Sheriff Mike Tregre cautions,
“Protect your family and home from intruders.

Don’t let the hustle and bustle of the holiday season make you careless in protecting your home from potential criminals. Criminals take advantage of the holiday season to prey on those who are unsuspecting, distracted, or generous.

Sheriff Tregre cautions homeowners, “home invasions are on the rise. Take some time to assess the security of your home this holiday season.”

Home invasion is a form of armed robbery where criminals break into homes through locked or unlocked doors or windows with the intent to commit a crime (such as robbery, rape, assault or any violation of law against the occupant(s). Home invasion differs from burglary because there is violent intent. Typically, home invaders target the resident, not the residence.

This relatively new crime trend is difficult to track because the crime might be filed as burglary, robbery, assault, or battery. Because of this it is difficult to keep the public informed of the number of incidents in the community. That being said, by looking at just one of these categories, burglary, some alarming figures command attention. According to the FBI’s Crime in the United States report, there were 46,246 burglaries in Louisiana last year. In addition, one out of every five homes will encounter a violent home intrusion or burglary.

Sheriff Tregre advises, “The best weapon you have against home invasion is education. Now that you are aware of the facts, with just a little time and precaution, you can make your home safe for the holidays.”

Sheriff Mike Tregre offers these tips to protect your home and family:

  • "Alarm"Never open doors to strangers. During the holiday season criminals often pose as couriers carrying gifts, or as solicitors for a charitable cause.
  • Always lock your doors and windows.
  • Invest in high-security locks, solid entry doors and window hardware.
  • Consider a home security system and even a dog.
  • Install bright outdoor lighting with motion detection.
  • If you have an alarm system, use it. Post warning signs or window decals on your property.
  • Trim bushes and trees so burglars can’t hide and so branches don’t block lighting.
  • Have an action plan for your family in case intruders enter.
  • Don’t fight over property with an intruder. Let them have the property; it is not worth your life and can be replaced.
  • If you suspect an intruder is in your home, do not enter and call 911 immediately!