The following article is the sixth installment on Community Safety by Travis County Sheriff Outreach Deputy James Kitchens.
Develop the habit of surveying your home as you approach it. If you note evidence that someone has broken in, DO NOT ENTER. Go to the nearest telephone and call 9-1-1. Should you confront a burglar, the very first rule is: GET OUT OF HIS WAY!! Never get between a burglar and the exit, and never try to stop him. It may cost you your life!
If you are in your home and someone is prowling outside, make it appear that several people are at home. For example, call to someone, “Dan, there’s something outside.” Dial 9-1-1, and if it is dark, turn on the lights. If an intruder has already broken in, retreat and put other doors between the two of you. It is a good idea to have a deadbolt on an interior door. If you cannot get out, try to signal a neighbor by throwing something through a window; just the noise may frighten a burglar away.
If someone should enter your bedroom while you are in bed, pretend that you are asleep as long as he does not come near you.
If the intruder is armed, do what he says, and see that children do so as well. Remain calm – intruders generally want your property rather than your life.
Memorize a description of the intruder and write it down immediately after he has left; then call 9-1-1. Don’t depend on memory.