The date is January 27, 2011, and the epoxy flooring oklahoma city is early in the middle of the night. In Dallas, TX a family lies quietly sleeping- a husband, a wife, and their little daughter. In the early hours of the morning, the wife awakens and stumbles out of the bedroom to check on their daughter. Perhaps subconsciously she heard a noise. As she walks through the house, she notices that the lights in the house were left on. “How strange”, she thinks to herself. In her half awake, half asleep stupor, however, she doesn’t think too much of it. Then, she notices that the door from the house to the garage was also open, and as she walks closer, she can see that the garage door is open as well.
Now she knows that something isn’t right. As she stands there rubbing her eyes, trying to make sense of what was happening, a man suddenly emerges from her family room, looking at one of her family’s DVD covers. At that point, the wife begins screaming for her husband, “Someone is in the house! Get up! Get up!”
When the husband ran out of the bedroom, he saw the criminal sprinting across the house to the front door. It just so happens that there was a child safety lock on the front door, so the home invader stood there struggling with the front door long enough for the husband to retrieve his rifle and grab the man. The police soon came as they held the robber at bay, and an arrest was made. It turns out that this burglar was part of a group who had been invading homes in the area.
This story was published in the “Far North Dallas Advocate” magazine in the March 2011 issue. It had a happy ending, but how easily it could have turned tragic. What if the wife had not awakened during the night? What if the husband did not have a rifle? What if the robber struggled with the husband and took his rifle away? A simple robbery could have easily turned into a homicide. Now ask yourself this: “What if that had been your home and your family that were threatened?”
What can we learn from this real life crime that occurred in Dallas, Tx? Well, the first question we need to examine is how the burglar got into the home. It all boils down to garage door security. The family had parked their car outside of their home, rather than inside the garage. This gang of burglars evidently would cruise neighborhoods looking for cars parked outside of the garage. Then, as in the case with this attempted robbery, they would simply break the window of the car and grab the garage door opener. That gave them an easy way to directly enter the house.
Dallas Police Liutenant Barry Payne of the North Central Patrol Division was quoted as saying: “Citizens must realize when they leave a garage door opener in their car in their driveway, it is like leaving a key to their house outside where everyone will know where it is. The solution is simple: Park in the garage, or don’t leave a garage door opener in the car in the driveway. I can’t say it any clearer than that.”
Actually, this home invasion could have been avoided in three different ways: the family could have parked their car in the garage, they could have parked outside of the garage, yet removed the garage door opener from the vehicle, OR they could have securely locked the door going from the garage to the home.