How Access Control Would Have Protected Home Invasion Tennis Star

This week Petra Kvitova was unable to get past Britain’s Johanna Konta in her latest attempt to win her third Wimbledon title. But it is easy to forget the trauma she has faced over the last couple of years because of a home intruder using a distraction burglary technique. He nearly ended her career.

Back in December 2016, as she prepared for the 2017 Australian Open, Petra Kvitova was women’s tennis world #2.

And then she let a man into her apartment because she thought he was going to read the meter. He demanded money and attacked her in her bathroom, slashing at her left hand with a knife.

It is not known whether the tennis star had an audio and visual door intercom that would have allowed her to check his credentials.

Other female tennis stars have since revealed that they protect themselves by living in gated communities or having full time security guards.

Home Access Control Systems Aren’t Just For Celebrities…

As a bare minimum, Falcon Fire & Security Systems would always recommend that any individual living alone should always have a way to control access to your home. It doesn’t matter whether you are a celebrity or not.

  • Audio intercoms allow you to talk to any caller without opening the door
  • Visual entry phones allow you to ask to see the identification badge of any gas man or other official personnel before letting them into your home

But Petra’s story continues to highlight the risks of living alone without adequate security…

Access control audio keypad

Monitored Systems For Vulnerable Homeowners

Once her attacker had run off, Petra says that she called the emergency services herself. Once they arrived, they assessed the situation and took her to a specialist hospital 65km away. She then underwent 4 hours of specialist surgery to the nerves and tendons of her racket hand.

This type of vulnerable situation – a celebrity or woman living alone – requires a thoughtful home security system.

A door intercom system would have allowed Petra to see who was at the door before answering it. By asking the ‘meter reader‘ to show his company ID, he would have been caught out before he got inside. He would have probably have run off immediately.

In serious situations, some systems include panic buttons that connect to a monitoring centre. Other systems can qualify for police response. As soon as the signal is confirmed by the Alarm Receiving Centre, the police are immediately contacted.

The Aftermath

For six months, Petra was unable to play tournament tennis. In fact the odds were only 10% that she would be involved in elite tennis ever again. Her name steadily slipped down the rankings but she was determined to come back.

In June 2017, competing in only her second tournament since the attack, she won the Aegon Classic in Birmingham and started an amazing comeback.

But it was not until June 2018 that her attacker was apprehended. Because there were no CCTV cameras in the apartment, there was very little evidence for the Police to go on.

She was preparing to defend her title at the Birmingham event. Police received an anonymous tip-off about a man who was preying on elderly people who lived alone.

This led to a line-up in which Petra was able to identify the attacker! In March 2019, Petra Kvitova’s attacker finally went on trial. She gave evidence by video camera that it was the eyes of the man in the line up that she recognised.

The defendant denied being in her apartment and supported this claim with testimony from work colleagues. But the judge deemed them unreliable. Fortunately the prosecution had some DNA evidence to support their case that the defendant had been in Petra’s home.

The attacker, who was already serving time for another crime, was sentenced to eight years in prison for serious battery and illegal entry into her apartment. He was also ordered to pay back the money she had given him to make him leave her apartment.

Protection Against Home Invasion

Petra’s attacker was caught by coincidence… don’t leave your home security to chance.

With a Falcon Access Control system you are in full control of who enters your home. Our Entryphone systems offer a wide range of functionality and designs to suit your needs and property requirements. We only install tried and trusted equipment of the highest quality, so your system is equipped to protect your home and family for years to come.

Fill out the form below to ask our specialists a question or request a quote. We will get back to you ASAP, usually within one working day!

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