Why the Term “Home Invasion” May Not Apply

Filed under: Home Invasion Statistics |

The following headline appear in the Peoria Times: “Peoria Police Arrest Father and Son in Home Invasion.”

At least four other news sources repeated the “home invasion” characteristic: MyFoxPhoenix.com; abc15.com; AZCentral.com; and KPHO.com.

The Home Invasion News reading of this crime has zero components of a “classic home invasion.” In some ways, we feel this story may belong under “The Other Home Invasion” where we report on neighborhood fights and disputes.

Be that as it may …

• On July 30, three men, including a 59-year-old man and his 30-year-old son, tried to force their way into the residence of two men who lived about 4 miles from their home. In the struggle with the two residents, the door was pulled from its hinges.

• The three suspects knew the two men who lived in the home.

• Rather than an intended property crime, a “financial dispute” with the residents brought the suspects to the home.

• The suspects did not have a weapon. They did carry a half-inch breaker bar with which the suspects “attempted to assault the homeowner,” according to one report.

• Two injuries occurred on the scene, one when a resident was bitten by his own dog; and the other when one of the suspects suffered significant injuries to the thigh and fingers from an attack by the same pitbull.

•The father and son, Larry and Curtis Landwehr, were arrested two days after the attempted break-in. The third suspect in the crime, James Joseph Galligan, III, was arrested on August 10.

This incident is a mess nobody wants to be part of, but here at HIN we wouldn’t call it a “home invasion.” Maybe it was an attempted breaking and entering or a trespass. But it’s not well described as a “home invasion.”

So what difference does it make?

The words “home invasion” strike fear … and fear sells. Please read carefully before you decide that home invasion is a probable threat to you.

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