Sandy Hill woman awoken by stranger standing by her bed
Published Monday, September 30, 2013 5:04PM EDT Last Updated Monday, September 30, 2013 6:40PM EDT
Two Ottawa women were traumatized early Sunday morning when they discovered a male intruder in their bedroom. Now, Ottawa police are warning all residents to ensure their doors are locked at night.
The two break-ins happened in the Sandy Hill neighborhood on Goulburn Avenue just blocks apart. The first occurred around 3:40 a.m. While police were responding to that call, a second 911 call came in less than an hour later.
That call was from a young woman who told her story exclusively to CTV Ottawa. She's still shaken from the terrifying ordeal early Sunday morning and asked us not to use her name but wanted her story out there to warn other women.
“It was around 5 in the morning and I woke up and there was a man in my room,” she says. “He was standing beside my bed. Once I realized I didn't know who he was, I started screaming and he ran out.”
Just 90 minutes earlier and a block away, another woman had awoken to a man who was touching her as she slept. She, too, screamed. While police have labeled these crimes "break-ins", they don't believe the motive was "theft."
"It's very early in the investigation to say whether the motivation was sexual in nature,” says Staff-Sergeant Kal Ghadban with the Ottawa Police Break and Enter Team, “We don't believe it was theft because had he wanted to steal something he would have just taken it and left. There’s no reason for him to be in the bedrooms of the victims.”
In both cases, police say the intruder came in through an unlocked door.
"I don’t know which door was unlocked,” says the young victim, “We do have a dog. He was probably taken out late at night and walked back in. It's Sandy Hill. We thought it really safe so we weren't super careful but now we are,” she says as she locks up her door.
There were a series of similar break-ins in Westboro about a year ago and in the Sandy Hill neighborhood in 2009. Someone was convicted in both those cases.
The latest break-ins have women in Sandy Hill on edge again.
"Really scary,” says student Megan Gordon, “that the women were both home when the break-ins happened.”
Sandy Hill resident Tanya Ashworth adds, “You think it's a safe area with students but there are lots of different folks around here.”
Ottawa police say surveillance video on the apartment building may help identify the suspect. He’s described as about 6 feet tall, muscular with a shaved head. Police are now looking through the sex offender registry to see whether anyone who fits the description is living in the area.