Home invasion is the crime of entering a private and occupied dwelling, with the intent of committing a crime, often while threatening the resident of the dwelling. It is a legally defined offense in the United States, Australia, and New Zealand, and applies even if entry is not forced. It can also apply if someone is invited into a home and remains on the premises after being asked to leave by the resident.
Home invasion differs from burglary, which is illegal entry into any occupied or unoccupied building, with intent to commit a felony (often theft.) Home invasion sometimes involves several criminals, whereas burglary tends to be performed by a single perpetrator.
Home invasion may be accompanied by other crimes. The invaders may follow their victims home, commit breaking and entering, and are sometimes intent on assault, robbery, rape, or murder
According to an Oxford English Dictionary (OED) draft entry for March 2004, the first published usage of the term in its modern sense is a November 1973 article in the Chicago Sun-Times. The OED also cites a use of the term in the 1989 novel Toxic Shock (ISBN 0-575-04372-5) by Sara Paretsky.
A particularly infamous home invasion occurred on July 23, 2007 in Cheshire, Connecticut where two paroled criminals terrorized the Petit family for hours, tying the daughters to beds, committing sexual assault, strangling the mother, and leaving the father severely beaten; then setting the home afire with gasoline. The perpetrators are facing the death penalty for these crimes.
Home Invasion Victim
Home Invasion and Robbery Prevention
Protect Yourself And Your Family
Home Invasion Prevention
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Prevention, Burglary, home invasion, www.PersonalSecurity.TV
Prevent Burglary, home invasion
Statistics tell us each year 1 out of every 5 families will be a victim of crime.
ONE CRIME OCCURS EVER 2 SECONDS
One PROPERTY CRIME happens every 3 seconds.
One VEHICLE THEFT every 20 seconds
One LARCENY every 4 seconds.
One BURGLARY every 10 seconds.
ONE V I O L E N T CRIME OCCURS EVERY 20 seconds.
One AGGRAVATED ASSAULT every 35 seconds.
One ROBBERY every 60 seconds, or 1 minute.
One FORCIBLE RAPE every 2 minutes.
One MURDER every 25 seconds.
Home Security - Tips to Prevent Home Invasion
1. Police authorities estimate that 90 % of all burglaries/home invasions are preventable.
2. In 17% of all crimes domiciles were violated.
3. The average burglar will spend no more than 2 minutes trying to get into a home.
4. A burglary occurs every 15 seconds.
So how do we stop this from happening and prevent home invasions? It seems obvious to me that you want to make your home an "uninviting" target by putting out the "UNWELCOME" mat. Advertise to everyone this house is not going to be a pushover. "Mr. Burglar, you are in for a hard time if you pick on us."
---Is you home well lit? Even motion activated spots are great.
---Are there hiding places next to your home? Remove all shrubs and large plants that could provide hiding places next to your home.
---Get out your "UNWELCOME" signs. Start with Neighborhood watch signs. www.usaonwatch.com Then have some signs that announce obstacles "beware of guard dog", "these premises protected by…" etc. And my favorite, an NRA sticker on your window or someplace conspicuous. You get the idea. Advertise that your home is not a good idea for burglary or home invasion.
---Dummy surveillance cameras provide a few minutes of thought for a potential intruder.
---Make sure you have some non lethal self defense weapons such as pepper sprays and stun guns located in a few places around the house. Even some audible alarms will help.
These inexpensive methods of prevention will make your home an uninviting target for a potential burglar/home invader. His job is to break into your home if you are home or not. Advertise to everyone it is not a good idea to even consider your home by putting out the "UNWELCOME" mat.
Chances are very good that you are reading this because in some way crime has touched your life or you want to be proactive and protect yourself, family, home, or business from the ravages of crime. That is the first step.
NOW the next step is for you to take action and purchase a dummy camera or stun guns. Look at our selection of self defense/ home security products at http://www.secure-at.com/dummy-cameras.htm and http://www.aaa-safetyfirst.com/runtstungun.htm both of which provide real "Security Solutions".
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Home Invasion -- Family Survival Tips
Protect Yourself From Home Invasions
Where are you more likely to become a victim of a home invasion?
Preventing Home Invasions
Home invasions are NOT a common occurrence, but have become a concern to many residents. A home invasion is when someone enters your home and threatens or attacks you.
Some simple things you can do to prevent home invasions.
When you are at home:
* Do not confront intruders
* Do not open doors until you are satisfied that it is safe to do so
* Do not assume you know who's at the door
* Answer "I'll get it" even if you live alone or are the only one at home
* Always let people know you are home. Answer through a window.
* Teach children to never answer or open a door without an adult at the door with them
In and around your home:
* Do not use door chains. Use strong devices that allow you to open the door a couple of inches
* Women living alone should leave men's boots or other indications that a couple of people reside there
* Seniors should leave toys and other indications that a family resides there
* Reinforce door frames and all doors
* Put more than one deadbolt on doors
* For windows consider safety film or bars
* Don't trust screen doors, they don't keep intruders out
* Use a security alarm, personal panic alarm and intercom systems
* Place long pieces of wood right across back or basement doors
* Have a "safe room" in the house where you can go and lock the doors. Have a phone in this room and keep your Block Watch map nearby so you can phone trusted neighbours after you call 9-1-1
Outside your home:
* Keep house numbers easy to see, in the event of an emergency
* Program interior lights and leave more then one light on at night
* Leave front and back outside lights on every night of the year
* Trim shrubbery and other landscaping to eliminate any hiding places
In your neighbourhood:
* Plan with someone else that you will check with one another every day or night
* Have meetings with your Block Watch group to discuss how you can watch out for one another more effectively
* If you don't have a car, have a neighbour park his car in your driveway
How To Stop A Home Invasion
How Do I? - Safety and Security: Home Invasion
Home Invasion Training
Home Invasion Abduction
The recent abductions during the middle of the night of Danielle Van Dam of Southern California and Elizabeth Smart of Salt Lake City, Utah have brought the struggle for vigilance home for parents.
In truth, abduction from the home in the dead of night is nothing new. The Lindbergh baby was abducted and killed during the first part of the 20th century. Now, as the 21st century dawns, such crimes have a wider scope of publicity. While this proliferation of media outlets has the potential to chill the hearts of more parents, it also brings with it the possibility of making more parents aware.
Parents have long known that the home has to be a safe place. This ranges from covering electrical outlets to having monthly fire drills. Now parents are reminded that safety includes keeping abductors out.
