Just a few days after Christmas, a Wheeling Island woman was awakened late at night by an intruder. He'd been trying to steal jewelry and money. Fortunately, he left in a hurry as she called the police.
A Bridgeport man wasn't as lucky. When he discovered two men in his garage, he was stabbed. It appears he will recover.
Something even worse happened in nearby Barberton, Ohio, on New Year's Eve. Two men invaded a home and killed three people, including an 18-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy. Both the children were shot in the head. Police said the men were looking for money or drugs.
And remember last spring when three men went to a Mingo Junction home in a botched robbery attempt? They shot a man in the leg and pistol-whipped his girlfriend. They also pistol-whipped two children, including a 2-year-old girl.
Perhaps it's my imagination, but it seems to me the number of home invasion crimes has gone up. Police believe most are committed by thugs who want to steal drugs or money to buy them.
It's only a matter of time before a couple of punks find the woman whose sleep they disturbed has a gun and knows how to use it.
Now, don't assume I'm suggesting that if you don't already own a gun, you should rush out and buy one to safeguard your family and home. If you're not familiar with firearms - and I mean more than playing video games - you're probably as much of a danger to yourself as to any burglars. Remember, sometimes they return fire.
In some places, the thought of shooting an intruder would be viewed as barbaric. Depending on the circumstances, police might consider filing charges against a home owner who opened up against a burglar.
Not here. Try to find a jury willing to convict someone defending his family and home.
Again, I'm not suggesting violent response to any sound you hear late at night. Think about the possibility of shooting a family member accidentally. Really think about that.
But the druggies need to start considering the likelihood that if home invasions continue, they're going to run up against someone with a gun - and the will to use it.
Eventually, it will happen.
Myer can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.