Victims of burglary are often left with a sense of insecurity. Their things, both monetarily and sentimentally valuable, are gone, and they have to replace their sense of security, as well as their things. This is not a typical story about these people.
“I would have never guessed there was a woman in our house the whole time,” said Brian O’Neill, who came home to a ransacked condo in the University District last week.
When O’Neill and his wife Bridget got home to find it in disarray, they called the police. Together, they tried to determine what was missing. If anything, they had more than what they had started with – a purse that was not theirs, and a woman’s shoe that didn’t fit Bridget.
It was either a poltergeist, as the Seattle Police described on the police blotter, or someone, likely on drugs, had broken into their apartment. In a rush, they had covered door knobs with lotion and emptied the contents of the closet on top of the couple’s bed, but hadn’t taken any money or valuables.
The O’Neills filed a report and the police left the apartment, and the couple started to pick up the mess that their intruder had left behind.
Picking up the bedroom, Bryan heard a noise. It sounded like a cat that has asthma. Which isn’t unusual in their house. They have two cats. Both cats have asthma.
Brian told KIRO Radio’s Tom & Curley Show that as he and his wife cleaned, “I assumed an animal of some sort was in our house.”
The sound of an asthmatic cat startled him. He looked in one direction and saw one cat. Then in the doorway he saw the other cat. These weren’t cat noises.
It took them a little longer to determine it was a woman under the bed.
“I was actually looking everywhere for a flashlight to look under the bed, but the woman had hoarded all of the flashlights under the bed in our room. So I wasn’t able to see her,” he said.
The O’Neills called the police again, told them a woman was under their bed and they waited outside for the police to arrive.
It took about five minutes for the cops to reappear, and by then the woman was stepping out from the bedroom.
“It was a ghostly, tall, very skinny woman under our bed,” said Brian.
“She thought people were after her,” he said. “She climbed a tree, after getting through a locked courtyard, and then held up under her bed for I don’t know how long before we showed up.”
She appeared to be having a panic attack. After officers called for medics to treat her, she informed police she had been on a “meth rampage” for several days, and had also broken into another home around the block earlier in the evening.
Even though nothing was stolen, and Brian admits they have a good story to tell, they’re still struggling with a common break-in victim side effect: They still haven’t gotten a good night’s sleep.