Home Invasions: The Biggest Mistakes Victims Make

Home invaders are among the most psychopathically deranged criminals on Earth. They have no concern for the sanctity of your privacy and absolutely no respect for your life. They have no reservations on the most heinous of behavior toward their captives, and little fear, if any at all, of consequences.

Unlike burglaries where the perpetrator does not like confrontations with the owner/occupants of the property and only wants to steal the property itself, and prefers to wait until the occupants are not at home, home invaders integrate their sociopath hatred in their  larcenous behavior. Their murderously evil thought processes rival the madness of the fanatical jihadist when it comes to hurting people in the process of other activities.

So you must realize that a very dangerous part of the home invasion psychology is that some of them are not even concerned with concealing their identity because if they perceive that exposure as a threat, they will murder the witnesses. So they will often use an open pretense manipulation to facilitate entry and access to you inside your home and then force you to comply.

Just recently the news reported that a new form of home invasions are occurring where the homes are invaded so that the occupants can be kidnapped and forced to assist in a bank robbery for large sums of cash.

The occupants are targeted because they are executives/employees of a bank and can enter and access cash without setting off  bank alarms or arousing suspicion from other employees. These are usually perpetrated during daylight hours and the victims are always caught ‘off guard’ in the semi-privacy of their property, but nevertheless completely unprepared for the attack.

When police arrive at the scene of a particularly bad home invasion when the owner/occupants were  captured, assaulted, detained, tortured and worse, there’s a dirty little reality which the police discover that almost always rears it’s ugly head in these situations.

RELATED: 6 Safety Tips Burglars Don’t Want You To Know

The home invasion could have been almost certainly prevented with only a few specific precautions. In fact,  in most of these cases the victims had  unconsciously or inadvertently provided the home invaders with ’assistance’ in their crime!  Due to their casual disregard for some basic security measures, either through ignorance or denial,  they facilitated, instead of deterred the home invasion.

The Biggest Mistakes Home Invasion Victims Make 

1. Thinking it can’t happen to you.

Sometimes referred to as the Pollyanna Syndrome, or intransigent Normalcy Bias, far too many victims are found to have potentially fatal attitude that it could never happen to them for any number of wrong reasons.

Maybe they think that their very nice and quiet high end neighborhood just doesn’t subscribe to such things as home invasions? That it only happens in  ‘bad’ areas?  Or that their police will prevent it completely because of the higher property taxes they pay and all the nice new ‘crime prevention’ equipment they have?

Any number of blithely air-headed notions invariably lull the ideal victim into a false sense of security and complacency, which may amount to pronouncing your own death sentence for your own ‘crime’ of apathetic disregard of reality.

Most of it is common sense. Why wouldn’t home invaders target homes in a ‘good neighborhood’? That’s where the ‘money’ is? But don’t think that average neighborhoods, and even lower end inner city areas are immune. With more and more people NOT keeping their cash in banks anymore because of no interest gains and potential economic crashes, and banking seizures on your accounts like in Greece, I predict that home invasion crimes will be increasing everywhere.

Maybe even more so in a lower income neighborhood where most don’t have sophisticated anti-intrusion alarm systems? Think of the ‘likelihood odds’ like this. Home invasions are an evil form of lottery. Anybody, anywhere has about the same chance to win, or rather ‘Lose’ and everybody living in society automatically buys a ticket.

2. Opening the door for the criminals.

NEVER, EVER open the door for ANYBODY you don’t know (and even hesitate for a second while you run a computer check on the situation with your ’6th sense’ gut feeling program for someone you DO know). EVEN a person in a police uniform, unless you see the actual police patrol car out front. And not even for someone you think you know, or appears to be harmless… like a young child. Acute Situational Awareness is not a natural state of mind. So it must be developed, and intentionally re-enforced until it is a habit.

Criminals will always prefer the ‘easy’ targets and home invasion doesn’t always mean that they have to smash and break in…in order to GET in. Every ploy and disguise known to man has been used to ‘Trojan horse’ access to a privately locked or otherwise secured premise from pizza deliveries to ’lost’ children, to UPS deliveries, to Utility workers knocking to notify you of a ’gas leak’!

That was the ploy of an infamous rapist case where the home invader  got away with several daytime home invasions before he was caught  by posing as a city utility worker (because he actually was one) to gain access and assault the women.

You’ll never regret being overly cautious with strangers coming to your door. And anybody who dares to criticize you afterward in this day and age should have their own ‘head examined’.

In the case of gut wrenching stressful instant decision making like an ‘apparently’ valid accident victim knocking and begging for help, and I’ve heard of them saying things like “…oh,  please God someone help me please, my infant is trapped in my car which is smashed into a pole and on fire….!” If you  look out your window and don’t see the car crashed anywhere down the street, you simply can’t ignore the light bulb flashing in your brain that why is she way over here on my house instead of a block down knocking on a closer to the crash site house? DON’T open the door. Even if there appears to be blood on the person’s face. Fake blood is easy to get at any novelty outlet. You’d be surprised by how many people would fall for this instinctively, but you would be shocked at how horrible it always turns out for them!

