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Indy residents search for safety after home invasions
A recent spate of home invasions has residents of some Indianapolis neighborhoods on edge, but law enforcement and security experts say preparation — not panic — is the best defense.

Many local residents already have taken steps to protect themselves and their families, from installing security systems to enrolling in self-defense training courses to buying guns.

“I just got a call this week from a group of women from the Meridian Hills areas who want personal protection instruction,” said Guy A. Relford, a Carmel attorney who specializes in Second Amendment law and operates Indianapolis-based Tactical Firearms Training LLC.

The request was “specifically due to some of the recent incidents,” said Relford, who also teaches a gun-law class on what Hoosiers can legally do to protect their homes and themselves.

Relford was referring to two separate and harrowing incidents recently in northern Marion County.

The first occurred on Oct. 24, when two homeowners were assaulted, their home ransacked and their vehicle stolen in a home invasion in the 7000 block of North Spring Mill Road.

Five days later, a home invasion in the 800 block of East 79th Street was carried out by as many as four men, who shot a woman, sexually assaulted her and her adult daughter and stole three vehicles.

Those cases were among at least eight home invasions in the Indianapolis area since mid-September in which residents were terrorized, shot or stabbed.

“Based on what’s being reported,” he said, “there is no question there has been a rash in areas where people are not used to seeing these types of crimes. They also have been very violent. Things like that are going to get people’s attention.”

That was evident Tuesday, when more than 150 people showed up at Second Presbyterian Church, 7700 N. Meridian St., for a community forum on home safety.

“When something of this magnitude occurs, it grabs everyone’s attention,” said Jon Pactor, 64, a Northside resident who was at the meeting.

“I think people are scared. I also think people are mystified. People want to know who are these villains? Where do they come from? Why are they here?