A growing number of Indianapolis residents have had their homes invaded by burglars. While other crimes have been declining, burglaries have remained steady or increased in recent years, says the Indianapolis Star. .The city had 12,198 residential burglaries in 2008 — the most recent year for which 12 months of data were available — an increase of 10 percent from 2007. In an effort to reduce those numbers, officials are requiring 200 convicted burglars to attend “Operation Home Invasion” tonight for the largest such gathering of probationers and parolees the city has ever held.
The public isn’t invited; it’s aimed directly at those who have committed burglaries in the past. Public Safety Director Frank Straub said this approach is in keeping with the crime strategy he and Mayor Greg Ballard will announce soon. “By bringing in these folks that are on probation, we’re putting them on notice: Abide by the constraints that have been put on you and we will do what we can to help you succeed,” Straub said. “But if you don’t follow the rules, you don’t want to take advantage of the opportunities that are afforded you, it’s game on.” Officials also want them to hear from victims about the impact of their crimes. Said one repeat victim: “People have no idea how you feel. When it happened the third time, the two police officers that live across the street were home with their cars in the driveway, and that didn’t stop them. We bought a guard dog and got permits to carry guns. I want people to understand that if it happens again, I’m willing to shoot.”