The Christmas season is a time of joyous celebration and fellowship with family and friends for most people.
Unfortunately, for some it is also an opportunity to exploit the generosity and trust of others in order to enrich themselves through crimes like purse-snatching, carjacking, armed robbery and home invasion.
KTRK recently reported on just such an occurrence in which an armed home invasion took place in Houston after one of the robbers tricked the homeowner into opening his front door for the crew of four criminals.
Surveillance video showed what appeared to be a UPS deliveryman approach the door with a package and inform the homeowner that a signature was needed. When homeowner Lawrence Berry opened the door, the “deliveryman” forced his way in and was quickly followed by three other men bearing handguns.
Berry struggled with the intruders long enough for his wife and children to hide in a safe location, but was beaten and tasered for his efforts. He ending up in the hospital with significant neck and head injuries.The robbers got away with some jewelry and antique collectible firearms.
It remained unclear how the robbers obtained a UPS uniform typically reserved for full-time employees, but the delivery service was cooperating with local law enforcement in its investigation of the incident. One of its actual delivery drivers may have been previously targeted and robbed of the uniform.
As frightening as such an event seems, there are a couple of relatively simple things most homeowners can do to guard against such an occurrence, according to the Independent Journal Review.
First and foremost, if an unexpected deliveryman appears at the front door, homeowners should look behind the individual to see if they can spot the big brown UPS truck or the similarly recognizable Fed-Ex or USPS delivery trucks.
Additionally, homeowners should check to see if the delivery person is carrying one of the increasingly more common handheld tracking computers, or alternatively can ask to see an ID from the individual before opening the door.
Furthermore, homeowners can sometimes avoid having packages delivered to their home at all, opting instead to pick the package up on their own time at a central location like a UPS or Fed-Ex store or at their local post office.
Hopefully the men who pulled off this brazen heist will soon be identified and apprehended and held to account for their criminal actions.
In the meantime, stay armed if you prefer, keep your head on a swivel and a close eye out for other criminals who may attempt to copy this tactic in future home invasions. And don’t open your door for strangers unless you are certain of their identity and intentions.