Police issue home invasion prevention tips 08-18-03

PHONE: 961-2350
AUGUST 18, 2003


Police have issued a list of tips on how to prevent home invasion by criminals.

Sergeant James Sanborn, community policing coordinator, said the tips were issued in response to public requests after robbers recently invaded two Hilo homes with elderly occupants.

“Home invasion is the residential version of automobile carjacking,” Sanborn said.

“Most home invasions occur at nights and on weekends when homes are more likely to be occupied. Criminals committing this kind of crime rarely work alone and rely on an overwhelming physical confrontation to gain control and instill fear in their victims.”

This is exactly what happened during the two recent home invasions. In the first, which occurred August 8, two robbers invaded the Kanoelani Street home of an elderly couple, a 93-year-old man and his 89-year-old wife, and tied UP the husband before fleeing with miscellaneous jewelry and an undisclosed amount of case. In the second incident, which occurred on August 11, two masked men entered the Lanikaula Street home of an 86-year-old woman and robbed her of jewelry and other items. Both incidents occurred in the early morning hours before sunrise.

“The same tactics used to prevent burglaries will go a long way toward preventing incidents of forced entry home invasions,” Sanborn said. “If home invaders can be delayed at the point of entry, then there’s a chance of deterring them and being able to call the police.”

Police issued the following tips to help prevent home invasions:

  • Have a solid-core door for all entrance points.
  • Use a quality, heavy-duty deadbolt lock with a one-inch throw bolt.
  • Use a quality, heavy-duty, knob-in-lock set with a dead-latch mechanism.
  • Use a heavy-duty, four-screw, strike plate with three-inch screws to penetrate into a wooden door frame.
  • Use a secondary blocking device on all sliding glass doors.
  • Use anti-lift devices such as through-the-door pins or upper track screws.
  • Use highly visible alarm decals and beware of dog decals or neighborhood watch decals.
  • Secure all accessible windows with secondary blocking devices.
  • Make sure someone cannot reach through an open window to unlock a door or remove a blocking device.
  • Use anti-lift devices to prevent the window from being lifted out.
  • Secure windows at night and, if need be, leave only a slight opening for ventilation purposes.
  • Set your phone to speed dial 9-1-1.
  • Get to know your adjacent neighbors.
  • Agree to watch out for each other’s home.
  • Use motion sensor lights near or around key entry points.
  • Use good lighting along pathways to and from main entry points.
  • Make sure any exterior lighting allows for 100-foot visibility.
  • Make sure your alarm system has an audible horn or bell to be effective.
  • Instruct your neighbors how to respond to your alarm should it become activated.
  • Be sure to activate your alarm system before leaving home or before retiring for the evening.
  • Identify your valuables by engraving objects with a set of numbers that only you would know, make a list of the items and their numbers and keep the list in a safe deposit box or somewhere in your home.
  • Photograph items of value.
  • Photocopy the contents of your wallet and other important documents.
  • Do not keep the PIN for your credit cards or debit cards in the same place.

The list of prevention tips has also been uploaded to the Hawaii County Police Department’s website at www.hawaiipolice.com under the “Community Policing” section.

Sanborn said the best defense against home invasion crimes is education and planning. He recommended having a security plan for escape routes out of a residence or having a safe location within the home with a telephone so police can be alerted.

Sanborn also said that residents who want to request a home security check may call him at 961-2350.

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