Durham prowler nipped in the buds

Durham prowler nipped in the buds

Staff WriterMarch 12, 2005 

It would take a skilled burglar to breach the five layers of security at Viola Knight's little white home on Dacian Avenue. The prowler who took the challenge early Friday didn't make it past the first round.

At 4 a.m. Friday, Knight, 85, was cozy in her bed when she awoke to rustling outside her bedroom window. At first, she thought it was the wind. Strangely, her half-dozen wind chimes were silent.

"I thought, 'Either it's a four-foot something in this yard ramblin', or it's on two feet," Knight said later Friday.

That something was caught in her camellia bushes, the same ones she had laced with razor wire six months before to discourage a neighborhood peeper. The trap worked.

"He was really working," Knight said. "He was moaning and groaning and grunting out there."

Knight peeked out the window and called 911. Moments later, a police officer shined a flashlight into the bushes. Police had to pluck a man from the rusty, dagger-edged wires.

"He was throwing his arms and legs all around. He was hollering, 'Just shoot me,' " Knight said. "They told him to be quiet."

A relative helped Knight put the wires in place after a different man kept peeping in Knight's bedroom window. The man always slipped away before police arrived, she said. The wires gave police a firmer grip.

Police charged Antero Jimenez, 54, with trespassing and attempted first-degree burglary. Jimenez, who told police he was homeless, was being held late Friday at the Durham County jail. His bail was set at $50,000.

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