The 36 yr old interior designer who lives next door to my office just knocked on our door crying. Wednesday afternoon (apparently right after I left work), a black man (meaning, someone we could NEVER identify in this neighborhood because it doesn't exist), came in through her back door (about 4pm), and bolted when her dog started growling and took off after him. The police say he came in through our alleyway door (the new interior store below leaves it open frequently), walked up our deck stairs, walked past my office's back door and into her apartment. They think, because of the time of day, how he got in, and some other things I don't know, that he was not coming in to burglarize, but to attack her. Police say it seems like he may have watched her for awhile to know that she lives alone, and that he knew she was there, and he knew we had left. He was wearing very heavy cologne, and she feels like she can still smell it. She came to our office because when she left she forgot her key and needed to get in through our windows. I'm glad she did, because she was incapable of going into her home alone. She was trembling and crying most of the time while I talked with her while she packed a weekend bag to go to her boyfriend's place. she's moving in with her boyfriend because she can't deal with being alone now. The guy didn't even touch her, but the violation of her space and the fear have totally changed her life - she is moving out herof her home of 5 years because she is too scared to be there, and she is now afraid to be alone.
This is a reminder to me that we can be lulled into a sense of security, but we still live in a big city and need to be safe. I, for one, noticed that one of our windows in the kitchen at the office (the window that this man walked right past and could have easily come into) doesn't lock. I just want to ask my girls out there to please take an extra moment today to make sure you're not allowing yourself to be a target.