Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients are among the most vulnerable to be victims of robbery - especially during periods when they are on the machine conducting Hemodialysis or Peritoneal Dialysis. This was highlighted when a patient conducting Home Dialysis (unclear whether Hemodialysis or Peritoneal Dialysis) was robbed and basically helpless to protect himself.
A Santa Fe man lived through a nightmare when intruders barged into his home while he was conducting Dialysis Treatments and stole cash he had on hand to pay bills and broke his eye socket, according to a search warrant filed in the state District Court in Santa Fe.
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More specifically, intruders — armed with guns and dressed in black, with hoods and sunglasses — burst into the Dialysis patient's dwelling in the early morning hours. One of the men came into his room, the patient told police, pointed a gun at him and demanded money. The resident told police he had taken funds out of his bank account the day before to pay bills and gave the intruders $600.00 in cash. Still, they demanded more and at some point, an aggressive intruder hit the Dialysis patient in the face with a pistol, breaking his eye socket, reports noted. The search warrant stated that one of the intruders then warned the others that police were on their way, and the men left the apartment.
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Sadly, it appears that an associate of the Dialysis patient may have known that he had taken out funds for bills as well as knew when he conducted his treatment and planned the robbery with others. Officers are still investigating the home invasion, and while they have identified suspects, they have not yet arrested anyone.
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That said, Dialysis patients should be on alert, not just at Dialysis, but also at home. Robbers are usually looking to steal money and other things of value, like jewelry, devices, and televisions. They are looking for an easy target: one that will allow for the greatest reward and the lowest risk of getting caught or being stopped - that is why Dialysis patients are often targets. Use the following tips to limit the risk of robbery:
1. Lock Your Doors and Windows: This seems like an obvious tip, but I’m sure many of us have neglected to do this at times. Make sure your doors and windows are always locked. Experts say 23% of break-ins occur through first-floor windows. So securing these should be a top priority. GE makes a wireless alarm kit you can purchase for $25 that will sound if a door or window is opened. This is a very inexpensive way to protect vulnerable areas in your home. Don’t forget to secure side doors and garage doors as well.
2. Use Strategic Landscaping: Thorny rose bushes under windows will make thieves think twice before going in that way. Also, keep your bushes and hedges trimmed to a minimum; don’t give thieves a place to hide while they scope out your place. Gravel and loose stones can also alert you (or a dog) that someone is approaching your house. Also, make sure your yard is well-lit during the night!
3. Hide Valuables: Can people see your 50-inch flat screen TV from the sidewalk? What about your super-expensive stereo system? Make sure your valuables are hidden from passers-by. Use privacy curtains (sheer curtains that let in light but block the view) so people can’t see in while you’re away at Dialysis or running errands. During the holidays, this especially includes gifts! Don’t leave gifts, even wrapped ones, in front of any window.
4. Install Double Key Deadbolts If You Can: Experts say 34% of all thieves come in right through the front door. So any investment you make securing your front door will probably pay off. Double key deadbolts are the kind that requires a key not only to enter but also to exit. With a double key deadbolt lock, if thieves do break in, getting your stuff out is going to be really difficult unless they break the door down. The downside to double key deadbolts is they can be dangerous in the event of an emergency, such as a fire. Consider this carefully before installing one. If you do put one in, keep the key very close to the door in a hiding place that’s easy to remember.
5. Secure Patio Doors: Security experts say most thieves don’t want to smash sliding glass doors because they’re so noisy. They’d much rather slide it open. To prevent this, secure your sliding door by placing a sawed-off broom handle in the track to prevent it from opening.
6. Don’t Advertise: If you are going to a doctor's appointment or conduct Dialysis at a specific time, don’t tell people that do not need to absolutely know. Police say that, surprisingly, many thieves will find your number and call to see if you’re at home at a time they suspect you may be away.
7. If Your House IS Broken Into: Don’t go into the house. If you’ve already walked in, leave immediately. The thieves may still be inside, and it’s not worth your life to find out. Call the police from your cell phone or from a neighbor’s house. Don’t touch anything. The thieves might have left fingerprints.
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Have you ever been robbed? What precautions have you put in place to help avoid dangerous robberies? Weigh-in with your own pros and cons at the KidneyBuzz.com Facebook Fan Page which has over 80,000 friends (click here). While you are there, like the KidneyBuzz.com Facebook Fan Page and visit KidneyBuzz.com regularly (approximately 250,000 monthly viewers) for the latest tailored breaking news and information which teaches those with Chronic Kidney Disease, on Dialysis, have Kidney Transplant, Diabetes, and High Blood Pressure how to better manage and improve their lives. You may become a regular visitor like, Tom Johnson who said, "Kidney Buzz is the best source of information for any patient that suffers from kidney disease. I'm happy that I found the advertisement for the Kidney Buzz warning bracelet that put me in touch. Thank you for all that you do."