Sunday, January 1, 2017

Home Invasion

Just before 2:30 a.m on 27 December 2016 Lubbock police officers responded to a 911 call from a residence. When officers arrived, they found one of the residents had shot a home invader.

One of the victims told police he heard a knock on the door. He asked who was there; however, received no answer. The victim stated there was a second knock followed by multiple shots fired and the door being kicked in as the home invaders gained entrance. The victim crawled into the kitchen where one of the suspects began to beat him with the butt of a pistol.

The victim’s brother awakened, walked into the kitchen, and saw the attack. He returned to his bedroom, told his wife to call 911, and went back to the kitchen with his own firearm. He fired one round and struck the suspect who was standing over his brother. The brothers held the suspect down until police arrived.

Police identified the suspect who was shot as 27-year-old Adrian Lee Hernandez. The second suspect, a Hispanic male, fled the scene. Hernandez was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries and will be arraigned on a burglary charge as soon as his condition improves. The victim who was attacked was also transported to the hospital to be treated for his injuries. Police set up a perimeter but were unable to locate the other suspect.

Mr. Hernandez served time in 2010 for Burglary of a Habitation. He was arrested in November 2015 for a parole violation; however, he was obviously on the street once again and continuing to ply his trade.

Take a quick look at this video. That is how easy it is to kick in a normally constructed residential exterior door. So how do you prevent someone from kicking in your door? One solution is heavy metal doors similar to the picture (1). No human could kick in this door. For exterior wooden doors, I personally used the Strikemaster II Pro to reinforce the door jam and hinges. I did this as the house was being built and asked the builder to install them so it was relatively painless. Similar products are the EZ Armor that Armor Concepts produces and Door Security Pro. There are probably others on the market that perform a similar function. As I look at product reviews however, it is clear that some people find the "simple install" is not quite so simple so your results may vary. You can purchase these products from a variety of vendors.

The idea here is to either prevent the home invader from successfully kicking the door open or delay the entry long enough for you to take other action. Remember, you must reinforce all exterior doors, not just the front door.

Another thing to consider is your bedroom door. There are few nightmares worse than to awaken with a stranger in your bedroom as Anne Pressly discovered when Charles Vance raped and then beat her to death on 20 October 2008. Images 2 & 3 show a bedroom door made from 1-3/4 solid wood, with a deadbolt, and reinforced with the Strikemaster. The idea here of course is that even if someone gets in the house, attempting to enter the bedroom is impossible without power tools and significant noise that will alert the homeowner. A reinforced bedroom door can also provide a safe room the homeowner can retreat to if they are in another part of the house as someone attempts to break and enter.

If you are building a house and want some ideas on enhancing your home's security, send me a note.

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