Teach Children to Resist
Teaching children to resist is preferable, better that a child be shot in their bedroom for resisting than to be shot and dumped by a roadside. In fact, a child predator is unlikely to fire a weapon anyhow, lest it alert the parents or family dog. It's not reasonable to expect a child, woken from a dead sleep, to be thinking clearly. Instead, the abductors know that the child will be disoriented and confused. The best a parent can hope for is that a child begins resisting as soon as they become more clear-headed, if that occurs at all.
Unfortunately for parents, this means that the home will have to become more secure, both during the day and night hours, since abductions can occur while children await their parents' return from work. This can be a problem for people who live in places where summer temperatures soar, which is pretty much everybody. It's too hot to sleep if the windows are locked shut, particularly if air conditioning is not an option. So what to do? In addition, fire professionals will tell you that it's safer in a fire if the doors to your children's bedrooms are closed, yet you can hear them better if they're open. Abductors know all of this, and they use it to their advantage.
A Solid Alarm System: The Canine
One fairly reliable alarm system, if allowed in your building, can be picked up at your local animal shelter. A family dog can be a powerful deterrent to criminals of all kinds. And it doesn't have to be a mighty Great Dane in order to intimidate. Stories of toy poodles and Schnauzers who barked enough to make intruders flee fearing detection abound, making them ideal for apartment dwellers.
Dogs have a keen sense of hearing and smell, and can detect changes in your home long before any human would. Yes, an abductor is determined, but he also doesn't want to be caught. Sometimes, all that stands between their success and your heartbreak is a small dog (or a large one).
If allergies are a problem in your home, know that poodles, from the Tea Cup through the Standard sizes have "wool" rather than fur, making them one of the few dogs available to the dog-allergic.
Invest in a Room Monitor
Sometimes, however, a dog is not an option, whether it is because of schedules, or rental agreements. Another inexpensive monitoring tool is the trusty room monitor used by so many parents of newborns. These range from about $20 new to much more for the ones that include color monitors, and can be purchased even cheaper at second-hand children's stores. While not a guarantee, they can provide a direct line from your bedroom to your child's, particularly if you are on opposite ends of the house or differing floors. In the case of Elizabeth Smart, a 14-year-old, a monitor may not only be out of date, but inappropriate and/or resented.
Be Wise About Windows
Which leads to the matter of cooling the house. In the Salt Lake City case, the abductor entered through an open kitchen window. Anyone with children who are mobile knows how easy it is for windows and doors to be left open and unlocked. The best way to ensure that all unnecessary windows and doors are secured before bed is to have the last adult person who goes to bed take a walk around the house. By delegating this task to one person, there won't be confusion about who left what open.
Still, it's neither realistic nor particularly healthy for people to remain locked up in an unventilated, stifling house during the hot summer nights. There are window locks for every type of window that allow the window to be opened a certain amount, but no further. This, combined with the use of an inexpensive fan can be helpful if air conditioning is neither affordable nor installed.
When Home Alone
When kids are home during the heat of the day, waiting for parents to return, safety must still be considered. Do your kids call you when they get home? Are they sure they locked the door? What do they do if a stranger comes knocking? Who are trustworthy neighbors that they can call, or should they call the police? Are all numbers posted clearly near the phone? Do you have an answering machine so your kids can screen all calls when they are alone and only pick up the calls from you or people you approve of?
Do your kids leave the house once they've arrived back home? Would you know? Do you call at odd times to check? Are there alternative types of programs or child care that you could use to ensure that your children are under adult supervision instead?
The best insurance that our kids remain safe is diligent, dedicated supervision 24 hours a day. This simply isn't a reality, especially as your children grow older. But there are ways to make your home more inhospitable to an element that, first and foremost, does not want to be caught. Nobody has complete control over the actions of others --- even in his or her own home. Even with the best precautions, the unthinkable can still happen, and does. As a parent, you can only do your best.
Lock Bumping and Bump Keys
Lock Bumping warning from Local Newscast
Lock bumping is a lock picking technique for opening a pin tumbler lock using a specially-crafted bump key. One bump key will work for all locks of the same type.
How to Bump a Lock
"Bumping" a lock vs. picking a lock. - Bumping, also referred to as "rapping" is not a new technique for opening locked car doors. In fact, it's been around for at least half a century! When this method is used correctly it is extremely powerful. As with any other lock picking technique it requires some time and patience to be able to master. A bump key is a key in which all the cuts are at the maximum depth of (999). Bump keys can be cut for standard pin tumbler type locks as well as "dimple" locks.
New Ways to Prevent Lock Bumping
Lock Bumping Prevention
Police in some areas see increase in home invasions
The slayings of seven people during a home-invasion robbery in Indianapolis last week spotlights a trend in several cities around the nation: This terrifying crime is on the rise.
It's difficult to quantify the increase because such robberies aren't a separate crime category that the FBI and most police departments track. But police chiefs and criminologists say anecdotal evidence suggests home invasions, a form of armed robbery in which criminals burst into homes and threaten their victims face to face, are increasing in some areas.
Home invasions are "extremely painful" crimes, says Jean O'Neil, director of research and evaluation at the National Crime Prevention Council, a non-profit group that promotes strategies to prevent crime. "Your sanctuary, your home is being violated at the same time you're being violated personally," she says.
Increases in such crimes are showing up in some parts of the West and Southwest, where police say illegal immigrants are sometimes both victim and perpetrator:
• In Houston, home-invasion robberies increased 25% last year to 448. Police Chief Harold Hurtt says the victims often are either drug dealers whose stashes are targeted or small-business owners known to carry home cash.
• In Sacramento, home-invasion robberies are up 37% to 63 in the first five months of this year over the same period last year. "What happens, when one person does a certain type of crime and is successful, it filters through the criminal world," says Sgt. Terrell Marshall, a police spokesman. "That's what we're seeing with this home-invasion thing. When they get incarcerated, they're actually being educated on which crimes work and which crimes don't work."
• In Hidalgo County, Texas (population about 678,000), the sheriff's office created a special unit to investigate home-invasion robberies. Sheriff Guadalupe Trevino says criminals in the Rio Grande Valley county near the Mexican border often dress like SWAT officers and stage assaults on homes "where they believe drugs or drug money is being stashed. ... Sometimes they act on flawed information, which puts an innocent citizen in the line of fire. This has happened numerous times."
Trevino says suspects in many home invasions in his county are current or former Mexican police officers who sometimes target "stash houses" of illegal immigrants. "They will kidnap 10, 15, 20 illegal immigrants and hold them for ransom until the other trafficking gang pays up," he says.
