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Illinois Woman Robbed: How do we Prevent Home Invasion?

by George Wehby   |  October 20th, 2011 73

There aren’t many things that would be a living nightmare like that of a home invasion. There have been many  movies based on that plot because, for lack of a better phrase, it’s simply traumatizing. A 44-year-old woman in North Aurora, Ill., experienced this nightmare firsthand this past Friday morning.

Reports say an armed man entered her home through an unlocked door and, once inside, attacked her and tied her up. His accomplice helped rob her before the two men fled. Shortly after, she freed herself and escaped to call the police. The suspects are still at large.

Taking the limited information available from the article, I think we can still learn from this incident. The most obvious lesson is that the armed invader entered through an “unlocked door.”

This is a no-brainer. Lock your doors.

I doubt this is the first time she left her doors unlocked, there is even a chance these individuals may have known that. This incident seems to be a small-time, quick-grab style robbery, but home invasions can have more forethought and planning. There may have been some pre-incident indicators that this woman missed out on.

The individuals may have cased her house out days or weeks prior to the incident. Always be on the lookout for suspicious activity by individuals in your area.  They could be pretending to buy houses in your area, door-to-door sales or maybe taking survey — who knows. I am not saying automatically assume that people doing these things are plotting criminals, just do not assume they are not.

Another instruction note revolves around the time this incident occurred, morning. Sometimes, we assume bad guys only operate when it is dark.  This situation shows that sometimes bad guys wake up early to go to work as well. The idea is to always be prepared for a critical incident and to never assume just because it is daylight outside that you will not be attacked.

What other lessons can be learned? Do you think you have ever been cased for a crime?  What steps did you take to counter?

  • Bob

    With the Cheshire, CT home invasion a few miles away and 10 other armed home invasions in the past year within 30 miles, we have done several things to counter. First, we now deadbolt all of our doors and lock windows on ground level. We use our central alarm system everyday from dusk to dawn. We don't open the door for anyone we do not know. I've gotten my CCW in CT and have been to the range to practice with my decades old firearm. Have an excellent flashlight and cell phone next to my bed. Lastly, I've tactically reviewed my house from a defensive standpoint and know my best defensive position and that it would take 5 seconds from breaking down my door to my bedroom.

    • RiverRat57

      A few years back we had a young gal pushing a baby stroller carrying a clipboard casing houses. You never know, I have had my CPL for over 30yrs, I have now taken to carrying 24/7, 1911 for outside the house and a Bond Arms Snake Slayer while in the house, he wife doesn't see the need, oh well she'll get over it.

    • hicusdicus

      Invest in a more secure door.

      • Bob

        The five seconds is running from the broken down door to the Master Bedroom. It may take an additional 5-10 seconds to break down the door. If I'm in a deep sleep, worst case is 5 seconds from the time the central alarm goes off when the door is broken.

        • Alex

          Who cares about the door? They will try to unlock it. If it takes too much time, they'll go through the window. Have you seen anyone smashing in the door?

          • hicusdicus

            No body is going to unlock my doors without a key. To break through my doors you would need a battering ram. If one comes through the window they will make a lot of noise and the dogs will be waiting. One other thing, my windows cost over 400.00$ each and I will be murderously pissed off.

      • Alex

        A secure door? The weakest link in a house is a window and everybody, including robbers know that. Why would they try the door if they can easily get inside through the window.

    • John

      It is the Cheshire case that has also got me to consider my families saftey. Scared the hell out of me. I hope we never have to deal with such a situation. Be well.

      • Alex

        Don't be driven by fear, John. Fear paralyzes people and mice :-)

        • hicusdicus

          Fear will make your trigger finger twitch until the slide is locked open.

  • David

    How to prevent home invasions? We must act as a society to make them unprofitable for the invaders. If most of them are DOA when the police arrive this phenomenon will become rarer.

    • Edison Treternor

      men to that brother ….kill them all and let God sort out the mess on judgement day.

      • hicusdicus

        God won't sort it out. The legal system will do the sorting so make sure you have your ducks in a row.

    • Stephen Elam

      Damn Skippy….Nothing like a armed victim and a dead perp to change the stats

      • hicusdicus

        It will also change the stats of your bank account and your nervous system.

        • Morex

          So are you suggesting they should offer the perp something to drink while waiting for police to arrive…?

          • hicusdicus

            Why not be cordial after he is handcuffed and dog bit. You do have several sets of handcuffs don't you. While you are waiting for the police to arrive you could discuss what he might have to trade you for not testifying against him. For instance the title on his house and car. If you think all criminals are poor you got another think coming.

    • Bob

      I'm in this camp too. I figure one non-breathing criminal prevents at least 5 future violent crimes on victims that may not be able to fight back.

