Residents Talk Would-Be Thief Out of Robbery in Fort Collins
A Fort Collins couple was greeted home over Labor Day weekend to an intruder entering their residence while they were present.
According to a NextDoor.com post from Fort Collins resident, Julia Winter, she and her spouse returned to their residence in the Parkwood neighborhood late Sunday evening and discovered early Monday morning that someone had entered their home.
"We believe [the intruder] had been watching our home and noting our absence over the Labor Day weekend," Winter wrote, noting the incident occurred at around 4:35 a.m. on Monday. "He did not realize we had returned home very late on Sunday night and that we were present in the home when he entered."
I think in this situation, a lot of us would have no clue what to do other than to first panic and then call police. That's exactly what the Winters did, but they were also able to step into negotiation mode and talk the intruder out of a robbery.
"My spouse and I were able to talk to the man at length (he was not aggressive) and gave him a safe 'out' which is what he and we both wanted," she said.
The couple called police, who then tracked the man down "as he moved from backyard to backyard to avoid capture." He was arrested without incident.
While Winter did not give the man's name, she says he was a 6'2" tall, 25-year-old man who resides in the apartments across from Riffenberg Elementary School and has a previous record of home invasion (non-violent).
The intruder is believed to have entered the home through the backyard and an unlocked screen door.
"Feeling incredibly grateful for the amazing Police Officers (capitalization intended) we have in Fort Collins, the Police Officers' quick response, and the dispatcher who verbally held my hand through the ordeal."
While burglaries and home invasions are unpredictable, they're never desirable and steps can be made to help prevent them. I once had an attempted break-in at my home this past year in another part of Fort Collins where, although it could have just been a drunk person at the wrong locked door, I was also at home and able to stop the situation from escalating.
Through an intense adrenaline rush, the police officers who responded told me that break-ins commonly occur due to doors not being locked, and that my situation could have been worse had I not locked my door (which I did).
Aside from keeping doors and windows locked, there are several other easy (and affordable) ways to prevent home burglaries. U.S. News & World Report offers 8 tips for home burglary prevention, which you can check out HERE.
Home invasions are obviously never okay, but I'm happy to hear that this couple is fine and that they were able to peacefully and safely put the incident to an end!