Hurtt agrees. "Especially here in the border states of California, Arizona and Texas, it might be human smuggling," says the Houston chief, president of the Major Cities Chiefs Association, which represents the nation's 55 largest police departments and five Canadian agencies. "You have home invasions where human cargo is targeted."
In last week's mass slaying in Indianapolis, the two suspects were searching for a safe they believed contained money and cocaine, according to the Associated Press, citing documents filed by prosecutors. Three children under the age of 12 and four adults were killed. A funeral for six of the victims was held Wednesday.
Marion County prosecutor Carl Brizzi says he will seek the death penalty against suspect Desmond Turner, 28, and is considering whether to seek the execution of co-defendant James Stewart, 30. Each faces multiple charges, including murder, criminal confinement, robbery and burglary.
Indianapolis had "several" home-invasion robberies last year, according to the police department's website.
Dallas, Lubbock, Texas, Tucson, Phoenix, Seattle, Minneapolis, Washington and Cleveland are among the cities where police do not track such robberies as a separate crime category.
Some police and criminologists say that approach is similar to the way police treated carjackings before they became a federal crime in 1992, and church arsons, which became a federal crime in 1996.
Officers in Lubbock don't refer to home invasions by that name, Lt. Roy Bassett says. "So far as I know, that's a classification that has come from the media," he says. "Just like carjacking — we don't call it that."
Some cities that track such crimes are recording declines. In Tampa, home-invasion robberies dropped from 104 in 2004 to 96 last year. One was reported last year in Myrtle Beach, S.C., down from four in 2004.
Some crime analysts say they think home invasions are decreasing.
"That's why when these cases come up, they are all the more attention-worthy," says Robert McCrie, professor of security management in the Department of Law and Police Science at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York. "Because we don't hear about it."
The brazen nature of such crimes often leaves victims permanently traumatized, some crime experts say. "If you come home and find your house burglarized, it's pretty much an insurance issue," says Chris McGoey, a security consultant who runs the crimedoctor.com website.
"But if they break into your house while you're there and take you captive, it's something you never recover from. It's a tremendous hit on the relationship of couples," McGoey says. "I've talked to many, many women who blame their husbands for not protecting them. It's a really hard-hitting crime."
1 Shot In Apparent Home-Invasion Robbery
NOBLESVILLE, Ind. -- Police said one person was shot in an apparent home-invasion robbery early Tuesday morning in Noblesville and police are looking for the men believed to have been involved.
The incident happened at about 2:30 a.m. in the 12000 block of Lindley Drive.
Police said two men forced their way into a home, where several people were gathered. Officers said about a half-dozen people were ordered to get on the ground and were robbed.
During a scuffle, David Nicoson, was shot in the abdomen.
Nicoson was taken to Methodist Hospital in fair condition and was released later in the morning.
"That victim was able to exit the residence and went to the house next door. That's when the resident contacted our agency," said Noblesville police Lt. Bruce Barnes. "It appears to be an entrance and an exit wound. It sounds like in this case he was extremely lucky."
Police are trying to gather information on the men, who are still on the loose.
A description of the men was not immediately available.
Woman Stabbed During Center City Home Invasion
PHILADELPHIA Philadelphia Police are searching for a suspect stabbed a woman during a home invasion in Center City overnight.
A man reportedly broke into a home on the 2500 block of Waverly Street, near Rittenhouse Square.
The suspect allegedly attacked a female resident in the home, stabbing her several times before fleeing the scene.
The victim was taken to Jefferson Hospital where she was treated for non-life threatening stab wounds and additional injuries related to the attack.
Neighbors in the typically quiet community are shocked by the violent crime.
“I used to feel like this is a safe neighborhood, but I just don’t feel that way anymore,” said one resident.
Police are waiting to question the victim in hopes of getting a description of the suspect. No arrests have been made.
Police are also investigating the assault of a woman on the 200 block of Carpenter Street in the Queens Village section of the city. Further details were unavailable.
NH Police Investigate Home Invasion, Attempted Rape
PELHAM, N.H. (AP) -- Pelham police are investigating a home invasion and attempted rape. Police say they responded to a 911 call from a home on Misty Lane at 1:25 P.M. Sunday
They said the female occupant had been attacked and a man had tried to sexually assault her.
She was taken to a Nashua hospital for treatment of minor injuries.
Police searched the area but did not find her attacker.
The suspect was described as a white, middle aged man with brown hair, about five feet six inches tall, with a thin build and wearing a white sleeveless T-shirt, blue jeans and black boots.
A witness reported seeing a white four-door car, possibly a Cadillac or Lincoln Continental, with a male driver in the area before the attack.
Man killed during home invasion
STANTONSBURG, N.C. -- Wilson County sheriff's deputies are investigating the death of a restaurant owner.
Investigators say 34-year-old Song Ni was killed Saturday night during a robbery and home invasion. The family says three men wearing bandanas over their faces entered the Moyton Avenue home just after 11 p.m. and stole money from Ni before killing him.
Ni owned the Jin Jin Chinese restaurant across the street from his home.
Police are investigating but say they do not have much suspect information to go on. Anyone with more information is asked to contact the Wilson County sheriff's office at (252) 237-2118.
Late-night robbery echoes Conn. case
Lock your doors and have a plan.
Three Bronx men were nabbed by police early Monday after forcing their way into a Bridgewater home in the middle of the night, trying up two residents, pistol-whipping one and making off with $8,400 in cash and jewelry, authorities said. Police said the homeowners' quick-witted actions spared them serious injury, but the violence was reminiscent of last week's home invasion in Cheshire, Conn., in which three people were killed.
Residents of the home -- a couple, a cousin and three children ages 3, 2 and 11 months -- were asleep at the time of the 3 a.m. invasion, according to Somerset County Prosecutor Wayne Forrest. The noise of the break-in woke up the couple, who emerged from the master bedroom, Forrest said.
The couple split up, with the mother grabbing a phone and running into the children's bedroom to call 911, Forrest said. The father headed downstairs to investigate the noise but was confronted by the intruders before he could get down the hall, Forrest said.
Bridgewater Mayor Patricia Flannery said it appeared the Downey Road home was not a random target. The house may have been chosen because the suspects knew there was a significant amount of cash kept there, Flannery said.
Cheshire homicide press conference,
3 Dead in Arson-Home Invasion in Conn.
3 Dead in Invasion and Fire at Doctor's Home in Connecticut; 2 Men Arrested
At least two men broke into a prominent doctor's home early Monday, kidnapped a female family member to withdraw money from a bank and then killed the doctor's wife and their two daughters, police said.
