A week ago, Nadine and I had a scare when two people broke down our front door at about 12:30 am early Sunday morning on Feb 3rd. We were both home when this happened so it was terrifying. To make a long story short (if you want the longer, scarier story email me) we are both okay and actually were able to recover some, not all of the stuff that was stolen.
We've been doing what we can to try to feel safe at home again. I've been doing some reading and home invasions are a different sort of fright you might have if you came home and someone had broken in, took a bunch of stuff and left. The police were great and reassured us that we did everything right. It also seems that this was a random act and not that we were cased and chosen. I realize that when something like this happens it makes other people feel better if perhaps we had set ourselves up to be victimized. Our front door, although fairly solid, looked like an easier target than the others down the street. Once ours is replaced, it will look as tough if not tougher than our neighbors - a solid reinforced steel door with an additional metal security door/gate.
I'm angry that our neighbors didn't do anything. It took them 3 house-shaking tries to break the door. The 2 inch wide solid wood door split in 2 since the deadbolt held tight and the door frame was as solid as the door. The door broke into about 5 pieces as they burst through the entry way demanding money. We decided that we need to know our neighbors better. If something happened tomorrow, I know that I won't worry about meddling or interfering and I will call the police without a second thought.
I also have added a few numbers to my cell phone. Neither of us knew that if you called 911 from your cell phone, that you may end up at the state police and not the local police department. It's just the luck of the cell phone towers and proximity to the highway apparently. Nadine was on hold for over 2 minutes as she hid in the backyard trying to call for help. Luckily I was able to take advantage of the situation and get out. Once I saw them leave in a waiting SUV, I ran back and called from the house landline. I got someone on 911 immediately. You should know this and have a house phone near your bedside. We do now. Call your local police and fire department and ask them for the direct dial numbers and add them to your cell phone. In San Francisco Police emergency dispatch is 415-553-8090. If you want to report non-emergency suspicious activity, call 415-553-0123.
While I don't want to scare you, gentle readers, this is something that does happen. If you want to do what you can to make your home as safe as possible, here are some links to prevent crime from happening in the first place:
National Crime Prevention Council
Crime Prevention Tips