BELLEVUE, TN (WSMV) - Every second counts when an intruder is inside your home. A security expert says there is a simple maneuver using a household item that could help you outsmart an intruder. 

Bob Allen with Royal Range in Bellevue teaches people how to defend themselves using a training center that is designed to look like the inside of a home. 

"Burglars are generally daytime people. They are in here to steal your goodies and sell it and get a fix for a habit they have. Home invaders are generally after you," said Allen.

Even if what the intruders want is money, Allen says they'll typically go through you to get it.

He says a flashlight can help you trick the bad guys and possibly save your life. Allen suggests keeping a flashlight, your cellphone and a weapon inside your nightstand or by your bed.

If the alarm goes off or you hear someone inside your home, turn the flashlight on and set it on the bed or a table, something sturdy, and hide. The key is getting away from the light. Take the weapon and cellphone with you to call 911. Allen says when the intruder enters the room, there's confusion about where you are located because of the flashlight.

"They think you're there holding it. That's what we want them to think. That's different than turning on a lamp when we hear something in the night because turning on the lamp just told everyone in the house where you are located and it does no tactical benefit for you," said Allen. 

The flashlight allows you to clearly see the intruder without them seeing you. 

Allen says the majority of home invasions happen during the night when it's dark, but there is the rare situation when someone breaks in during the day. 

Police say three men armed with guns held an East Nashville grandma at gunpoint Sunday morning as she was getting ready for church.

Her son, Hubert Holt, says she answered the door thinking it was her ride to church only to see the men who pushed her into her home on Montgomery Avenue.

The men stole money and her car. Police are still looking for the suspects. 

"I just wanted to make sure she was okay so as far as the automobile is concerned, as far as any of the intangible things, those can be replaced. Moms can't be replaced," said Holt.

Allen says it's important to always look who is at the door before answering. A common tactic now is for criminals to send someone to the door asking to use a phone. Allen warns to not let a stranger in your home. Instead, offer to call someone for them while they wait outside. 

Copyright 2018 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


Kim St. Onge joined the News4 team as a reporter in January 2017.

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