Dr. William Petit Jr., who was severely injured, told police his family had been held hostage for hours before one member, who was not identified, was taken to the bank with a suspect.
Bank employees were suspicious of the transaction and called police, who surrounded Petit's home, authorities said.
A town police officer saw two men leaving the home as it was engulfed in flames, authorities said. The men sped away in a station wagon, striking several police cruisers before they were captured.
Petit's wife, Jennifer Hawke-Petit, and their two daughters, Hayley and Michaela, were found dead in the home, said a law enforcement official with firsthand knowledge of the investigation.
The official confirmed the deaths on the condition of anonymity because autopsy results were still pending.
Authorities would not release the names of the suspects. The two men are due Tuesday in Meriden Superior Court.
Petit, 50, a well-known diabetes specialist, was in stable condition at St. Mary's Hospital in Waterbury, though it was not released how he was injured.
"It is a shocking day for everyone. It's just beyond anyone's understanding," said Larry Tanner, president and chief executive officer of The Hospital of Central Connecticut.
Petit is the medical director of the Joslin Diabetes Center Affiliate at The Hospital of Central Connecticut in New Britain. His wife of 22 years was a nurse and worked at the Cheshire Academy, a boarding school, as co-director of its health center.
Their upper-middle class neighborhood includes Colonial homes with well-kept lawns in the New Haven suburb.
Neighbor Walter Ryan was walking his dog when he saw the flames coming from the home and then watched as police, with guns drawn, moved through yards and shouted, "'Get out of the car!'"
The Rev. Ronald A. Rising, a neighbor, said he has known the family for more than 10 years.
"They're just a lovely family," he said. "It's just awful to think it would happen to a family like that in this community. You don't think about those things happening."
Neighbor Laura Parisi, a friend of the Petits' older daughter, Hayley, said the 17-year-old had just graduated from the prestigious Miss Porter's School in Farmington and was accepted at Dartmouth.
"It's just insane," Parisi said of the deaths. "I can't even describe it."
TIMELINE IN CHESHIRE TRIPLE-HOMICIDE
July 23, 2007:
· Police: Assailants enter home at 3 a.m.
· Police: Mother taken to bank at 9:30 a.m.
· Bank calls police to report suspicious activity
· Officers respond, discover fire at house
· Two men arrested near scene
· Dr. William Petit Jr. found outside, hospitalized
· Police confirm three deaths at noon
July 24, 2007:
· Suspects arraigned in court
· All three deaths ruled homicide
July 26, 2007:
· Suspects charged with murder
· Prosecutor to seek death penalty
July 27, 2007:
· Family holds private funeral
July 28, 2007:
· Public service held at CCSU
Suspects Arraigned In Home Invasion, Arson
Examiner Releases Causes Of Death In Home Invasion, Arson
CHESHIRE, Conn. -- Two convicted burglars charged in the deaths of a woman and her two daughters were out on parole Monday when they broke into the home of a prominent Cheshire physician and held his family hostage for hours before setting the home on fire, authorities said.
Joshua Komisarjevky, 26, of Cheshire and Steven Hayes, 44, of Winsted were arraigned Tuesday in Meriden Superior Court and charged with aggravated sexual assault, assault, arson, robbery, kidnapping, risk of injury to children and larceny. State police said Tuesday night more charges are pending.
The state medical examiner confirmed Tuesday night that Jennifer Hawke-Petit, 48, was strangled and her daughters, 17-year-old Hayley and 11-year-old Michaela died of smoke inhalation. All three deaths were ruled homicides.
Dr. William Petit Jr., 50, remained hospitalized with head injuries he suffered in the attack.
"He's doing OK physically. Emotionally he is devastated and still worried about others," said Petit's pastor the Rev. Stephen Volpe, who has visited the doctor Monday and Tuesday. Volpe added that Petit's relatives are keeping from him certain details of the case. He would not elaborate.
The family issued its first public statement about the case on Tuesday.
"Our precious family members have been the victims of horrible, senseless, violent assaults. We are understandably in shock and overwhelmed with sadness as we attempt to gather together to support one another and recognize these wonderful, giving beautiful individuals who have been so cruelly taken from us," the statement said.
Channel 3 Eyewitness News reporter Jamie Roth has learned that a Meriden Superior Court judge reconfirmed bond for both men at $15 million. The case has been transferred to New Haven and scheduled for Aug. 7, at which time, both men could possibly enter pleas.
Komisarjevsky and Hayes face several charges, including first-degree sexual assault, arson, kidnapping and robbery. Eyewitness News obtained police records for the two men early Tuesday morning and learned both men have been arrested more than a dozen times on larceny and burglary charges. Both were sentenced in 2002 to five years in prison.
Eyewitness News has learned that the two men recently lived in the same halfway house following their release from prison.
Eyewitness News has learned that police are keeping Hayes on suicide watch. State Police Major Crime Squad Detectives and Cheshire Police are expected to file additional charges in this case.
Eyewitness News obtained a statement from an unidentified man at Komisarjevsky's last known address.
"Our deepest sympathy goes out to the Petit family (and all those whose lives they touched.) We cannot understand what would have made something like this happen," the statement read. "There is nothing else we can say at this time."
Eyewitness News has learned that Komisarjevsky was in a child custody dispute with Jennifer Norton, of Hamden, that began in April 2005.
Last year, Norton filed against Komisarjevsky in court to seek child support. It's unclear as to which adult is in custody of the child.
Police: Assailants Ignited House Before Fleeing
The assailants entered the home at about 3 a.m. on Sorghum Mill Drive and took the family hostage and set their home afire while they were still inside, according to police.
"I saw the firetrucks going down the street this morning, then there was tons of smoke coming out of the house," said Jane Bayarski, of Cheshire.
Channel 3 Eyewitness News reporter Diana Rocco watched as police started removing from the house the bodies of Jennifer Hawke-Petit, 48, and the couple's two daughters, Hayley, 17, and Michaela, 11.
Investigators said two intruders broke into the house, held the family hostage for hours and set the home on fire before fleeing.
Police said one of the intruders took Hawke-Petit to a Bank of America branch in town while the other intruder kept the other family members at the house. Police said Hawke-Petit was able to communicate with the bank teller that her family had been taken hostage. At some point, the intruder returned to the home with Hawke-Petit.
Police said two men tried to leave in the Petit family's car and rammed several police cruisers several times before they were taken into custody.
"Upon arrival, police say two suspects were leaving the house and the house was engulfed in flames," state police spokesman Lt. J. Paul Vance said.
