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The information provided above is a generalized description of home invasion robbery. You must combine the basic facts with a more specific understanding of your local problem. Analyzing the local problem carefully will help you design a more effective response strategy.
The first step in conducting local analysis is determining that your community has a specific home invasion robbery problem, and not a problem with residential burglary or personal robbery near or outside residential dwellings. The next step is analyzing the home robbery process, which can vary from problem to problem. It helps to divide this process into four time blocks, which cover activities during the following periods as depicted in Figure 2 below:
Source: Adapted from Jacobs and Wright (1999); Jacobs, B., and R. Wright (1999). "Stickup, Street Culture and Offender Motivation." Criminology 37(1): 149-173.
The two tables below use this division of time to show the differences between two types of home invasion robberies. Table 1 describes the robbery of a senior citizen by a stranger. Table 2 describes the robbery of a drug dealer by a familiar person.
Victim (Senior Citizen)
An offender needs cash. He identifies the victim by posing as a utility worker. The offender can easily monitor the victim while appearing legitimate.
A single senior citizen is usually home for predictable, long periods of time.
Neighborhood; homeowner’s property
The offender notices that the victim is alone.
The victim willingly opens the door to the offender (who is in uniform) and allows him inside.
Porch; home entry way
The offender switches from “con” to “blitz” tactics and uses force to restrain the victim and takes money and property after searching the home for a long period of time.
Victim complies with offender’s demands and does not resist. The victim suffers minor injuries.
The offender casually exits the house and drives away. He later sells the stolen property.
The victim is left restrained and must free herself, so she cannot contact police until long after the robbery.
Destination will vary
Victim (Drug Dealer)
An offender needs drugs. He is an acquaintance of the victim and knows of his dealing and where he lives. He can easily visit the victim without raising suspicion.
A drug dealer is known to sell narcotics out of his house.
Victim’s neighborhood and outside of dwelling
The offender asks to buy drugs from the victim.
The victim presents drugs that are for sale.
Inside the home
The offender threatens victim with a gun and quickly takes the drugs and cash, but not other property.
The victim complies with the offender’s demands. He is not injured.
Inside the home
The offender flees the home on foot to a nearby escape route and uses or sells the drugs.
The victim does not report the crime, because only drugs were taken and he doesn’t want police investigating his own crimes.
The location will vary
In addition to criminal justice agencies, the following groups have an interest in the home invasion robbery problem and ought to be considered for the contribution they might make to gathering information about the problem and responding to it:
The following are critical questions you should ask in analyzing your particular problem of home invasion robbery, even if the answers are not always readily available. Your answers to these and other questions will help you choose the most appropriate set of responses later.
Measurement allows you to determine to what degree your efforts have succeeded and suggests how you might modify your responses if they are not producing the intended results.
You should take measures of your problem before you implement responses to determine how serious the problem is, and after you implement them to determine whether they have been effective. You should take all measures in both the target area and the surrounding area. For detailed guidance on measuring effectiveness, see Problem-Solving Tools Guide No. 1, Assessing Responses to Problems and Problem-Solving Tools Guide No. 10, Analyzing Crime Displacement and Diffusion.
The following are potentially useful outcome measures of the effectiveness of responses to home invasion robbery. They assess the actual impact on the problem (i.e., reductions in the level and severity of incidents as opposed to arrests or clearances):
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