The Cheshire, Connecticut home invasion, which occurred on July 23, 2007, may be the most well-known home invasion in recent memory.
The crime was committed by Steven Hayes and Joshua Komisarjevsky. Hayes was sentenced to death. Komisarjevsky is still awaiting trial. The Connecticut General Assembly enacted one of America’s six state home invasion laws a year after the crime. The law makes home invasion in Connecticut a Class A felony punishable to 10 to 25 years in prison, with a 10-year mandatory minimum sentence.
This timeline entry from the Hartford Courant presents a history of the events leading up to passage of the Connecticut Home Invasion Law.
The community of Torrington, Connecticut, located about 30 miles from Cheshire where the murders occurred, posted an excellent list of “Home Invasion Prevention Tips” on its website.
HOME INVASION PREVENTION TIPS from Torrington, Connecticut
1. Lock all doors, windows, and garages at all times, even when you are home. Preliminary information from the Cheshire tragedy reveals that the suspects got in through an open door.
2. Harden and secure your home with strong doors and locks.
3. Never open your door to strangers or solicitors. Most home invaders knock on the front door to gain entry. Use your outside light at night to see who is at your door. Don’t rely on door chains to keep intruders out; they won’t.
4. If you have an alarm system in your home, activate the perimeter doors and windows while you are in the home. If someone attempts to gain entry, the alarm will sound, giving you time to set your plan in motion.
5. Automatic phone dialers that can call 911, in speakerphone mode, can be effective in getting police assistance if intruders come in. Every home phone should be pre-programmed with this feature and all family members should be trained on how to use it. When intruders come in you will not have much time to contact police.
6. Have an escape plan in mind for your family. Train family members on where to go and what to say. This plan should include your children. If someone can escape, the invaders will have lost their advantage of privacy and time.
7. Never stop thinking if you are held captive. Stay calm and take advantage of any opportunities that present themselves.
8. Report all suspicious activity to police. If you see something out of the ordinary, call. You are not bothering us.
9. Often, police are asked if people should resist invaders. There is no set answer for this, seeing as it depends on the physical and mental capabilities of each person.
10. Don’t fight over property with an intruder. Let them have the property; it is not worth your life and can be replaced. Never follow the intruder from the scene, call 911 immediately and get the best description you can get.