Police found William Petit outside, who was somehow able to escape the burning home. Crews transported him to St. Mary's Hospital with serious head injuries. Hours later, authorities found the three bodies inside the home.
"This is a quiet Connecticut community. Now, it has been turned into a scene from a horror movie," said Samantha O'Donnell, of Cheshire.
"They were such a nice family. I knew the father. He was always outside gardening," said Laura Parisi, of Cheshire. "I can't imagine losing my whole family in a second."
Helayne Lightstone, a spokeswoman for The Hospital of Central Connecticut in New Britain, said an employee prayer service for Petit will be held at the hospital on Friday at noon. It will not be open to the public.
The hospital has also made grief counselors available to staff.
"Another day has gone by and it's no less shocking," she said.
Cheshire homicide suspect lived near victims' home
Invasion suspects allegedly targeted others
Other residents of Conn. town say their homes also broken into
CHESHIRE, Conn. - Two men accused of killing a physician’s wife and two daughters and setting fire to their house in this upscale town are suspected in two other burglaries the night before, said homeowners who spoke with police.
Joshua Komisarjevsky and Steven Hayes, both on parole for nonviolent crimes, could face the death penalty if convicted in the slayings early Monday of Jennifer Hawke-Petit and the girls.
Authorities say the men broke into the home of Dr. William Petit Jr. and held the family hostage for several hours. One of them forced Hawke-Petit to make a withdrawal at a bank later that morning, triggering suspicion among bank employees, police said. Police rushed to the house, found it on fire and encountered the suspects fleeing. The two were arrested after crashing the Petits’ car into police cruisers
Ronald Bergamo Jr., who lives several miles from the Petits, said a police officer told him the suspects burglarized his home early Sunday as he slept along with his wife, 12-year-old son and another couple. The burglars, apparently entering through an unlocked door, took cash and left a large carving knife on a table in the family room.
“We were within 24 hours of being that family,” a shaken Bergamo said of the Petits. “We aren’t the quaint town any more.”
No 'stone unturned'
David Hick, who lives on Bergamo’s street, was also asleep with his family when his home was broken into early Sunday. Hick said the burglars stole a photo of him and his wife, along with cash, credit cards and a cell phone.
Taking the photo left them wondering if the robbers planned to target them.
“That’s one thing that is really bothering us,” Hick said Thursday. “What happened to them could have happened to us just as easily.”
Komisarjevsky and Hayes were charged with six capital felony counts in the deaths of Hawke-Petit and her daughters Hayley, 17, and Michaela, 11. The men also were charged with assault, sexual assault, kidnapping, robbery and arson.
They have not been charged in the break-ins at the other homes.
“We’re not leaving any stone unturned,” police Lt. Jay Markella said, declining to confirm a link among the three break-ins.
Hawke-Petit, 48, a school nurse, was strangled and her daughters died of smoke inhalation, according to the state medical examiner. The mother and younger daughter were sexually assaulted, according to arrest documents.
A private service for Hawke-Petit and her daughters was set for Friday, and a public memorial was scheduled for Saturday.
'The sheer grotesqueness'
Residents are lining up for gun safety classes so they can buy firearms, said Scott Hoffman, owner of Hoffman’s Gun Center in nearby Newington.
“You talk to these people and you can see it’s hit home, this particular crime,” he said. “It’s the sheer grotesqueness of the crime and the fact that it’s such a normal family.”
A police source close to the investigation confirmed reports that Komisarjevsky, 26, and Hayes, 44, spotted Hawke-Petit and one of her daughters at a grocery store Sunday and followed their car home.
Police gave family members the same account, said Glenn Petit, Hawke-Petit’s brother-in-law.
“They were attracted to the car,” he told The Associated Press, though he was not sure what model Hawke-Petit was driving. “They liked the car, followed her home, thought she lived in a nice house.”
William Petit, who remained hospitalized in stable condition, had been beaten and bound in the basement but managed to escape the fire. The bodies of his wife and daughters were found inside.
“He’s doing as well as can be expected under the circumstances,” Glenn Petit said of his brother. “Emotionally, he’s a mess. He is stunned right now. He’s had his family taken from him.”
'A monstrous, deranged act'
Komisarjevsky and Hayes were each being held on $15 million bond. Convicted burglars with lengthy criminal records, they had been roommates at a drug treatment center and halfway house in Hartford last year.
Komisarjevsky is a member of a prominent family in the stage arts.
“It was a monstrous, deranged act, beyond comprehension,” his family said in a news release Thursday.
Komisarjevsky lived a few miles from the Petits, but it was not clear if there was any connection between them.
Parole Board Released Connecticut Home Invasion Suspects Without Full Report
CHESHIRE, Conn. — The state's parole board had incomplete information when it agreed this spring to release two prisoners who allegedly terrorized and killed three members of a Cheshire family last week, according to a state official.
Robert Farr, chairman of the Connecticut Board of Parole and Pardons, said the board had only one police report to review when it agreed to release 26-year-old Joshua Komisarjevsky of Cheshire and 44-year-old Steven Hayes of Winsted.
The report documented only one incident on Komisarjevsky's long criminal record, did not have sentencing transcripts and other information, Farr told The Advocate of Stamford for a story in Saturday's editions.
It is unclear whether more records might have changed the board's decision, Farr said, but added that the case highlights the lack of documentation usually presented to the parole board.
"It is the biggest frustration I've found since starting my job here," Farr, who was appointed in February, told the newspaper. "It is absolutely crucial for us to know what the nature of the crime is."
Komisarjevsky and Hayes, who met as roommates at a Hartford halfway house, are charged with capital felony, sexual assault, arson and numerous other offenses in the deaths of 48-year-old Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her daughters, 17-year-old Hayley and 11-year-old Michaela.
The men are accused of breaking into the family's home early Monday, holding them hostage for hours and forcing Hawke-Petit to withdraw money at a local bank, police said.
She was strangled and her daughters died of smoke inhalation after the suspects set the house ablaze and tried to flee, police said.
The lone survivor of the attack, Dr. William Petit Jr., was badly beaten but managed to escape the fire. He was released from the hospital in time to attend and speak at a private funeral Friday for his family and a public memorial Saturday.
Farr, the parole board chairman, said prosecutors typically send correction officials a short document listing the charges that potential parolees faced.
However, a July 6 memo from Chief State's Attorney Kevin Kane shows parole officials complained to his office that they rarely saw police reports before making their decisions, The Advocate reported.
Kane's memo instructed prosecutors to rectify the problem by sending the reports to correction and parole officials rather than putting them in storage.
