Posted 7/15/14 (Tue)
By Stephanie Allums
Farmer Staff Writer
(Editors Note: As this incident is an open investigation, the names of the victims are being withheld, as is the location of the home.)
A home invasion is not something to sweep under the rug. The minute that a family thinks that it won’t happen to them is when they become most vulnerable. Burglars don’t discriminate.
It was around 2 a.m. on Wednesday, July 9, when a Watford City family was all nestled asleep in their beds at home.
A loud crashing sound woke the daughter who was sleeping downstairs. She laid there in bed - too scared to move, listening for another thump.
As the front door handle shook, she quivered with fear. The young girl began to vigorously text her brother, who was sleeping upstairs. No response.
Another crash rattled through the house - waking up the parents.
“What was that?” the mother yelled, as the couple bolted out of bed and hurried downstairs to see what was the matter.
The side door was kicked in - wood chips from the door frame covered the kitchen floor. The counter tops had been emptied onto the floor. Car keys had been scattered and her purse was gone.
A seven-year-old boy had been asleep on the couch, just feet away from where the burglar had been standing. Surprisingly, he slept through the commotion.
The family was wide awake at this point, trying to piece together what had just happened.
As the father took off running through the destroyed door, he began hunting the person that caused an uproar in his home.
The only evidence in sight was a hat laying beneath the neighbor’s clothesline, indicating that when the burglar took off running, he clothes-lined himself - leaving his hat behind, the mother explained.
Two houses down, the neighbors happened to be awake at 2 a.m. and recall seeing a figure in dark clothes come running through their yard under the covered awning.
Police responded swiftly to the emergency call.
“They were at our house in minutes,” she said.
“He grabbed my purse off of the counter and left,” she told police. “My daughter heard him trying to break in the front door.”
After further investigation, there were footprints discovered on top of the air conditioner unit outside of the home. There are handprints on the window above the unit, where the burglar must have been looking into the home before he broke in.
“This man is an extreme creep,” the mother said. “He wasn’t just some drunk. He was here looking into our home - looking in our windows. I think he did his research. I guess it’s just his job to be a criminal.”
For more than six years this family has lived in this home in Watford City and they do not recall ever having problems before.
“He knew we were home when he broke in,” the mother said. “There were four pickup trucks and a car parked at the house. Clearly we were home.”
There was even a light on inside the home.
“I think it was someone who was very calculated. He could have picked our house for many different reasons,” she said. “He was very quick and knew what he was doing.”
Everyone is devastated that this happened, the woman said.
“You’re never prepared for something like this - no matter how much you think you are,” she said. “Make sure that your shades are pulled down at night. It’s scary to know what this creep could have done, but didn’t.’
There have been no arrests made in this case. Authorities continue to investigate the incident.