It was 11:30 in the morning, and my neighbors dog had barked for several minutes non-stop. There was something about the way he was barking that caught my attention. It also caught my curiosity that the dog was outside since it normally sat perched in the front window waiting for its owner to return home from work.
I put on my shoes and told L I would be right back. I headed around the side of my home to where our small picket fence meets their 6-foot privacy fence. I stood on the smaller fence to peek over into my neighbor’s yard. I was expecting to see a cat making my neighbors dog go bonkers, but instead I stood face to face with an intruder.
He rounded the corner nearly seconds after I stood up to peek over the fence. He was roughly 6 feet tall, white male, early 20’s, brown hair, fully covered in clothing (I believe a grey jacket), and wearing a burgundy colored scarf around his mouth to hide part of his identity. I appeared to be 7 foot tall to him so I stopped him dead in his tracks. Startled by me being there he took a step back and said, “Geeze lady you scared me.” My instinctual response to him was, “what the hell are you doing?” He then darted around the back of the home where I could no longer see him. He was wearing a blue backpack on his back. He was there to rob. It truly sunk in.
I jumped off the fence and ran as fast as I could back around my garage and into my home. I called 9-1-1. I came right back outside as I spoke with the dispatcher. I wanted to see which direction he was headed. Behind our cul-de-sac is wooded property owned by the county, and the home on the other side of my neighbor’s has been vacant for 3 years and caused trouble for our street. I’ve caught many kids on the property in the past, but this intruder was not someone I recognized. At this point, my neighbors dog was no longer barking, and was back in its normal spot inside their home.
The police took what felt like eternity before arriving. While remaining on the line I called a neighbor on my cell phone to alert her of what had just happened. I was shaking uncontrollably. I needed a hug. She mentioned her baby was sleeping, but said she would be over soon. She crossed the street just as two sheriff cars made their way to my driveway. Guns drawn they entered my neighbors property to look for the intruder. He was gone. It was too late. The sliding glass door of my neighbor’s home was left open so he had made his way inside.
My neighbor arrived home seconds after the police. I repeated my encounter to him and he could tell how shaken up I was. As I stood there between my two neighbors, with L on my hip, we expressed our theory of how the intruder probably took off through the woods. We explained the trouble that foreclosed property caused and how there are two pieces of fence missing from the property that offered an easy way in and out.
The officers canvassed the woods for any sign of him, but did not find him.
Reflecting back, I wish I had my cell phone on me so I could’ve snapped a picture of him. Although I told the officers repeatedly when asked that I believe I would be able to pick him out of a line-up, should they find him. I also think the guy was an amateur because he was startled by ME. Have you ever heard of an intruder saying those words? I’m certainly glad he didn’t have a weapon on him. Otherwise I may have been harmed.
To say I am shaken up is an understatement. I’m a stay at home mom, and that was WAY too close to home for me. We’ve lived here 9 years and have never had something like this happen. It’s frightening. So as I sit here awake at 3am, I wanted to share my story and remind everyone: stay alert and if something doesn’t feel right – follow your instincts. I’m so glad I did.