Man allegedly breaks in door while three kids hide in closet

By Emily Gillespie, Columbian breaking news reporter

Published:

Updated: August 27, 2013, 9:37 PM

 

Vancouver police are asking for the public’s help in identifying a man who allegedly broke in the door of a house in the Image neighborhood while three youths hid inside.

The kids, ages 15, 13 and 11, were home alone in the 13300 block of Northeast 31st Street when they heard someone ring the doorbell, Vancouver police spokeswoman Kim Kapp said.

They didn’t answer the door because they didn’t know the man, Kapp said.

The man left, walking part of the way down the block before returning to the house several minutes later to ring the doorbell again, turning the knob in an attempt to open the door, police said.

The 15-year-old girl called her mom and 911 just minutes after 10 a.m., Kapp said. The kids hid in the closet of a bedroom when they heard a crash — the man had allegedly kicked in the front door, Kapp said.

Multiple officers arrived and searched the house and area with a dog, finding no one but the uninjured kids inside the house, Kapp said. Nothing appeared to have been taken from the home, Kapp said.

Police say they believe the man entered the residence but fled before they arrived.

Police describe the man as being in his mid-30s, about 6 foot 2 inches tall, with a heavy build and dark brown, short hair and a goatee or mustache. He was reportedly wearing a light-colored plaid shirt and had sunglasses on his head.

Kapp said the children made good safety decisions and the incident is a good reminder for everyone.

“Even when you’re home, it’s good practice to keep the doors locked,” she said. “They did exactly what they should have done.”

Anyone who may have seen the man fleeing the area, or who spotted a vehicle in the area around the time of the incident, is encouraged to contact the Vancouver Police Tip Line at 360-487-7399, referencing case V13-12979.