A burglary happens every 15 seconds in this country, but statistics show that these thieves intentionally avoid homes with known home security systems, leaving homes without security at increased risk. According to the FBI and Bureau of Justice Statistics, as many as 36% of break-ins involve injuries to the victim and damages and losses in the thousands. This story we are about to tell is just one of thousands we hear each year where a security system may have deterred, lessened, or prevented a crime altogether.
Recently, a Portland man barricaded himself in a stranger’s home and demanded that the police bring him drugs before he would leave the residence. But this was only the final moments of a harrowing ordeal in which the man is said to have broken into 3 homes, a truck, and tried to assault a woman – all before the police could arrive.
According to reports, in the early morning hours, a woman, getting ready for her day turned to find a man forcing the screen out of her window and climbing inside, yelling at her not to “call the cops”. Startled and unable to protect herself, she ran out of the home to escape and call the police. Fortunately, he was unable to get into her home before she got out, and she escaped what could have been a much worse outcome.
After damaging the woman’s home, not finding what he was looking for, the man proceeded to the next home and broke in there as well. Before the ordeal was done, he had tried to assault a woman on the street and break into a truck that was occupied by a city employee, based upon reports. As the police arrived, the man allegedly barricaded himself in a home and refused to exit until the police provided his demands.
What is perhaps more frightening still is that this man was able to attack this many people and places before the police arrived. This is in no way intended to disparage our brave police men and women, but they cannot be everywhere at once as crimes can happen very quickly. And response time is on the rise in the city, according to the Portland Police Bureau Statistics.
In this case, nearly 15 minutes passed from the time the call was made to 911 before police arrived. What can happen in 15 minutes and all the time prior to victims having the ability to call 911? A lot more than we would like to imagine. This leaves it upon individuals to do what they can to protect themselves from intruders during an attempted crime and the arrival of police.
While security systems can’t prevent all break-ins, they are a major deterrent. Having general security notices on your home, indoor and outdoor surveillance cameras, motion lights, loud intrusion alarms, and visible window and door locks are proven to deter criminals from breaking into the home or scare them away in most cases.
In the event that someone breaks in, security systems alert emergency response and neighbors immediately that something is wrong when seconds matter. These security features would have given these victims advance notice that someone intended to harm them or alerted the neighborhood until the police could have arrived.
Fortunately home security systems are very affordable today and continue to give homeowners more control over their security, such as mobile phone alerts when motion is detected on a camera or when a motion sensor is tripped. In addition, alarm monitoring and verification is very important in getting a fast police response time. Police departments consider these notifications a priority when video verification is provided.