Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

B.C. teen sleeping with the lights on after terrifying break-in

Aftermath of intrusion still causing anxiety for Langley teen

When Langley City resident Judy heard her daughter Emma scream, she thought the 17-year-old had seen a spider.

Then she heard Emma yelling, “get out, get out!”

The teen was yelling at a man who was trying to climb in through her second-storey bedroom window.

It was shortly after 11 p.m.

The casement window was open because it was a warm night and Emma’s south-facing bedroom is the hottest room in the Langley City house.

“It was a couple of days after school was out for the summer and was one of those super hot nights, so upstairs windows were open as we don’t have a/c,” said Judy, who asked that her last name and the real name of her daughter not be published.

Her husband came running in time to see the man jumping over the back fence into neighbouring yards and across another fence before sprinting out to the road toward a nearby park.

RCMP arrived in minutes.

“The police were absolutely excellent,” Judy said.

“They had the police dog here right away.”

The dog was able to follow the scent until it crossed into a heavy foot traffic area in nearby Brydon Park.

One frustrated police officer told Judy that he wished he could turn himself into a helicopter to look for the suspect.

That was in late June, shortly after school closed for the summer.

More than a month later, even with the assistance of victim services, the after-effects of the attempted break-in still have the 17-year-old rattled.

“I had just turned off the light,” Emma told the Times.

Then she saw a shadow move and realized a man was climbing in through her window.

He was in all black or dark clothing and had his hoodie pulled up over his face.

“I was so scared I could barely move,” Emma said.

Then she started yelling and the man fled.

At first, she thought she was fine.

She spent the weekend with her grandparents, then came home and immediately suffered an anxiety attack, re-living the feeling of going into shock when she saw a shadow and realized someone was in her room.

“I went into panic mode,” Emma said.

“I started freaking out. I was screaming and carrying on.”

When she couldn’t shake it, her father and grandfather took her to the hospital ER.

Sitting in the waiting room at the hospital, the anxiety continued until someone found her a quiet room where she could sit with her back to the wall.

After about three hours, Emma was able to go home.

“I slept with the lights on for at least a week,” she said.

“If I was home alone, I would have to have the wall behind me. I felt like I had to lock the windows and keep the lights on.”

These days, she’s OK, she said, but there will be moments where the fear comes flashing back.

“It’s a come-and-go thing” Emma said.

“Most of the summer, I have been struggling with anxiety.”

The family has taken steps to make a repeat invasion through a window impossible.

They decided to tell their story after the Langley RCMP issued a public warning about burglars gaining entrance through unlocked windows.

“Even though it is unbearably hot during the night, residents are cautioned to consider home security,” said Langley RCMP Cpl. Holly Largy.

“If you are going to leave a window open … you should employ some kind of security brace and only leave the window open a couple inches.”

Police suggest residents ‘make the rounds’ before going to bed each night:

  • Have you taken valuables and garage door openers out of your car?
  • Is your car parked in the driveway or garage and is it locked?
  • Are the doors to the house locked?
  • Are windows braced or closed and locked on the main level?

Consider making yourself a security checklist to keep your property and family safe, they advise.

There have been a number of complaints of screens having been removed or cut from ground floor windows in the Langley City area.

Earlier this month, a house in Murrayville was robbed while the owners were sleeping. A laptop, wallet and cash were taken.

It appeared the suspects gained entry through the home office window and nothing was heard likely due to fans and air conditioning units.

RELATED STORY: New mail theft warning issued by Langley RCMP

RELATED STORY: Fake tax collector scam resurfaces in Langley

dan.ferguson@langleytimes.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Thursday’s blackout likely caused by vandalism

Power was out for 10,000 customers from Quick to the Hazeltons for almost 11 hours

VIDEO: Witset cannabis shop officially opens

The store, located at the gas bar on Hwy 16, is open seven days a week, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Police investigate July 2 homicide in Houston

Man succumbed to injuries at Pearson Road residence

Tahltan fighter from Telkwa wins provincial award

Lando Ball recognized for his commitment to and accomplishments in karate and for community service

RCMP patrol of smokehouse sparks concerns by Wet’suwet’en hereditary leader

Hereditary Chief Woos says he is feeling uneasy after RCMP attended the smokehouse with rifles

VIDEO: Musqueam Chief captures captivating footage of bald eagle catching meal

‘This is why we have chosen to live here since time immemorial,’ Chief Wayne Sparrow’s nephew says

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Stop enforcing sex work laws during COVID-19, advocates say

There are provisions in Canada’s prostitution laws that make workers immune from prosecution, but not from arrest

Liberal party finished 2019 having spent $43 million, raised $42 million

All political parties had until midnight June 30 to submit their financial reports for last year

B.C. teacher loses licence after sexual relationships with two recently-graduated students

The teacher won’t be allowed to apply for a teaching certificate until 2035

Most Read