For this type of stuff the only assured safe response — especially if you are NOT a police officer or a first responder — is to NOT OPEN the door, not even slightly with the cross chain on only to communicate better. One body slam or kick can easily break that chain and let them in. Instead  immediately dial 911. That’s the best thing to do even if it is a legitimate emergency.

If the person persists at your door, you might try yelling out through the CLOSED door that you called the police and  ‘they’ll be right there to help you.’

Another ’counter-ploy’ tactic if it’s somebody suspicious like a pizza you didn’t order or something apparently just an innocuous mistake,  is to say something like… “ Um, hold on a moment,  My son’s a police officer and he’s downstairs now.  I’ll get him and you can talk to him…”  Then dial 911.  If it’s a home invader he/she will likely  leave.

In any thing like this you should already have your pistol on you after you call 911  Just in case the predator tries a psycho break-in. Unlike a middle of the night break-in where the home invaders are already inside searching and you could bolt out the window or a side door and run away, daylight home invasions can involve a ’team’ effort and one of them might be posted at other entrances or exists.

While you’re waiting for police just situate yourself obliquely to the area where the home invader would first appear, preferably behind a piece of furniture for some cover, and if the home invader breaks through the door or window, open fire on them as soon as they are in. A lot of people think they can open the door as long as they have their gun in hand, or held down behind their leg out of sight, but ready to bring up and fire.

Don’t do that. Intruders can move fast because the hand is often quicker than the eye. They can burst in and knock you down and take your gun in less than one second. Also there have been cases of  real grubby looking plain clothes cops knocking on doors while on an area canvass and demanding to talk to the occupant wanting only to know if saw something and the occupant — thinking that they are probably cops but since they were not wearing visible badges — he still kept his pistol noticeably by his side when he opened the door…

…and the cops instantly shot him. Right in his own doorway.  They were the type of cops who go directly into the dreaded ‘shoot first and ask questions’ mode when they see anybody with a gun. DON’T open the door, even for cops, unless you see a uniformed patrol car out there.

But make sure you still call 911 first. The dispatcher should easily be able to connect to the cops knocking at your door for verification.  If they can’t, have them send a squad car to investigate.

RELATED: Home Defense On A Budget: 20 Inexpensive Tips

3. Backyard and driveway home invasions.

While most people seem to focus only on the inside protection of their houses, it is almost just as important, particularly in some neighborhoods and home construction, to have a defensive preventative plan in place for getting ‘invaded’ on the approach to your home or land in close proximity to the house. Such as driveways and relatively visually private back yards with easy unrestricted access.

Besides door knock ploys by home invaders, another ‘passive’ attack is approaching someone from off the front street sidewalk into their front or side driveways where they are washing their cars or working on their bicycles or something with the garage door open. Since this is a short and quick approach, a home owner can be ’caught’ off guard even if she just pulled in and is getting out of her car before she can get inside the house.

Similar to a ‘Car Jacking’ but most likely better concealed from the general public. Many missing persons abductions investigations began with the police looking at a car still running in the driveway with the driver’s door left open but the driver nowhere to be found. And of course if someone comes in your yard and gets to you before you can run in the house and lock the door, all the double dead bolts and steel barred windows in the world aren’t going to help at all.

The main solution here is also counterintuitive. After a hard day at work or ‘guerilla mall shopping day’  your body tends to automatically release its tension  and relax most outside focus as you pull into your driveway, turn off the ignition and all you can visualize is that ice cold brewski (or green tea with lemon) waiting for you in the fridge.

Again, this is where Acute Situational Awareness trumps all. But it’s either a ‘do’ or you ‘don’t do’ thing. If you do, you’ll have a tremendous advantage as you move through your habitat surroundings. When seconds count, even the slightest forewarning can mean everything. If you’re ‘caught’ and stunned by the ‘element of surprise’, it may be too late to save yourself.

If you are ‘visualizing’ scenarios as you pull in your driveway or even approach the house on the street, your mind will be tuned to quickly pick up anomalies. If something doesn’t ’feel’ or ’look’ right you should trust your gut feelings. It’s far better to be slightly inconvenienced, but safe, than forever sorry.

So sometimes if you just wait a second in the security of your windows up and locked vehicle still running and take a harder look around your vicinity you might not be surprised then if someone was fast approaching and you can get your gun out and ready, or pull back out of the driveway, and call the police.

And oh by the way, if you  didn’t have a good anti-intrusion system and come home to find a door or a window broken into and instead of backing away and dialing 911 you make the mistake of trying to go in to see what happened and come face to face with the burglar(s). You might have made the last tactical mistake of your life.

I know some of you who carry your pistols think that fact allows you to automatically become a cop on your own property. It doesn’t. These type of situations occur too frequently and while I won’t elaborate here suffice to be warned that they almost never turn out well…for you!

Don’t go in. Even if you are armed. Back away, get back in your car and call the police, and wait for them.

