Let’s give credit where credit is due. We have seen some notable security improvements since the technocratic government headed by Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa took office early this year. The recent successful event in Djerba is a good example of the government’s commitment to security.
Even with all the positive news that we’ve seen lately regarding the security situation in Tunisia; things are still hard to read. While security has improved at the border and tourists areas; crime is picking up in local neighborhoods.
Home Invasion in Laouina
During the middle of the night on Thursday (May 22nd/23rd) I received a phone call related to an expat needing security assistance. Located near the Laouina Monoprix, the expat lives in a 2-story home with his family.
According to the expat, he was awaken in the middle of the night (approx. 1:30am) by his youngest son who was complaining about his arm itching. While retrieving a cream he realized that a window was open.
The open window was enough to make the dad realize that something was wrong. As he made his way downstairs, he noticed the front door was open and the criminals took off with his vehicle (keys were left near the door).
In addition to the car they mostly stole electronic items to include a laptop, storing devices, and stereo speakers.
Obviously, the family was very shaken by the incident.
Who did it?
It’s important to note how the crime was committed before pointing to who might have done it. The criminals came during the late hours of the night. They brought their own tools (ladder in the picture below) and obviously had prior knowledge about the setup of the house.
Well here’s what we know:
- Family recently had (2) “reputable” companies conduct surveys at the home in preparation for their move. If you remember the last incident that I shared which took place in La Marsa also had a company conduct a shipping survey. Important to point out that it was not the same company in both cases.
- The guard was not feeling well and left his post at about 10pm. The guard was also notably absent in the La Marsa incident.
So just to recap, we’ve had (2) home invasions in the last 3 weeks. Here’s what they both had in common:
- They were both Expats
- They just recently had a shipping survey
- The guard was absent on the day of the incident
Night patrols are minimal and ineffective at best. Local hired “street guards” are easily compromised and lack the awareness to respond. Alarms and iron works help but ensuring that only people you trust access your home is very important.
On a positive side, the police was able to find the stolen vehicle in less than 24hours. The family remains shaken but they will leave Tunis this summer for good.
This is certainly an exceptional case and home invasions are still by no means “normal” in Tunisia. However, the last 2 cases have certainly made us rethink our residential security setup.
Now is a great time for every expat to review their residential as well as their personal security setup. Remember that the key is to have a good balance between practical & effective.
Let’s keep sharing information and if you would like more information on this case or how you can make your home more secure here in Tunis please feel free to email us at: