Blake Fire and Security Systems

Door Entry Systems: Don't Be Caught Out By The Unexpected!

Date: 11 July 2019

It's Wimbledon! And the appearance of Petra Kvitova, the 2011 and 2014 champion, reminds us all about her horrific home invasion back in December 2016.

Earlier this year, the man who nearly ended her playing career was convicted of serious battery and illegal entry into her apartment.

The intruder had used a distraction burglary technique to trick Petra into letting him into her home. It was 8.30am and he said he was there to inspect her boiler.

In her defence, Petra wasn't concentrating. She was in a rush because she was expecting the person to do her 'dope test'. They only give one hour's notice and you have to make yourself available.

The 'plumber' asked her to turn on the hot tap. As she swung round to the sink, he grabbed her from behind and put a 10 inch knife to her throat.

Instinctively, Kvitova grabbed the knife with both hands and wrestled herself free. But in doing so, she cut all the fingers on her left hand. The hand she used to hold her tennis racquet.

There was blood everywhere. She tried to reach for her mobile phone but the attacker kicked it away. She looked at him and realised that he was considering killing her. She could easily identify him and he was looking at a long jail term. Meanwhile, she desperately needed to get to a hospital.

So she offered to give him money. They agreed a price of 10,000 crowns (about £348).

As soon as he had gone, she called an ambulance and started her long road to recovery.

What? No CCTV? But this was a celebrity home?

Meanwhile, the search for her attacker continued in the quiet little town of Prostejov in the Czech Republic. The crime figures for that year show a total of 5,050 reports of violent crime. In England and Wales for the same period, the figure was more than one million.

Unlike other tennis stars, Kvitova had not lived in a guarded VIP complex. Just an ordinary flat with no CCTV cameras. There are signs that suggest a video intercom system but the distraction technique had bypassed that protection.

People said she was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Sadly, with no CCTV footage, the Police had very little to go on.

It's not what thieves take, it's what intruders leave behind

The months dragged on. Petra admitted that it was unsettling. She was never sure if it had been just a random attack or something much more personal. She did not like going out knowing that this man was still at large.

It was almost a year and a half later when Police received a tip off about a man hanging around care homes trying to rob the elderly residents. The Police showed Petra his photo and she recognised him - particularly his eyes.

He was arrested and charged.

The case came to court in February this year. Petra gave evidence via video link because she didn't want to be in the same room as her attacker.

The defendant denied ever being in her home. His witnesses claimed that he was at work with them.

However, the judge ruled that their testimony was unreliable whilst Petra's identification of the intruder was credible. Fortunately, prosecutors also had supporting DNA evidence to show he HAD been there.

The defendant was sentenced to eight years in prison and ordered to pay back the 10,000 crowns Petra had given him.

What next for Petra?

Surgeons had given her only a 10% chance of being able to use a racquet again. But Kvitova's courage and strength meant she survived the attack AND has been able to play tennis at the highest levels.

However, she admitted that the attack continued to affect her. She said she was "not as risky a person as I was before".

Are you taking risks with your home security?

Like Petra, you may think you live in a safe area. But your neighbourhood burglar may not agree...

Worse still, someone in your household may think it's too much effort to set the alarm when they nip out to the shop. Or forget to arm the system after getting back from a boozy night out.

Your home security helps you to be prepared for the unexpected. But only education and awareness will prevent human error from putting you and your family at risk.

How safe is your home? Our experts have compiled a checklist you can use to find out. Go through and tick off the items in your house, front and back gardens to see where your security is falling short!

Beat the burglars - game, set and match!
Click below to download your FREE checklist!

beat the burglar checklist

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