The Victim: Joshua Sonnier
Date: Sunday, Sept. 17
Time: 12:05 a.m.
Place: 6100 block of Reiger
Sixteen-year-old Joshua Sonnier was home alone when he realized someone was breaking into his home.
“It was about 12 o’clock at night, and I was all relaxed because I had just gotten off of work, and I had been watching this volcano show on TV,” Sonnier says. “And it was kind of funny because while I was watching it, I hear a loud KA-BOOM and I was like, oh shoot, was that a volcano or was it what I thought it was?”
Unfortunately for Sonnier, someone was in front of his house trying to kick the door down.
“We have two front doors, and I walk around to the first front door in the living room to see if maybe it was my neighbor or something, but it wasn’t. It was some guy kicking in my door,” Sonnier says. “My first initiative was to just take off running out the back door and run down the alley but then I was like, I’m going to stay here and try to get this guy so he won’t do it again.”
Lt. Michael Woodberry of the North Central Patrol Division believes that attempting to confront a burglar is a risk, but it is a judgement call for any individual.
“That sort of thing works out occasionally but it puts you in a vulnerable situation,” Woodberry says. “You want to be macho but you should remember that you don’t know who this person is.”
Sonnier remembers calling 911 and explaining that a man was kicking his front door down. After being assured that help was on the way, Sonnier recalls telling the officer, “You’re going to stay on the phone with me in case this guy breaks in and shoots me!”
Moments later, Sonnier heard a loud crash and realized the burglar had broken through the door. Seeing a light come on in his sister’s room, he knew the thief was inside the house.
“I took off and ran to my next door neighbor’s house and just started beating on the door screaming, ‘Help me! Somebody please help me!” Sonnier says. “At first, they weren’t going to answer because they didn’t know me, but then they finally opened the door.”
By the time the police officers arrived, the thief had gotten in and out, taking an iPod and a computer laptop.
“Both of my neighbors to the right of me have gotten robbed,” Sonnier says. “And people say another house got robbed down the street from me, and these were all before our incident.”
At one of the residences the burglar had wedged the door open, and the other one he kicked in the back door, but no evidence has linked all the crimes together.
“I had all the lights in the house off,” Sonnier says. “I also did not get the daily papers out of the yard that day, so the burglar must have been under the impression that no one was home.”
Woodberry notes that sometimes having a good relationship with your neighbors can protect you and your house from being burglarized.
“Every year we have a national night out where citizens are encouraged to go out and meet their neighbors,” Woodberry says. “You not only want to know them as a person so that if they show up at your house acting unusual, you can see what’s going on with them and help them out a little faster.”
Since the burglary, Sonnier says that his family always tries to keep the porch light or the televisions on. And they don’t leave the newspapers in the front yard.
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