      • Derol F. Briscoe

        Hanging over my front porch is a sign I copied from Chuck Norris. "WE DO NOT CALL 911!" Along with a drawing if a 1911 and AR15. If the bad guys read my sign they will most likely move on to another home! Even if they don't speak English I think they will get the message. Probably 50% of the crime in this state is committed by illegal aliens from Mexico thanks to our governments refusal to get serious about this problem.

        • Al

          This is pure repubelican fear mongereing Briscoe – where are the Dukes when you need them??

        • milresq

          good job you just told the bad guys you have weapons in the house.

        • Ass Backwards

          You were married to one once.

    • Alex

      I concur. Most of thieves are repeat offenders and there are only so many of them. If, at every attempt, they will face armed resistance or a risk to their life, they would be more careful choosing their targets. But better yet is to eliminate the threat completely… I hope you know what I mean ;-)

  • broncobetty

    Where is the data that supports the theory that 50% of the cirme is commited by illegal aliens from Mexico in your state? Is that really a fact or just something that you heard and are repeating. People tend to believe that they live in a small safe communiites and fasley believe that evil does not happen in their town. We hear it all the time on the news. Some person with their head in the sand has the nerve to say on national T.V. that "that just doesn't happen in our small town or community." No one and no community is immue from violence , home invasions, robbery, or rape. Evil doesn't care what seize town you live in, what your race is, what your gender is or your religious beliefs are. Preperations, skills and resolve to defend yourself and family favors the prepared man or women.

    • Derol F. Briscoe

      Poor old liberal broncobetty must have landed on her head a few times too many! Just check out the prison population in Arizona and you will find out that one third of the inmates are illegals, mostly from Mexico. Last time I checked over 90% of arrest warrants for homicide in Los Angeles were for illegals, mostly from Mexico. Who do you think has made Phoenix the kidnap capitol of the world?? Who are the gangs that control the illegal drug trade in Arizona?? Most of the murders in Arizona are Mexican gang and drug related. All you have to do is pick up a local newspaper and check the names of criminals. Shockingly (to you) OVER 50% have names like: Gonzales, Ruiz, Garcia, Jesus, Avila, Alcala, Ramirez, Francisco, etc.,etc. I don't think they were from Ireland. Check the facts before you shoot off your big fat liberal mouth! This is not about race, it's about truth. Just for the record, the mother of my three sons was from Mexico!

      • Bob

        I don't think "liberals" say things like "Evil", "preparations", "skills", "resolve", "defend yourself and family", and "prepared man or woman". Further, "liberals" don't say "no community is immune from violence".

        • czam59

          That rediculous! I’m a liberal………..I say those things. And I protect myself and my family very well. It’s a dangerous world! Be smart…not paranoid. .

      • Ass backwards

        Truth, but how many of your illegal wife, relatives came over? Obviously it is hypocrites like yourself that initiated back 30 years ago encouraging illegals by bringing them here.

    • Matt

      Nobody gives two s…. About some stats,we are discussing methods on how all races that are citizens can defend themselves.

    • Alex

      Why would anyone who is well off and has something to lose rob your home? Serious robbers are mostly those who are not well off and who need the money ASAP. Illegal aliens fall into that category.

      • hicusdicus

        Serious criminals are not stupid and a good number of them may be quite well off. If you are not well off the serous ones won't bother you. If they do decide to take you down you probably won't get a chance to defend yourself. They know what they are doing better than you do. Its their business.

  • W. Thompson

    Not all have this option, but many dogs even small ones will warn you long before the would be intruder(s) either get in the house or into the bedroom. Plenty of time to pull out the trusty "bulldog", assuming they are dumb enough to keep going. But I like a low woof from a free to roam large black dog guarding the home turf and without those pesky dusk to dawn lights which help the criminal more than me and my best friend. He barks to greet all including me but a lot more if he doesn't know you. His bark is worse than his bite but rabbits might disagree. Those lights are just pollution and hamper my view of the night sky. I live in a very rural area and we also have heard of local home invasions in the area.

    • Matthew

      A friend told me about a burglar they had hooked up in their car. They drove around the neighborhood for him to show which houses he hit and why. He avoided any house that had an exterior light or motion detect light.

    • Mongo1

      Dogs are mans best friend, no batteries and work when the power is out, better than a sign with a gun. They are a furry deadbolt. They will slow or stop any attacker. I know that I get mad when they alert on deer or racoons, but it's what they do. They want to protect me and scare the crap out of the UPS guy or Rural Carrier. I will never know how many times someone has cased my place while I am away. I do know that they made note of my pets. About 15 years ago my daughter came home from school with a friend, no one else was home except Chester (my dog). They heard some noise, go scared an ran over to the friends house and told her Dad. He grabbed a rifle and came to my house. Well he couldn't get in Chester was every where, First floor, walkout basement door, porch. The Dad went home and told my daughter that if there is someone in there they are dead, he couldn't get in. There was no one there, just Chester.