"It is in our best interest that Correction and Parole have this information," Kane wrote. "I told them it might be difficult for some offices, but we will try to provide them."
Police reports are not part of the court clerk's case file, which is open to the public, and Farr said the board spent $4,000 in postage last year trying to collect police reports for parole hearings.
Farr met with Kane and a representative from the state's Judicial Branch to discuss the problem on June 26, according to Kane's memo. Kane was traveling Friday and unavailable for comment, a spokesman said.
Prosecutors have since been sending police reports, according to Farr and State's Attorney David Cohen, who heads the Stamford-Norwalk judicial district.
"We don't know if we're getting 100 percent compliance yet, but it's a major milestone," Farr said.
Alleged killers followed Petits home from market
CHESHIRE - The two men police allege orchestrated the home invasion that resulted in the death of Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her two daughters on Monday followed their victims home from a local supermarket Sunday evening, just hours before the family's horrific ordeal began, sources said Wednesday.
As Petit and her 11-year-old daughter, Michaela, were leaving the Stop & Shop in the Maplecroft Plaza a few miles from their 300 Sorghum Mill Drive home, Joshua Komisarjevsky and Steven Hayes were watching.
The two men followed the Petits as they drove home in their white Mercedes Benz sedan and then returned to the house just hours later, slipping in an unlocked back door, sources said.
They set the house on fire before leaving hours later after a brutal rampage.
With authorities revealing few details of the investigation, and the seemingly random nature of the crime, many in this town of 28,000 remain on edge.
"Since this happened, I'm afraid to go into my basement at night," said Jill Veiga, who is a next door neighbor to the Petit family.
Petit, 48, was strangled and daughers Michaela and Hayley, 17, died of smoke inhalation, according to the state medical examiner. All three deaths were ruled homicides. Dr. William Petit Jr., 50, who was beaten and bound in the basement, managed to escape. He remained hospitalized Wednesday in serious but stable condition.
Komisarjevsky, 26, of Cheshire and Hayes, 44, of Winsted face charges including sexual assault, burglary, arson and kidnapping, with even more serious charges likely to follow. They were being held Wednesday in lieu of $15 million bail each.
State police spokesman Lt. J. Paul Vance would neither confirm nor deny news reports about the alleged activity of the suspects leading up to the crime, and Cheshire Police Chief Michael Cruess took the unusual step of issuing a written statement urging members of the community to view all media reports on the crime with healthy dose of skepticism.
"Many news items have appeared in print and in the news media regarding this case; not all of the information has been correct and I ask everyone to take this into consideration when reading or viewing these items," Cruess said in his statement. "Unfortunately, with the investigation still actively on going, we are unable to provide some of the information, which the community is seeking, so that we do not jeopardize the investigation. Cheshire residents should rest assured that all the suspects in this case have been apprehended and are currently in the custody of the Connecticut Department of Corrections."
The last sentence in Cruess' statement appears to refer to questions residents have raised about a car that was found in the Quarry Village condominium complex, near the intersection of Mountain Road and West Main Street, about a mile and a half from the crime scene. Sources have linked the car to the suspects, but questions still remain about how the two men got from there to the crime scene.
It appears that the men walked to the Petit's home from Quarry Village in the middle of the night, sources said, carrying what they needed with them, including the gasoline that was later used to set fire to the house.
Sources say the two men gained access to the home via an unlocked door at the rear of the house about 3 a.m. Monday. Later in the morning, one of the intruders forced Hawke-Petit to go to a local Bank of America branch, where she withdrew $15,000.
Police say it was while she was withdrawing the money that Hawke-Petit was able to indicate to a teller that something was wrong. The bank notified police, and officers were simultaneously dispatched to the bank and the Petit home at 9:30 a.m. When police arrived at the home a few minutes later, the suspects were fleeing the burning house after pouring gasoline inside.
William Petit staggered from the home as officers arrived, the victim of an apparent baseball bat beating to his head and body.
The two girls were reportedly tied to their beds, and at least some of the females were sexually assaulted.
New Haven State's Attorney Michael Dearington, whose office is handling the case, said Wednesday that he needs more time to review evidence before deciding whether to pursue charges that could bring the death penalty for the two suspects.
"I know the public consensus is they should be fried tomorrow," he said.
Murder committed in the course of committing first-degree sexual assault, murder of a kidnapped person, murder of two or more people at the same time, and murder of someone under age 16 each carry the death penalty in Connecticut.
The family of Jennifer Hawke-Petit, who was from Pennsylvania, flew to Connecticut on Tuesday and began sifting through the charred house Wednesday.
"We tried to gather up some things that may be of some value to us ... but most of it's pretty well destroyed," Richard Hawke, the father and grandfather of the victims, told WTNH-TV.
Hawke, a Methodist minister, wondered how such a "tragic, evil thing" could be done.
"I think God is crying with us today," he said.
More details also emerged Wednesday on Komisarjevsky, 26, who was enrolled in Cheshire elementary schools briefly, but was later removed from the system to be home schooled. His family moved into the historic home he was living at the time of his arrest - 840 N. Brooksvale Road - in January 1992. The two-story home was built in 1768, according to the book Landmarks of Cheshire, by Merriman Cook.
As a young adult, Komisarjevsky moved to Bristol to live with his girlfriend for a time.
According to neighbors in the quiet, upscale Bristol housing subdivision where Komisarjevsky lived, the news of the triple murder was shocking beyond belief.
But in a neighborhood not unlike Cheshire where violent crime is uncommon, they too know what it was like to be terrorized by the 26-year-old ex-con.
Komisarjevsky broke into several homes near his former home, at 150 Wilderness Way in the Nelson Farms community.
He crept into at least three nearby homes there and nearby in 2001 wearing night-vision goggles; once a woman on Wilderness Way was home when he broke in during the middle of the night and began hysterically screaming until he fled.
"To find out that here we were concerned about break-ins, and it was someone in our own community," said one Wilderness Way woman, who wouldn't give her name. "We have neighborhoods around here with a higher crime rate; to hear that it was someone who lived here was just shocking."
The company that runs the Silliman House, a halfway house on Retreat Avenue in Hartford next to Hartford Hospital, confirmed Wednesday that Komisarjevsky and Hayes were roommates during about six months they spent together there, before Hayes was kicked out for drug use and sent to the J. B. Gates Correctional Institution in Niantic.
They had also been roommates at the Berman Treatment Center in Bloomfield, where they "flew through" and both graduated from a five-week substance abuse program, said Robert Pidgeon, chief executive officer of Community Solutions Inc., which runs the halfway house.
