Cowichan Valley residents are warning their friends and neighbours after a man was seen trying repeatedly to break into a house while its owner was inside phoning police.
The message from Jenn Joseph on Facebook was chilling.
Beside a picture of a man trying a door, there was a post saying, “Tzouhalem and Lakes area beware!!! Please share.
“This scumbag tried to get into my sister’s house this morning. He tried all her doors WHILE she was standing there looking back at him on the phone with 911. He was arrested BUT there was also another person that took off before the police arrived.”
The message concluded with a warning: “Keep your doors and windows locked up tight. He was NOT at all threatened at having been seen or that she had called the police. He just shrugged his shoulders.”
Within a short time, people were sharing the post all around the Valley, commenting on the need to keep your eyes open in your neighbourhood.
It was a scary start to the morning, according to the victim, Katherine Fraser, who says she was at home alone with her pit bull, Cypress, at the time.
“It was just after 5 o’clock this morning. It was pretty scary.
“I have a dog, which is good, because otherwise I wouldn’t have known anything. She jumped off the bed and started growling and ran out. I have a front door, an office door, and a back door. She ran to the office door and started barking.
“As soon as I got up I heard my gate slam shut and I looked out the curtains and saw someone run off. I opened my door and yelled at them to get out of here. Then I closed my door and locked it. “
But then the dog went to the back door and started barking again.
“When I opened the curtains, there was a man standing there. He was trying to open that door while I was standing right there. I told him I was calling the police and he just shrugged his shoulders. He just looked at me and kept trying to open the door.
“I was on the phone with 9-1-1 for four or five minutes. He was there the whole time and if I moved towards the kitchen a bit, he would move with me to keep his eyes on me for some reason. And then he went to the side door again, the office door, and tried that again, and couldn’t get in. Then he went around tried the front door. And couldn’t get in. And, as he was at the front door, the police pulled in and they arrested him, right on my front lawn.”
The other guy had taken off when the dog started barking.
North Cowichan/ Duncan RCMP were quick to respond.
“It only took them four or five minutes to get there. Thank God. I’m so grateful that my dog started barking because my daughter, she’s 20, she comes and goes but Cypress wouldn’t bark like that at her.
“My dog is actually very friendly and I was worried if let her out she might just lick him, so I thought it was better to keep her inside. Not that I wanted to open the door anyway.”
Asked if she had any idea of what the man was after, Fraser said, “No, the police said that when they were asking him questions he seemed confused so they said he was probably high. In my opinion, if someone’s high when they’re trying to break in, it’s just to steal stuff. I really don’t know.”
She estimated that the man was late 20s or early 30s.
Police were unable to discover the name of the man so they took him back to the police station, and left it up to Fraser to decide if she wanted to press charges.
“He [the officer] said he’d call me back if the guy had a record of this or anything like that. I haven’t heard back from the police at all yet. I’m not really sure.”
Fraser said this sort of incident is the fullfilment of a nightmare.
“It’s my worst fear, not ghosts or anything like that, but people like that trying to break into my home. But it’s funny, when it happens, you go into a different sort of mindset. I thought it would be terrifying but I was more defensive about it.”
Now, she just has to wait until she hears more from police.
“My sister was anxious to get it out there on Facebook, just to let people know. I thought that was a great idea because at this time of year people leave windows and doors open.”