I recently penned details surrounding a potential home invasion at my parent’s. A few folks have since requested a follow-up.
The last editorial finished with dozens of neighbors, friends, farmers, hunters and Harnett County Sheriff’s officials coming to my aid — holding one accomplice at bay while two other trespassers were apprehended in neighboring dense woods.
What I didn’t tell you was that normalcy resumed temporarily. I emphasize the word temporarily. Two weeks following the Jan. 7 ordeal, the start of a typical day on campus became anything but.
While classmates and I were seated inside Dorothy Whitley’s English Lit class, an unexpected visitor — a county sheriff’s deputy — summoned me outside the classroom, requesting I collect my belongings.
Panic erupted as I feared it could be Daddy, who’d been plagued with heart problems since age 33. The law enforcer informed me, instead, that the three trespassers were scheduled to appear in court that morning and my testimony could be required before the judge’s sentencing.
Boy, he wasn’t kidding.
The case hit the docket, and the judge called me to the witness stand after being administered the oath. Both attorneys quizzed me on all the details surrounding that fateful January day. I could literally feel my knees shaking behind the wooden stand.
Chills ran down my spine when I was forced to testify against the would-be home invaders — pointing directly toward them in a court of law.
The culprits, reportedly from Fort Bragg, were sentenced to a 90-day imprisonment for attempted breaking and entering.
Shaken yet relieved, life seemed to regain some normalcy — that is, until late April. Yet another deputy returned to my college campus to summon me again — this time, proactively notifying me the trespassers were set to be released that day. I remember thinking what a nice gesture that was.
After my last class on campus, I drove home — trepidatiously yet seemingly more vigilant. My eyes met each motorist along the way, searching for any semblance of the dreaded trio.
Seeing nothing extraordinary, I parked underneath the carport visible to the road. Keys in hand and purse over my shoulder, I opened the storm door only to catch a glimpse inside. What I discovered startled me.
The rust-colored curtains were pulled back just enough to spot shrapnels of glass lying by the back door — the same door the culprits had attempted to break in 3.5 months earlier. These guys had come back for revenge.
They could still be inside, was my initial fear.
I immediately jumped into my car, threw it into reverse, and sped to my neighbor’s home in record time. Harnett County Sheriff’s officials quickly met me at Norma Jean’s home and soon followed me to the crime scene.
This second incident, too, may have had a more sinister outcome. The three intruders could have waited inside or outside the residence until I arrived or they may have returned only after I had gotten home.
Thankfully, none of those possibilities came to fruition, and the trio never resurfaced. As my Daddy would later say, they may take away some material goods, but it is the people in our lives who cannot be replaced. Lesson learned.
Kim Lambert is a former reporter with The Daily Record and former editor of The Angier Independent.