Komisarjevsky was sent to the treatment center in June of last year, after serving just three and a half years of a nine-year prison sentence for the Bristol break-ins as well as other burglaries in Cheshire. He was paroled on April 10 and had been living with his family.
Hayes, who racked up 23 disciplinary tickets while incarcerated off and on since 1980 - including violations for fighting and intoxication - was also sent to the treatment center and halfway house at around the same time, but in November he failed a drug test and was sent to prison for another five months. He was paroled on May 5, and had been staying at his mother's apartment in Winsted.
Both men had quickly obtained full-time jobs after entering the halfway house as required.
It wasn't clear where Hayes worked, but Hartford Restorative Services - a roofing and masonry company with offices in Glastonbury, confirmed Wednesday that Komisarjevsky had worked at its East Hartford office since his release.
Employees at the business said they would have no comment Wednesday.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
Cheshire Police Defend Response Time to Deadly Home Invasion
HARTFORD, Conn. — Cheshire police say reports that it took 30 minutes to reach the burning home where a mother and her two daughters were found dead are "absolutely false."
The state's attorney who is prosecuting the case has asked that the exact time when officers were dispatched to the scene not be immediately released, police say.
But Lt. Jay Markella, a spokesman for the Cheshire Police Department, denied that it took police a half-hour to get to the home where Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her two daughters died after being held hostage.
"Any reporting of a 30-minute response time is absolutely false," he told The Associated Press on Monday. "I don't know where they're getting their information from."
"I am proud of the way this department responded," Markella said. "It seems some aspects of the media are just looking for a scapegoat as to why this happened."
William Petit Sr., the father of the lone survivor of the July 23 fire, said his family does not have a problem with how long it took police to arrive at the home.
"As far as we know, the response time was immediate," he said. "We're very satisfied with the police response."
The killings have attracted national media attention. In addition to a few media reports, some Cheshire residents have publicly questioned whether there was too long a lag time between the initial 911 call and police arriving at the home.
State police, which is the lead investigator in the case, have said Jennifer Hawke-Petit was taken by one of the suspects to a local Bank of America branch shortly after 9:30 a.m. and withdrew money. Bank officials then notified Cheshire police about theease of information from preventing the individuals from receiving what they deserve, and that would be death."
Conn. town mourns home invasion victims
Injured father leads emotional memorial for three slain family members
NEW BRITAIN, Conn. - Dr. William Petit Jr. still bore bruises and gashes as he urged mourners Saturday to “spread the work” of his wife and two young daughters, who were slain after burglars surprised them in their home.
Petit, the lone survivor of the violent attack, told thousands of friends and strangers who crowded the memorial service about his wife of 22 years, who was a nurse; his college-bound daughter; and his youngest, who was just 11.
“I guess if there’s anything to be gained from the senseless deaths of my beautiful family, it’s for us all to go forward with the inclination to live with a faith that embodies action. Help a neighbor, fight for a cause, love your family,” Petit said.
“I’m really expecting all of you to go out and do some of these things with your family, in your own little way, to spread the work of these three wonderful women. Thank you,” he told the crowd.
Authorities say two men with long criminal histories broke into Petit’s Cheshire home early Monday and held the family hostage for several hours. One forced Jennifer Hawke-Petit, 48, to make a withdrawal at a bank later that morning, triggering suspicion among bank employees, police said. Police rushed to the house, found it on fire and encountered the suspects fleeing. The two were arrested after crashing the Petits’ car into police cruisers.
‘God weeps with us’
Petit was severely beaten and bound in the basement but managed to escape the fire. The bodies of his relatives were found in the smoldering home. Hawke-Petit was strangled, while Hayley, 17, and Michaela, 11, died of smoke inhalation.
Those who filled Central Connecticut State University’s 1,800-seat Welte Hall and still more at a side location on Saturday heard stories about their vibrant spirits and their love for each other, their community and their strong faith.
“As much as we weep, as much as we mourn their loss, as much as we miss them, God weeps with us,” said Stephen Volpe, their pastor at Cheshire United Methodist Church.
The family is well-known in the state. Petit, 50, is the medical director of the Joslin Diabetes Center Affiliate at The Hospital of Central Connecticut in New Britain and president of the Hartford County Medical Association.
His wife was a health center director at the Cheshire Academy, and daughter Michaela attended Chase Collegiate School in Waterbury. Hayley, who recently graduated from Miss Porter’s School in Farmington, had won early acceptance to Dartmouth, her father’s alma mater.
Megan Alexander, 17, said Hawke-Petit was a second mother to many of the students at Cheshire Academy, many of whom are boarders and come from other countries. “She was always there for you,” Alexander said.
Johanna Chapman, Dr. Petit’s sister, said Hayley was inquisitive as a toddler, asking about the universe’s formation. She was the cousin all of the younger cousins looked up to.
“The short time Hayley was here, she made an amazing difference,” said Chapman, choking back tears. “Can you imagine what she could have done?”
Michaela, Chapman said, loved to cook and had prepared the family’s dinner on Sunday — a salad with homemade balsamic vinaigrette, pasta and sauce made from fresh local tomatoes, basil and garlic.
“Losing her at age 11 is possibly the greatest loss of all, because she never got the chance to show us how great she could have been,” Chapman said.
The suspects, 26-year-old Joshua Komisarjevsky of Cheshire and 44-year-old Steven Hayes of Winsted, are charged with capital felony, arson, sexual assault and other crimes, and could face the death penalty if convicted. Both had been released earlier this year from prison.
Donations pour in to remember victims of deadly home invasion
HARTFORD, Conn. -- Contributions are beginning to flow to charities honoring the memories of a Cheshire woman and her two daughters slain in their home last week after being held captive for hours by two burglars.
"We're seeing an overwhelming number of phone calls and donations online," said Lisa Gerrol, president of the Greater Connecticut Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, which has received more than $8,000 since Friday.
At a public memorial service Saturday for his wife, Jennifer Hawke-Petit, 48, and the couple's two daughters, Hayley, 17, and Michaela, 11, Dr. William Petit Jr. urged more than 2,000 attendees to "help a neighbor, fight for a cause, love your family."
"I'm really expecting all of you to go out and do some of these things with your family, in your own little way, to spread the work of these three wonderful women," said Petit, the lone survivor of the July 23 attacks and arson fire, at Saturday's service.
Another public service was held Monday night in Plainville, in Dr. Petit's hometown. Hundreds attended the memorial at a park on Whiting Street where Dr. Petit has an office. Dr. Petit attended the service. His father-in-law, the Rev. Richard Hawke, a Methodist minister, was among those who addressed the crowd.
