Is the Rate of Home Invasions and Robberies on an Incline?
Despite recent good news about the gradual decline in the rate of robberies and home invasions, the rate for the first quarter of this year has law enforcement on edge. Law enforcement has recently been boasting about an improved response rate to robberies, better technology and resources, and an all around better crime rate. However, it seems that things are actually getting worse, despite all of the new and improved efforts of law enforcement.
A home invasion robbery is much different than a burglary. For instance, home invasion is considered the act of illegally entering (or breaking and entering) a private and occupied dwelling with violent intent for the purpose of committing a crime against the occupants such as robbery or assault. Burglary is simply illegally entering a dwelling with the intent of stealing property.
Home Invasions on the Rise
Home invasions are generally one of the most violent types of crimes. This is because they usually involve the perpetrator brandishing some type of deadly weapon. However, victims targeted at random are usually rare. The perpetrator usually has a purpose behind invading a home – and that purpose is usually knowledge of accessible cash or drugs.
According to an article in the Palm Beach Post, authorities reported 2,018 robberies in Palm Beach County in 2010, 649 fewer than in 2009. And while in 2011 there were still fewer robberies – only 1,881 – the decrease was just 137. Also, although the number of arrests for home invasions in Palm Beach County has been declining over the past three years, arrests in the first quarter of this year are ahead of the same period last year.
According to the Post, Lt. Michael Wingate, head of the robbery unit at the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, said robberies are down overall because of better policing, including faster responses. And home invasions often have something to do with drugs, he said. He said many of the cases the sheriff’s office works include people who have drugs – particularly prescription pills – excess cash or weapons around their house, making them susceptible to robbers.
If you have been accused of robbery, you could be looking at a serious felony charge if a deadly weapon was involved. It is imperative that you call a criminal defense lawyer immediately after your arrest.