How to avoid a home invasion

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.– It was a scary weekend for three families here in Colorado Springs whose homes were invaded by burglars.

Police said unknown suspects forced their way into two homes and one apartment when the owner answered and opened the door.

 

All three incidents happened in different parts of town. Two of them were at night on Saturday and Sunday, and the other was in the middle of the day when it was still light out.

In at least one of these cases, the suspects were wearing masks and threatened the homeowner with guns.

So what should you do when someone you don’t know is at your door?

We spoke to Lt. Catherine Buckley at the Colorado Springs Police Department, and she gave us some tips that could help the community avoid these home invasions.

“It is kind of concerning,” she said. “We’ve seen, particularly with the snow lately, where they will walk up to only one or two residences and then they will leave. They will maybe look in the backyards. They will look in other areas and we can tell this by their tracks in the snow.”

Buckley said three home invasions in one weekend is unusual, and now they’re asking the public to be more careful when someone comes knocking.

“We tell people to be cautious. If they have people come to their home and they don’t know who they are, it’s probably wise not to completely open the door to them,” Buckley said. “If they have a safety chain or they have some type of a screen door, security door, it’s a good idea to contact them through that.”

And be sure not to let kids answer the door on their own.

“If someone’s home at the house and they’re not of age and they don’t know who these people are, again we advise them not to even open the door,” Buckley said.

On top of being mindful of who you open the door for, police say it’s not a bad idea to invest in some extra security, like a camera for your doorbell so you know who is there before you open the door.

If you don’t have the spare cash, you can always look through the window and then decide whether or not to answer.

But what do you do if you choose to open the door and someone forces their way in?

“The best thing in that scenario is to cooperate because you don’t want to be injured and there’s nothing in your home that is worth your life,” Buckley said.

But she said it could become a run, hide or fight situation, and your first choice should be to get out.

“If at all possible and you can get past these people and run and get out of there, that’s a good idea,” Buckley said.

And in some cases, your furry friend could prevent your home from being invaded.

“One of the things that occurred on one of the home invasions is that there was actually a dog in the residence and that dog ended up scaring off the suspects that were in the process of trying to get into that home,” Buckley said. “That’s when you buy some extra Milk-Bones for Fido.”

Buckley said many times, there are underlying reasons burglars choose certain homes, like if they know there are drugs or valuables inside.

But she said they could get the wrong house, and everyone should be mindful of who is at the door.

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