Local News

Intruder finds more Chapel Hill doors unlocked

Posted March 1, 2011

— Unlocked doors at homes of University of North Carolina students continue to entice a man who walked into two more residences early Sunday, police said Tuesday.

A man entered two apartments in the Mill Creek complex on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard between 6:30 and 7:15 a.m. Sunday, police said. Women inside both apartments said they woke up when the man touched their legs.

One woman said the man simply walked out when she saw him in her room and sat up in bed. The second woman said she took action to ensure the man left.

"My first reaction was confusion, really," said the second woman, who asked that her name not be used. "By the time I realized he wasn't moving or saying anything, I realized it wasn't a prank. So, I grabbed a knife that I keep by my bed."

The man fled the apartment, but she said she saw him peeping through her window a few minutes later. She said she then ran out of her apartment to chase him off.

"There doesn't seem to be a motive," she said. "He left quickly. He didn't have a weapon. He didn't have to break in because we were dumb and left the door open. It's a little creepy. It's pretty weird."

Early Friday, a man entered three homes on Church Street and Pritchard Avenue, walked into the residents' bedrooms and shook a cell phone in their faces, police said. In one of those cases, a woman also awoke to find the man rubbing her leg.

Nothing was taken in any of the break-ins. Police said a door was left unlocked in each case, allowing the intruder easy entry.

Chapel Hill burglaries Chapel Hill burglar walks through unlocked doors

All of the women are UNC students, and they said they routinely keep their doors locked.

The woman from the first Sunday incident said she had guests staying with her who forgot to lock the door Saturday night. She noted that the intruder walked past the guests sleeping on the couch and into her room.

The woman who chased the man off Sunday said she was on her way to the store Tuesday to buy blinds to hang in her window so no one could look in from outside.

"We don't know what the motivation of this person is," said Lt. Kevin Gunter of the Chapel Hill Police Department. "Our concern is that it could escalate."

Gunter said police have stepped up patrols in the neighborhoods near the UNC campus where students live. He urged local residents to lock their doors and windows and asked that they report any suspicious activity to police.

UNC posted an alert online Friday about the first incidents, but university administrators said they didn't plan to issue an e-mail alert to students.

Anyone with information about the break-ins is asked to call either the Chapel Hill Police Department at 919-968-2760 or Crime Stoppers at 919-942-7515.


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  • carrboroyouth Mar 2, 2011

    Also roadrunner, it's "students." Apostrophes are for possessives. Some revisiting needed, indeed.

  • carrboroyouth Mar 2, 2011

    grayboomerang - Atwater was charged with carjacking. It wasn't her house that was unlocked, least not from what I remember.

    "Short memories." Please, you have no idea how much her story changed my life. No idea.

  • rroadrunner99 Mar 2, 2011

    These student's have made it to UNC and didn't learn all thru going to school to lock the door at night? Something is very wrong with this picture!! And they can get into UNC with this lack of common sense? They need to revisit the admissions test! Jusy my opinion.

  • tritonlm6 Mar 2, 2011

    You think there would be a campus wide security initiative with emails, texts, tweets, posters, etc. urging students, faculty, staff to lock their doors, secure their valuables, etc.

  • luvwhljr.neways Mar 2, 2011

    illegals, Carolina Students! lol They haven't been taught to lock lock doors, yet! They should take "Door Security-101" LOL

  • nancimae2 Mar 1, 2011

    How can you go to sleep with your doors unlocked?

  • johnsmith27599 Mar 1, 2011

    Chief Blue needs to get on this one.

    Look, this guy's dangerous. We need a Shutdown Unit formed immediately. I would pull the best officers and detectives from here and there and tell em', "I want this dude shutdown now."

    No more speeding tickets...No more underage alcohol citations....etc..This dude is now priority one, two, and three.

    Shut him down now, Chief.

  • k2tal38 Mar 1, 2011

    Who leaves there doors unlocked ??? My doors are even locked during the day !

  • liskm Mar 1, 2011

    Yes, you'd think the Eve Carson case would be a lesson?????
    Short memories.

  • grayboomerang Mar 1, 2011

    carrboroyouth...seriously? Eve Carson lost her life because she was behind an unlocked door. You would think these kids would realize what can happen when you leave the door unlocked at night.

    I would prefer not to read about kids being victimized and it could have been avoided with one simple click of the door knob.