She arrived home around 10:30 p.m. to find two strangers in her house. The Sun-Times reported late yesterday that the burglars, one armed with a gun, beat and sexually assaulted the woman then forced her into her vehicle.
They then drove her vehicle around and eventually released her about two blocks from her home, police said.
Early Friday, police found and arrested James A. Romaine, 22, of Park Forest, and a 16-year-old. Both were charged Sunday with one count of aggravated criminal sexual assault and home invasion, police said.
The Chicago Tribune reports that they are expected to appear for bond hearings Monday, according to a release from Park Forest police. The teen was expected to have his case transferred from juvenile court and charged as an adult.
Home robberies happen everyday in safe and not so safe neighborhoods, but it isn't very often that the owner comes home and encounters the thieves. When it does occur the results can be fatal, as in the case of Kelli O'Laughlin. She died from multiple stab wounds inflicted by the burglar.
In the O'Laughlin case the intruder broke in through either a back door or window, so she had no way of knowing anything was wrong. The reporting in the Park Forest case doesn't mention how the burglars entered, but if there had been a sign of a break-in would she have known what to look for and how to react to what she saw?
What would you do if you came home and found your door open, or signs of the lock being forced?
Ask your friends what they would do if they suspected their residence showed signs of forced entry. Would they walk in and have a look around?
Police advise that if you sense something just isn't right as you enter your residence quickly back away and call 911 immediately and be a good witness.
What are some of the signs of a break-in?
1. The door is open and you know you closed and locked it.
2. You see scratches or marks on the doorjamb.
3. Broken glass outside the door. Even if the window in the door appears fine keep looking. Many times older apartments have transom windows above the backdoor, which can be broken or forced open.
4. An open garage door, especially if it is attached to your home.
5. Vice marks on the doorknob, where the lock is built into the doorknob itself. These types of locks are not very secure.
If you see any of these signs do not go in the house. Move away and call 911.
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