Recently, a Durham, NC woman fought off an intruder who was trying to steal from her home. According to police, the suspect entered the woman’s home while she was gone, but when she returned, he was still inside her home.
When the homeowner noticed the man, she yelled at him and he charged at her. They struggled for a short time before the male suspect was able to run away from the home.
A man named Floyd Harwell was taken into custody and charged with breaking and entering and assault on a female. The victim told police she chased the intruder to the street but when she went out, she didn’t see anybody who could help her take him down so she let him go.
One of the neighbors heard the commotion and called police.
According to Elijah Stanley, “I look out the window, I see a guy and her kind of grappling in the side yard, running up here to the front and so I came out the front door. When I got to the porch, I saw him kind of tossing her down and taking off into the woods behind the house.”
Stanley called 911. Police showed up with a K9 to track the suspect. Police say the woman left her door unlocked and that the suspect didn’t take anything. Luckily, police were able to catch this guy the next day and get him off the streets.
The fact is, this crime could have been totally random or the suspect may have waited for the female to leave her home since he could have known she lived alone.
The problem is, these days, criminals can do a little homework and figure out if someone lives alone or if there is entire family in the home.
My point is, someone who lives alone may have a greater chance of being the victim of a home break in since it’s simple to tell when someone is gone.
Considering this, I want to share with you some security ideas for those who live alone that can prevent someone from targeting you or a loved one simply because no one else is around.
Add a second name to your mailbox. If you live alone, you should consider getting a few pieces of mail with someone else’s name on them. Add a magazine subscription or some other form of mail in someone else’s name.
As you know, I use a UPS store box for my mail, on the inside of the box is my name and my wife’s name. Ideally, your mailbox will have your name and another name so others thinks more than one person lives there.
Boots and shoes. Leaving an extra pair of shoes on the front porch or by the door can easily make someone think there is a person inside the home.
Even better, you want to create the idea of there being a second resident, preferably a large second resident. For example, a small woman could set a pair of XL men’s boots next to her own footwear.
You can easily find a pair of worn men’s work boots at a thrift store, which will make an intruder wonder how big the person is they may encounter inside.
Talk to yourself. If someone knocks on your door and you don’t know them I would never open the door whether you live alone or not. However, if you do live alone and a stranger knocks, I would loudly say something such as “I’ll see who it is!”
This may sound stupid, but it works. Or when you are leaving your home and getting into your vehicle you could yell out, “See you when I get back.”
If you ever think a stranger is in earshot, you want to make it clear that you are not an easy victim and that others are around.
Get to know your neighbors. While you don’t have to become best friends with your neighbors, there is no doubt they can be an invaluable security tool, especially if you live alone.
For instance, if you work a typical 9-5 your neighbor could alert you to someone casing your property while at work. The reality is, criminals are less intimidated by people being present during a burglary when that person is a single female.
For this reason, you always want to make it appear as others live in the home with you and use as many tricks as needed so a burglar avoids your house.