    • Alex

      Dogs are great for night time alarm. A good dog will alert you way before the intruders break anything or way before they're in your house. A dog will sense them prior to that, especially if you keep your dog outside, where it belongs. Oh, and when I'm talking about a "good dog," I don't mean Chihuahua thingy.

      • hicusdicus

        I have 6 dogs and live in the middle of nowhere. You are dead wrong. A beaner dog has a ferocious nature and will alert you quicker than other breeds They are also very loyal. The dog outside becomes a dead dog. All dogs are good dogs but a lot of their owners suck. Outside dogs will alert you to every rabbit, bird and deer that comes strolling by.

    • hicusdicus

      Where I used to live, all you would get a chance to hear out of your dog is a yelp, right after the arrow went through him.

      • confuscious

        either you lost a good friend that way and if so my condolenses but if not its sound like you was a perpetrator

        • hicusdicus

          I am to fond of dogs to kill one in fact I am not into killing animals. But I do know of several cases where this has happened. One must be very careful in our society of taking another humans life. I must say I am not to sure why.

  • Hersfelder

    +1 on having a dog. Years ago an incarcerated home invader was interviewed by one of the television news magazines and he reported that they always bypassed homes that showed presence of active or former military or law enforcement (most likely to have guns and know how to use them), an active burglar alarm, or a dog.

    My two large dogs definitely can tell the difference between known-friendlies others, and always let me know when someone not a known-friendly is near the house.

    I've had no problems with anybody casing the house or otherwise hanging around after they hear the low-rumbling growl and bark that serves as my "alert."

  • Chico

    Years ago in Louisiana, after one of the more memorable hurricanes, people began to post signs,
    "You loot, We shoot!".

    Still true today…

    • Alex


  • Thomas Griffin

    Broncobetty must be an illegal.

    • Derol F. Briscoe

      Love you comment, but she is probably just another brain dead liberal who believes in sanctuary cities, resident college tuition, access to our public schools, section 8 housing, food stamps, social security and free medical care for the 16+million illegal aliens who have invaded our country from Mexico.

      • Alex

        Don't trust your safety and well-being to someone else, especially the government. Take good care of yourself and your family.

  • Kris

    I don't think broncobetty is a liberal. she's just raising a good point: how do you know the percentage you're stating? Read the rest of the posting: she definitely says you need to prepare to defend yourself and you're family. That doesn't sound like any liberal I recall hearing.

  • Albert

    I agree, its a common tactic to character assasinate people just because they have a descenting view. I live in Texas on the Border (Mcallen) all my life and trust me I dont look over my shoulder for illegals. I look over my shoulder for US born gang bangers. Why would a liberal person even be on this website?

  • USAretiredinTX

    One thing we do in my home is use the door bars that prop against the door handles. This wont stop the determined assailant but will increase that 5 second reaction time to a more comfortable safety margin. Also, the pistol in the night stand has a laser and light on it… I figure if I will ever need to "point and shoot" accurately it would be in the moments after awaking to the sound of a crash. Similarly, we have secreted firearms throughout the house so that a gun is never more than a dive away…what good is my 1911 with gizmos and gadgets when it is in the bedroom and I am in the kitchen? Now all of these might not be plausible solutions for everyone. For example if you still have small children at home, having loaded firearms stashed throughout the isn't a practical option. So you have to consider the safety of your family not only from outsiders but also from themselves and devise workable solutions. Finally, here's one from my mother-in-law keep your car key (with panic alarm) on your night stand and let trusted neighbors know that if your car alarm goes off in the middle of the night they should call for help immediately. Ok, so one more ramble… this last idea brings in the idea of community and neighbors knowing each other because we can accomplish more as a team than by ourselves.

    • Bob

      Careful with the laser sights. If you shine the laser on an intruders chest and you aren't calm the intruder will see the laser bounce around. He may take that as an invitation that you will miss him if you decide to fire.

      • Mongo1

        He'll crpa himself first and then think about tactics.

      • hicusdicus

        How about a green laser dead center of a 1200 lumen strobe.

    • Alex

      You're right, it won't stop an assailant but will buy you time, essentially.

  • Brian

    sliding window locks, reinforced door frames, serious deadbolts not the cheap ones at the average home store, alarm system, hurricane storm door over the weaker back door, lights on outside at night, various calibres inside, 2 dogs. nuff said.

