July 7, 2011 … Buried in the past three weeks of the Home Invasion News newsfeed, we’re finding cases of extreme violence appearing along with the home invasion reports.
To be sure, the “classic definition” definition of home invasion includes intimidation and the threat of violence. But brutalizing victims for no apparent gain? That strikes us as something of a trend.
Violent crime statistics for 2011 are hard to come by. We do know that the FBI reported an overall drop in violent crime rates in 2010. So far, there’s not much available for 2011 — just tidbits like these, one from the District of Columbia and one from Seattle.
• Violent crime in the District of Columbia is down for the first six months of 2011. The number of assaults with a dangerous weapon (with and without a gun) were down 9% and gun crimes (robberies and assaults with guns) are down 16% for the first half of 2011 over 2010.
• Seattle has issued a similar finding. Through May, Major Crimes were down citywide by 12% when compared with the same time period in 2010. This continues the downward crime trend that occurred citywide in 2010. Through May of 2011, Violent Crime is down 2% compared with the same time period in 2010, with homicides, rapes and robberies trending down and only aggravated assaults showing an increase. Property Crimes were down 13% across the City through May 2011, when compared with the same time period in 2010. Vehicle thefts and larceny/thefts were showing down by double-digits and burglaries were up slightly.
So if these statistics reflect national trends, violent crime probably is continuing its decline this year.
Unfortunately, our Google newsfeed (see “In the News,” right column, page one) on “home invasion” is looking a bit different. We began gathering entries in mid June and the list is now 67 pages long, with about 10 entries per page. That’s close to 700 stories reported in the last month. Often, multiple entries will report on a single home invasion crime, so this doesn’t mean we’ve had 700 home invasions in the past month. But a review of the data gives us a glimpse of — and maybe a gut reaction to — what is happening nationally.
When we scanned the entries yesterday, we didn’t like what we saw — a number of very violent acts appear to have been committed during home invasions, including violence against the elderly and the very young.
Does this mean that violent acts are being committed more often during home invasions than is true of other crimes? Answering that question would take weeks of research, so we can’t be sure. We can say that more than a few acts of extreme violence have been reported in the past month.
For example, consider the following home invasion headlines from around the country.
Home Invaders Hold Baby Upside Down At Gunpoint, WLKY Louisville, KY
Gunmen terrorized a couple during a home invasion in southwest Jefferson County, police said.
CPD Officer Injured Responding to Home Invasion, WTVC, Chattanooga, TN
Sgt. Jerri Weary tells us a pregnant woman inside the home was pushed down during the home invasion. She was taken to the hospital to make sure she and the baby are OK.
Two arrested for westside home invasion and shooting, Tucson, AZ
Two men forced entry into the home, took some items, and then shot one of the residents. The second resident escaped unharmed. The owner of the suspect vehicle contacted police after the robbery and tried to report it stolen; he was arrested on charges of trying to file a false police report.
POLICE: Woman shot in head during home invasion WDRB, Louisville, KY
Metro Police are investigating a home invasion in which a woman was shot in the back of the head, not far from where her children were sleeping.
Police, Victim’s Daughter Plea For Help In Deadly Home Invasion, Farmington, ME
New details are out on the investigation into a deadly home invasion in the town of Farmington, which involved the stabbing murder of an 81-year-old woman.
UPDATE: Man with criminal past arrested in home invasion of 94-year-old woman, South Bend, IN
Police have arrested David O’Banion, 38, of South Bend in connection with a home invasion that left an unidentified 94-year-old woman injured early Tuesday morning.
Pregnant woman raped during RI home invasion, Central Falls, RI
Police say three armed men kicked in the door of the women’s third-floor Central Falls apartment on Saturday while the 27-year-old woman was asleep with her son. The woman, who is seven months pregnant, was threatened at gunpoint, and one of the men raped her in a bathroom, police Capt. James Mendonca said.
Grandmother and 19-year old daughter terrorized in home invasion, Miami, FL
The grandmother said she was tied up with tape and the men also placed tape on her granddaughter’s eyes before kidnapping her.