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Rotorua family terrified: Intruder wakes sleeping young girl by tapping on window

New ZealandUpdated 3 Jul, 2022 03:30 AM4 minutes to read Mother Jenny Chapman describes the terrifying ordeal when a man appeared in...

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Mother Jenny Chapman describes the terrifying ordeal when a man appeared in the window of her daughters’ bedroom in the early hours of the morning.
Video / Rotorua Daily Post

Jenny Chapman went to close her daughter’s curtains in the early hours of Friday morning and a man’s head appeared through the window and said “hello”.

The frightening ordeal has left a Tikitere family petrified and now they are warning others to be on the lookout for the suspicious man.

Chapman was woken by her 3-year-old daughter just before 4am on Friday with her saying there was a man downstairs in her room.

“She’s told me before there were sharks in her bed before so I didn’t think anything of it.”

The mother took her daughter back down the stairs to her bedroom, which she shared with her 6-year-old daughter who was still asleep in her bed.

She turned off the lights, told her daughter to get back into bed and went to close the bedroom curtains. But then suddenly she found the window open and a man’s head popped through the open window.

Jenny Chapman with her two daughters, Anneliese, 3, and Hope, 6, have been left terrified after a man appeared at their bedroom window. Photo / Mead Norton
Jenny Chapman with her two daughters, Anneliese, 3, and Hope, 6, have been left terrified after a man appeared at their bedroom window. Photo / Mead Norton

“He said ‘hello’. I screamed and he said ‘no, no, don’t scream’. I said ‘what are you doing here?’.”

Chapman said the man said he was driving around and something told him to turn left. He was babbling about being on the highway to hell and asked her if she believed in the bible.

He said he had tried other houses but theirs was the only one with lights on.

Chapman yelled at the man to get out and that she was calling the police.

Police arrived about 25 minutes later and looked around her property but couldn’t find anything.

Chapman’s 3-year-old later told her she woke to hear the man tapping on the window and asking her to open it.

“She said to me afterwards: ‘he was a nice man mummy, he was just lost and needed our help’.”

Chapman saidit was an incredibly frightening incident that could have been worse.

She felt sick knowing his head was through the window watching her 6-year-old sleep the entire time the 3-year-old went upstairs to get her mother.

“It creeps me out so much that he was just there looking.”

Police went back to their house the following day and did forensic testing. Chapman said it was scary to see the fingerprints on the window where he had been tapping, as her daughter described, as well as the full set of prints on the windowsill.

The area where they live is semi-rural and the families locally have a message group for safety reasons.

She said another neighbour, who wasn’t home overnight Thursday, came home to find his house unlocked with the lights on and doors open.

Another neighbour captured CCTV footage of a man driving down their street in a car shortly before the incident. The man was tooting his horn and slowed down at the property’s driveway and looked down.

Other people in the area on social media had reported similar suspicious incidents.

Chapman described the man as being in his early 20s, Māori, average build and height with short brown fuzzy hair and wearing a white T-shirt.

A police spokeswoman confirmed they went to the Chapman’s house at 4am and later conducted a forensic examination.

They said there were no other reports of similar complaints made to police at the same time.

“Of course, we would encourage anyone who experiences an incident like this or who has concerns about the safety of themselves or others to call police immediately.”

Meanwhile, Chapman wanted to warn other parents to make sure they tell their children to never open doors or windows to anyone.

She said the family had ironically just replaced their windows and they wanted to get larger ones that were easy to open in case of a fire.

“We thought it was a good thing it was easy to open for a 3-year-old.”

They were now in the process of installing window alarms and other security around the property.

For now, the family with four children were doing their best to get over their frightening ordeal and won’t be happy until the man is caught.

“I just keep having flashbacks to not being that worried and putting her back to bed and then suddenly being terrified.”

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