  • Brian

    and that alarm is on every door and window….

  • TTom D.

    s been written about what happens in court. Who gets to walk free and who goes to jail? How many lawyers and thousands of bucks has become part of the equasion the moment you decide to pull the trigger ? And does life ever return to " normal " after the event ?
    Why Don't any of the gun mags ever give us the full picture?

    • hicusdicus

      How right you are. If there is a dead body the authorities want some one to prosecute the relatives want revenge and the lawyers want all your money. If things don't go your way you will want a whole lot of Vaseline.

    • Alex

      Unfortunately you're right. If you shoot to kill, even to protect yourself, you're in a lot of legal limbo. Sometimes for years to come.

      • hicusdicus

        That's why the green laser in the of center a 1200 lumen strobe, a growling dog and several sets of handcuffs. The crackle of a million volt stun gun will also get their attention. Not to many of them want to die.

      • Ramses Aguayo

        Not only shoot to kill but shoot at all. There is a saying: better be judged by 12 than carried by 6

  • mack missiletoe

    "This is a no-brainer. Lock your doors."

    I can think of a few friends I remind this to. They are older and must remember the times when people were cool–when people would not rob them. Everyone left their cars/houses unlocked and enjoyed each other's company. At least this is their story :P

    I know that locking a door requires a lot of energy and time, but perhaps a little workout video and less buttered popcorn microwaving will help us not be so tired after turning a deadbolt & free up our time.

    It sure would suck to be tied up and left to suffer because Mr. Fried Crackhead entered my UNLOCKED home. Just foolish these days…

    YOU KNOW YOU NEED TO LOCK IT so do it stop being foolish. I am not saying anyone deserves to be robbed. Lock your doors. Make it a habit. I do :D

  • Matt

    When dog barks grab your Smith and Wesson and cell phone to call local paramedics

    • Alex


    • hicusdicus

      I would never get any sleep and my cell phone battery would go dead.

      • confuscious

        better your cell battery than you… always have plenty ammo for he arrivals

  • Jay Pearson

    Regardless of where someone is from … they are still an intruder breaking into YOUR HOME!!! it does not matter if they are from the US or china or south america or the north pole.. if they are in my home without my blessing or permission then they are my enemy, and there for a target! Lock all your doors and windows! look out for suspicious people and activity, and have a plan in place just in case one of these unfortunate situations happens to you. These burglaries and home invasions happen in every area of our nation no matter what part we live in. from small towns to big cities. All you can do is be prepared and hope it doesn't happen to you. but at least you will know you can deal with the situation if it arises!

  • Bart

    I don't know that it applies to too many people on this post, but just having a gun doesn't make you safer. You've got to be able to identify the intruder as unwanted, show some composure, pull the trigger and be accurate…all in a very small window of time. If you pull a gun and get cold feet about pulling the trigger, the intruder will take the gun from you and use it. I have a gun, MY KEYS and OUR CELL PHONES by our bedside. We'll be dialing 911 while pushing the panic button on the car keys before the gun comes out. Most intruders will be scared off by the car alarm. The pump of a shotgun is a sound that everyone knows. Ranks right up there with a dog bark. Shooting should be the last resort….because it will be messy… the house and in court.

    • Bob


      You are so right. Watch this video. The speed with which this home invasion happened shocked me.

      • G 19

        Everyone needs to watch this video. If you think you are safe, you are not. Never leave doors unlocked . Locked doors and 4 dogs buy me time they didn't have.

    • Alex

      I agree with you fully. The best way is to avoid the fight, not enter it. Because you'll lose regardless if you shoot or not. The psychological scars and courts will make a long and lasting impression on you.

  • Selraym

    I have worked in the Law Enforcement field since 1991. Here in Washington State, Home Invasion Robberies are soaring to new heights. Everyday, there are 3 to 4 being reported everyday.
    Some items we suggest to the public. Trim or remove any bushes by windows. Are you able to see your neighbors house. Too much seclusion/privacy, only assists would-be intruders. Remember, they don't want to be seen. A little sacrafice of privacy, in this case, will go a long way.
    Look at ways you are able to control access to your property. A good chain-link fence would help with this. Also, several comments were made about having guard dogs, with a fence, even better! How old are the locks in your house? More than a few years(?), time to refit. Hows the lighting? Any cameras? Now more than ever, people need to equip. their house with some kind of surveillance equipment; both inside and out.
    Cameras can be had for as little as $100.00. Hopefully, this was helpful.

  • Alex

    Have a gun ready at every floor of your house so that you won't be caught off guard in the basement, living room, or in your bed.

    • hicusdicus

      How about a gun in every room including the bathrooms.

  • Alex

    Good advice. Thank you, officer.

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