questions. First of all, what do you think you would do in this situation? Follow your instincts and protect yourself and your family or do nothing and hope you stay safe? What are your feelings about having a weapon beside your bed? Would you be prepared to use it? Do you feel the suggestions given by the police are reasonable or......?
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