UPDATE: Alert neighbor helps nab burglary suspect

Woman awakes to find intruder in her home

By Patty Hastings and Paul Suarez

Published:

 

A Rose Village woman woke up Wednesday evening to see an intruder standing at the foot of her bed.

“I just sat there. I didn’t know what to do,” said the woman, Eleanor.

Fortunately, an observant neighbor had already taken action. He’d asked police to respond when he saw a man enter his neighbor’s back door a few minutes earlier.

Both the neighbor and victims asked that their last names be withheld from this story.

Here’s how the situation unfolded:

John, the man who called 911, was working in his backyard near the intersection of 30th and U streets Wednesday night when he saw a shirtless man in the alley behind his house.

“This guy I’ve never seen before,” he said, noting he knows most people who pass by his home.

The man asked if he could use the bathroom. John said no. Then the man asked for some water.

John gave him a bottle of water and the man started walking down the alley again.

“I didn’t think anything much of it after that,” John said.

After a few minutes, John saw the man (who John said was now acting strange) in the backyard of his neighbors’ home. Eventually, the man went in the back door.

John called 911 and went around the block and saw two cars in the driveway. His neighbors were still in the home, he thought. He didn’t hear any commotion and worried that he had called the police on someone his neighbors knew.

Officers with Vancouver police’s West Precinct Neighborhood Response Team arrived at the home on the 3000 block of U Street around 7:30 p.m.

They found Eleanor’s husband and two children on the first floor on the home, said police spokeswoman Kim Kapp. The husband told police he’d heard his door open but didn’t know who opened it. He thought Eleanor had gone out to the car, but when he didn’t see her outside, he went downstairs into the basement to check on her. While Eleanor’s husband had gone out to the car, the intruder allegedly hid in the basement’s bathroom.

As the husband went back upstairs, police were knocking on his front door.

Officers ushered the man and his two kids out and were told that Eleanor was in the basement — where the intruder was expected to be.

Eleanor said she was napping when her cellphone went off and woke her. Her husband was calling to tell her a man was in their home and she needed to get out, but she didn’t answer. So, Eleanor’s husband went around to the side window and yelled for her.

That was when she saw the shirtless man standing at the foot of her bed.

After a moment, she heard police coming down the stairs.

Police found the man, identified as Shaun L. Turner, 33, of Vancouver, in the hallway outside the bedroom.

“They yelled at him, ‘Get down on the ground!’ ” Eleanor said.

Turner didn’t follow officers’ commands, according to court documents. He was shot with a stun gun and taken into custody, Kapp said. An opened folding knife was found near where police first saw Turner, according to court documents.

No one, besides Turner, was reported injured.

“Those cops were amazing,” Eleanor said. “I don’t know how they keep their calm and cool.”

Turner was booked into the Clark County Jail on suspicion of first-degree burglary and resisting arrest.

The woman said she feels violated in her home after the incident and surprised that it could happen in Vancouver, after having grown up in Oakland where crime is more common. She said the neighborhood is full of kids and she knows most of her neighbors.

While cleaning up the footprints of police boots on her floor, she found a huge mess in her bathroom — and the water bottle John gave to Turner.

Eleanor already had plans to move to another home in Vancouver, where all of the bedrooms are on the same floor.

“This is sort nudging us a little bit more,” she said.

For now, Eleanor wants to get a guard dog this weekend.

She’s glad her neighbor was keeping an eye on things.

John, who hasn’t met the victim’s family, said the event was “worrisome” and “a little shocking.”

“It’s a perfect example of neighborhood watch,” police spokeswoman Kapp said. “This alert neighbor really saved the day.”

“I would think that hopefully someone would do the same for us,” John said.

Turner made his first appearance in Clark County Superior Court on Thursday. His bail was set at $50,000.

He admitted to using methamphetamine before the incident, has alcohol problems and has schizophrenia and high anxiety, according to court documents.

He has a long police record, dating back to a negligent driving charge in 1998.

He will be back in court on July 26.