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    Posted August 15, 2013 by
    Editor2112
    Location
    Oakville, ON, Ontario
    Assignment
    Assignment
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    First Person: Your essays

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    Oakville Home Invasion Victim: “I’ll never be the same again”

     
    Halton Police and Home Theatre Expert say it’s better to be safe than sorry

    By Paul Fitzgerald

    It was a Saturday night, just another normal evening for Kevin Pearce.

    The 44 year-old, born and raised in Oakville, finished watching the news and catching the sports highlights before calling it a night around 11:30 pm.

    However, not long after the retail store owner tucked himself into bed his entire life would change forever.

    That was five years ago, and what would ensue in his home that night will always be a vivid memory.

    It’s a night he will never forget.

    “Living in Oakville all my life, I never ever thought that a group of thugs would break into my home while I was sleeping,” says Pearce during an interview. “Sadly it happened. It had to have been one of the most horrific moments of my life. I thought I was going to die. I was terrified, scared to death – words just can’t describe what was going through my head.”

    That night four men entered his home from a kitchen window. Two of the men were armed with a knife and the other two were holding crowbars.

    Did the offenders know Pearce? Were they stalking his home for days on end to plot their shameless attack? And, why would someone like Pearce be the target of a home invasion?

    One may never know the answers as to why, but it happened to Pearce - a homeowner, a good citizen, one who is a staunch believer of community outreach.

    He never had time to even call 911.

    “That group of degenerates demanded money and jewelry from me and I was told that if I didn’t cooperate then they would ‘do me in nice and quick.’ They were going to kill me, there’s no doubt in my mind.”

    He cooperated, but was still roughed up a bit and terribly shaken from the incident.

    “It happened five years ago, but I will never be the same again,” he says.

    His only regret looking back on the situation was that he never had a security alarm system installed in his home.

    “If I had taken the steps to spend some money, those cowards would have not robbed me, they would have never stood a chance,” explains Pearce. “Anyone I talk to now, I tell them, get a home security system installed. It’s the best deterrent to fight off criminals.”

    According to the Halton Regional Police Services, home invasions and home break-ins are sadly on the rise. It’s become a new reality here in Oakville and across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

    The sleepy and yet posh suburbs are now attune to this heinous form of crime.

    According to Clinton Howell, founder and owner of H2 Systems Inc. in Burlington, his company has been busy this summer installing home security alarm systems in Oakville. This summer alone has been record breaking for the amount of systems they are installing for homeowners.

    “Everyone now is aware that home invasions and break-ins are happening at alarming rates,” says Howell. “This is why companies like ours are busy installing state-of-the-art security systems. Security systems will keep our communities safer place to live as they thwart off the crooks.”

    Howell’s company, a household name here in Oakville, is installing high-end home security systems that are equipped with motion sensors, infrared cameras, contact sensors and which can be controlled and monitored by an iPhone.

    “Technology has advanced so much it is unreal,” says Howell. “Now hundreds of homeowners in Oakville can be safer and more secure with new security technology that can be controlled and monitored by a security company or even their iPhone.”

    With the rise in home break-ins and home invasions, here are tips Halton Regional Police are offering for homeowners:

    • Securely lock all windows/doors to home
    • Have an alarm/video surveillance system installed
    • Utilize exterior lighting
    • Use locks on gates to backyard
    • If you suspect your home has been entered and/or an intruder is still present within or nearby, contact 9-1-1 immediately for police assistance

    Howell indicates that his company is preparing to install even more home security systems that are cutting-edge.

    “There’s no doubt about it, people want to be safe,” he says. “People will take the steps they need in order to be safe and will spend the money to fight crime.”

    The day after Pearce’s terrible incident, he immediately got a home security system installed and he bought a dog.

    “My home security system and my dog – who can make lots of noise – allows me to keep my sanity,” says Pearce. “I encourage everyone to get a home security system and get this kind of crime out of our town for good.”


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