NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A violent home invasion has the Carlton family thankful they are still alive.
“They crawled through this kitchen window, all the doors were locked,” Melissa Carlton told News 2. Minutes later the family, with their 14-year-old son and his friend, were being held at gunpoint.
Neighbors claim to have seen the suspects’ car in the neighborhood in the days ahead of the crime.
“We don’t know if they’ve been just casing the house, neighbors have seen them up and down the street across from us, walking and in a car,” Carlton explained.
Turns out the suspects were the victims neighbors. Linda Stubblefield, president of Unlimited Security, says that’s why building a neighborhood watch community is important.
“You really have to go back to roots and knowing who your neighbors are,” she told News 2.
She says anytime anyone sees anything peculiar always contact police.
The Carltons also believe the suspects had knocked on their families door recently.
“I’ve had a couple instances in the last two weeks where somebody would knock on the door in the middle of the night between one and three a.m. I had no idea who they were. I didn’t answer. I didn’t speak out to them. And they would get in the car and they would leave.”
That car matching that of the suspects who had this family fearing for their life.
Stubblefield, who is known as “The Alarm Lady,” says never answer the door if you don’t know the person on the other side.
“Even just to crack the door you’ve allowed a place for them to force entry,” she said.
Stubblefield also advises installing wide-angle peephole lenses on doors so you can see if anyone is hiding off to the side of the door.
“These are all real simple things that you can do to keep yourself safe,” said Stubblefield.
The Carltons are now doing all they can to keep from becoming victims again.
“We’ve got cameras coming, we are doing everything we can to beef up security but this happened in broad daylight on a weekend, we couldn’t have seen this coming.”