"Two men caught Monday chose to go against God's creation of goodness," Hawke said. "And they chose the way of evil."
The family has identified five organizations collecting money in honor of the Petits, including the girls' schools and the private Cheshire Academy, where Hawke-Petit was co-director of the health center.
The MS Society is building on the efforts of Hayley Petit, who started her own fund, "Hayley's Hope," at age 11 after her mother was diagnosed with MS. She began by organizing a team for an annual MS walk-a-thon and eventually raised $55,000 in eight years.
"Haley really wanted to do something. She thought her mom was going to die, and she figured if she did something, she could save her," Dr. Petit said Saturday.
Before she died, Haley was teaching her younger sister about the ins and outs of fundraising and organizing walk-a-thon teams, Gerrol said. Michaela had plans for her own charitable fund called "Michaela's Miracle."
"She was already recruiting, excited to start her own walk team, to follow in her big sister's footsteps," Gerrol said.
The walk-a-thon is scheduled for May 4, 2008. Members of the Petits' church announced they are forming a team called "The Precious Petits" to help raise funds.
Cheshire Academy spokesman Philip Moore said the school has already collected several thousand dollars for a scholarship in Hawke-Petit's name.
"We posted it online. Just a minute or two later it was posted, we started to get responses," he said. "It's been overwhelming."
About 50 donors have contributed $20,000 so far to a scholarship fund in Hayley's name at Miss Porter's School in Farmington, where she recently graduated.
"It's a reflection of the depth of the tragedy and the sense of helplessness that we all feel that there is nothing we can do for these people except honor them and remember them," said school spokeswoman Mara Braverman. "Very often in these situations we're looking for something to do. And doing something as positive as giving to a scholarship fund that will help some other young woman is a very positive action."
Donations are also starting to come in for a scholarship in Michaela's name at Chase Collegiate School in Waterbury, which she and Hayley attended. A total figure is not yet available, said spokeswoman Aline Rossiter.
Farmington Savings Bank is also accepting donations on behalf of the Petit Family Foundation. The foundation has not yet decided which causes to support, but Rick Healey, Dr. Petit's attorney and friend, said recipients could include the MS Society and diabetes and cancer organizations with which the endocrinologist is active.
"There's a sense that there was such a large number of people out there who wanted to do something and to hopefully participate in something good coming from all of this tragedy," Healey said.
Avery To Prepare New Haveners For Home Invasions
In the wake of the brutal triple murder in Cheshire, Officer Joe Avery plans to start offering advice on home invasions when he gives his popular "The Mind of a Burglar" talks in New Haven neighborhoods.
Avery (pictured) gives talks to neighborhood and church groups in the city to help residents outsmart burglars. (Click here to read about his road show.)
"We never really offered anything on home invasion before, to any great extent," he says. "Now I think I have to rethink that, based on what happened."
The brutal murders of three members of the Petit family in Cheshire last week followed a home invasion.
First, some definitions: burglary, robbery, home invasion. Click here for the quick primer. Avery said there were two attempted burglaries -- crimes against property -- in the city in the last week. When the would-be perpetrators realized someone was home, they fled. In other words, neither of those incidents turned into a home invasion.
Avery said now he's going to add information to his talks about how to build a low-cost safe room in any house or apartment. That includes having a metal door that locks and a means of communication -- a cell phone or an alarm -- inside and always ready for use. "It's a way to buy time," he said.
He'll also talk about the do's and don'ts to increase one's chances of preventing a home invasion: do keep thinking flexibly, for example (perhaps difficult with a gun pointing at you), and don't ever pull a weapon on an armed perpetrator.
City residents interested in having Officer Avery talk to your group can call him at 946.5915.
Meanwhile, an anti-death penalty group in Connecticut is getting hate email from across the country because it opposes the death penalty for whoever's convicted of murdering the Petit family. New Haven State's Attorney Michael Dearington (pictured) has said he will seek the death penalty in the case.
Robert Nave, executive director of the Connecticut Network to Abolish the Death Penalty, said in the six years he's been leading the fight against capital punishment in the state, he's never seen a reaction like this. He added that in the past two weeks, two young men were killed in Hartford, and there was no outcry for the death penalty in those cases. He said he believes the difference is that the Petit case "struck to the heart of middle class America." To prove the point, he added, "And frankly, last night I was putting out my garbage at midnight and I looked around and thought, 'Gee, I hope there's no one out there who wants to stalk, or come in and attack.'"
Gun Sales Rise After Cheshire Home Invasion
Security Company Says Phones Ringing Off Hook
NEWINGTON, Conn. -- State gun sales have shot up in the days after the wife and two daughters of a prominent Connecticut physician were killed, according to a local gun shop owner.
Scott Hoffman runs Hoffman's Gun Center on the Berlin Turnpike. In the past few days, following the triple homicide in Cheshire, Hoffman said that people have been rushing to his store to buy guns for themselves and their homes.
"They're scared," he said. "They're scared for their own personal safety and their family's safety, their children's safety and they want a way to protect themselves."
Hoffman said that the most popular weapon for both men and women looking to defend themselves is a defense-grade shotgun. Hoffman credited the gun's popularity to the short waiting period -- it can be obtained in two weeks as opposed to waiting 90 days for a pistol permit.
"We sell about 8,000 guns a year, and I'd say a majority of them are for self-defense," he said.
Channel 3 Eyewitness News reporter Jessica Schneider reported that residents questioning their sense of safety following the home invasion have also been calling companies that install security systems.
Joe Mitchell of Associated Security Corp. said his company's phones have been ringing off the hook.
"I had 15 phone calls on my phone by 9:30 in the morning," he said.
He said that security systems aren't meant to protect valuables anymore, that many people use them to protect their lives.
Home Security Tips
The Connecticut State Police offer the following tips on how homeowners can keep themselves as safe as possible and deter burglars.
tLocks Use quality locks on all doors, windows and sliding doors, and be especially careful in the summer months.
tHouse Number Make sure the number on your house is visible at night, and light it if necessary, so that responders can locate your home quickly.
tKeys Don't leave keys outside your home, even if they are hidden. No matter how clever you are, burglars will find them.
tNeighbors Know your neighbors, and keep their phone numbers on hand in case of an emergency.
tFoliage Trim foliage away from doors and windows, so that entryways to your home can be seen clearly from the street.
tLights Keep the outside of your home well-lit. Motion-sensitive lights are a good deterrent.
tTimers Use devices that give the impression that people are home. Use timers for lamps, or keep a radio on, for example.
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