Similarly with someone suddenly appearing in your back yard. I, personally, would immediately resort to condition RED, and try to quickly get back in my house if I didn’t have a gun on me. If I had one, I’d pull it and order the stranger to freeze and drop to his knees.

I’m already in fear of my life at that point and my state has Castle Doctrine laws, so anybody willfully trespassing has to either be mentally deficient or intentionally dangerous to just walk onto someone’s private property without warning or notice. Either/or is a serious threat to you life justifying the use of deadly self defense.

Sometimes the predators will actually ‘hide in the bushes’ for a type of surprise jump out ambush attack on a homeowner when coming in or out. Especially if they know the times of daily routines from previously casing out the target. Ambushes are always hard to defeat.

Your particular house style and landscape arrangement is important here if you worry about it. You could also put cheap wireless motion detecting devices in vulnerable places to alert you in advance if someone is moving around there. Here again, acute awareness and planned reaction will go a long way to change all the dynamics. 

Home Invasion

4. Having the wrong strategy. 

If you’re a trained gunfighter or police officer or a combat Vet armed to the teeth and  have very good anti intrusion sensors/alarms to alert you in advance that somebody is starting to break in or just entered the immediate ‘forbidden’ proximity of your house, it’s  very low odds that the home invaders would be successful in their home invasion attempt. The problem is that most of us don’t go by the name of John Rambo.

There is also extensive tactical information on preparing for home invasions once the predators are already INSIDE your homeEverything from safe rooms to complex counter ambush tactics within your home against the perpetrators with SWAT style weapons and clearing tactics, and  armed counter-resistance tactics.

Let me point out a dangerous problem with the reactionary methodology compared to the proactive prevention tactics. ESPECIALLY if you are an amateur whose experience amounts to nothing more than what you learned from the action movies you were drowsily watching before you dozed on the couch from an overstuff of too many potato skins and beer.

Most ‘real’ experts, with serious empirical knowledge and field experience  will agree that it’s almost too late to come out of a violent home invasion completely unscathed  once criminals ‘successfully’ gained entrance and you now are waiting for an imminent confrontation, or you, or a loved one, are already being physically assaulted or you’re already in hot CQB. Somebody has to lose, and lose badly. Either you, or the intruders. The dynamics are less predictable once they are inside no matter how ‘good’ you think you are. It is ALWAYS better to STOP them early and hard BEFORE they get their hands on you.

And the above ‘reactive’ measures in terms of any plausible advantages are simply not feasible for most people, especially the elderly, and can’t be brought to odds beating capability of the majority of citizens for a variety of reasons.

Reactive training for civilians like ‘clearing your home’ after you think someone has broken in, is so tactically stupid  for the average person that I can’t believe that some so-called ‘experts’ actually offer extensive manuals and videos on this for amateurs that even a real Swat Team would grimace at.

If you were not a member of a Marine Force Recon rifle team with months of house to house clearing ‘search’ experience in Iraq then you have no business doing a one person ‘house clearing’ if you think you’ve just been home invaded. Even police responders prefer to have a highly trained dog do the initiatory ‘search’ on command while they surround the house!

The cold hard reality is that if your initial perimeter egress fortifications were not optimized and dangerous home invaders are already inside your home and you are not yet being directly confronted and attacked your best option should be to GET THE HELL OUT OF DODGE, while you still can.

Quickly dashing out a door or a window and down the street screaming is a much better option, even with gun in hand, as you can shoot back suppressing fire to keep them from catching you to make your escape. Obviously this is difficult to do in a 6th floor apartment. People in high rises with no options for escaping should consider serious anti-intrusion counter-force systems and/or safe rooms with dedicated communications to call police.

Also, many of us can’t afford even a decent tactical firearms training and practice to better the odds of survival. We’re lucky if we can just learn basic safety and handling skills.

Senior citizens are a prime target for home invasions yet many of them are not healthy enough to enable to maximize their physical capabilities enough even with some training or knowledge of firearms for effective confrontational scenarios against pumped up physically superior predators.

What if you’re an elderly couple or single person with health issues living alone on a minimalist budget? So what’s the single best solution for them? Do they even have a chance? 

We’ll start by boiling down the home invasion to its most basic physical movements and deal with the least complicated universal counter measures to prevent the home invasion from even happening to begin with. This ultimately turns out to be the least expensive and almost the most effective defense tactic of all to stop home invasions before they start.

But we are going to answer these questions in our next article on home invasion. So check up our website and stay prepared!

 This article has been written by Mahatma Muhjesbude for Survivopedia.

Written by

Mahatma Muhjesbude is a former Spec-ops combat Vet, LEO, international security consultant, and private contractor. He has instructor level credentials and skills in various survival disciplines. He is a dedicated advocate of Liberty and Justice for all and a proactive defender of our Constitutional rights. He strongly believes that the best value you can give back in life is vital knowledge through experience, and that's why he's writing for Survivopedia, using a pen name to protect his real identity. You can send Mahatma a message at editor [at] survivopedia.com

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