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Recent break-ins reminders to be vigilant at home

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

A spate of recent home invasions has people in several Middle Tennessee neighborhoods on edge. Two of the crimes happened in broad daylight in Brentwood and Belle Meade - communities that rarely see much violent crime.

But there are lessons for everyone to make sure you're really safe in your own home.

Last week in Brentwood, two men walked into an unlocked home, held the family of four at gunpoint and robbed them.

Then, on Monday, three masked men walked through an open garage door in Belle Meade and pistol-whipped the 72-year-old woman inside for her purse.

And in Nashville on Tuesday, a man walked through an open door and raped a woman before stealing her car to get away.

Crime is not a problem for supposed "bad areas." It happens everywhere, at all hours, and police say people need to start taking it seriously.

"Even if you feel safe and live in a safe neighborhood, don't be paranoid but be prudent always," said Belle Meade police Chief Tim Eads.

Locking doors, turning on lights, keeping the alarm on even if you are at home - sometimes the simplest steps can be the biggest deterrents.

"When criminals have to make noise and anything that might draw attention, they don't want that," Eads said.

At Armor Concepts, the entire business is dedicated to preventing break-ins.

They focus on one of the most vulnerable areas of any home: the door.

"Eighty-five percent of forced entries - of break-ins, kick-ins - will occur through a door. Most people don't realize that," said Mike Ralph, with Armor Concepts.

Police and security experts are begging people to take steps to be proactive because assuming you're safe could be downright dangerous.

"I think a lot of people have their guard down. I think some of these events happened between 6, 7, 8 o'clock at night. That's when they're at home, hanging out and watching TV," Ralph said.

In the case of the woman who was sexually assaulted, police say she was in her doorway about to leave for work when her pet distracted her, and her attacker forced his way in. It's just another example of how these things can happen truly when you least expect them.

Copyright 2013 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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