CHARLOTTE, N.C. — An armed home invasion is highlighting the importance of taking safety and security steps leading up to Christmas.

The crime happened around 10 p.m. on Thursday on Crater Street. Two suspects broke into a home and stole several items, including Christmas gifts. 

Now NBC Charlotte is looking at how you can protect your home.

NBC Charlotte talked to the roommate of the 46-year-old man who was robbed by the armed suspects. His roommate said the suspects also stole Christmas gifts he bought.

It’s highlighting a big problem in the Carolinas.

“He (the victim) was in the kitchen listening to music, washing dishes,” said his roommate. “They came in, held a gun to his head and robbed him, went through all the rooms of the house, took various items and cash.”

According to the police report, the suspects stole cash, a $700 leather coat, and a $100 teddy bear backpack, which was a special gift.

“Presents for my nieces I got for Christmas,” the roommate said. 

According to a new study by the company, A Secure Life, the Carolinas are among the worst states in the country for home break-ins.

North Carolina ranks number six per capita and South Carolina ranks number nine. Police said inform your neighbors of travel plans, make sure security systems are working, and use caution with valuable items.

“Think of it as the burglar, you want to walk up to your house, you want to see if you can see items through the window, you don’t want to have expensive gifts within plain view the window,” said Officer Tim Aycock with the Matthews Police Department.

“This is the season where you have to look out, have your guard up,” said the roommate. “Obviously, that’s true because look what happened.”

Fortunately, no one was physically hurt in the home invasion.  No arrests have been made.