BY ANDREW SMITH
LISTOWEL – A Listowel family received a rude awakening last Friday night, as a home invasion disrupted their normally quiet neighbourhood.
When Dean Ballantyne and Barb Palmer went to bed on the night of Sept. 7, they received a ring at the doorbell of their home on Denstedt Street; it was dismissed as a neighbour coming by to visit.
“It’s happened before where they have a party down the street and they’re trying to get us to go for a drink,” Ballantyne said.
That was until the early morning of 2 a.m., when Ballantyne was awakened by a flashing light and the shock of a lifetime.
“I notice that someone is standing in the doorway of our bedroom with a flashlight,” he said. “We never heard him or seen him, I just saw a silhouette and a flashlight.”
Ballantyne said he instantly yelled at Palmer to wake up, startling the intruder and causing him to run out the front door. It was only until it was too late that Ballantyne thought to chase after the suspect and identify him, to no avail.
“For the first minute we were in shock,” Ballantyne said. “I looked down the street to see who it was or where he went.”
Although Ballantyne didn’t get a good look at the suspect, he determined that it was a male, about 5’8” in height, with a slim build capable of squeezing in past the family’s garage door.
See LISTOWEL, page 18
“He couldn’t open the door all the way so he got enough to squeeze through about 10 inches,” Ballantyne said. “I thought the door was locked, but obviously it wasn’t.”
In reporting the incident to the police, Ballantyne was told that no other incidents were reported in the area, but a neighbour reported seeing a light flash across their window around 12:30 a.m. that same night. Palmer said the incident has changed the way they live in their own home, creating a sense of fear for their own safety and that of daughter Taylor.
“I don’t want Taylor to stay by herself anymore,” Palmer said. “I wake up in the middle of the night to go to the washroom and I don’t even want to come out.”
Ballantyne said it serves as a cautionary tale to be aware, no matter where you live, and that the threat needs to be taken seriously.
“You see that happen on television, but you don’t believe it until it happens to you,” Ballantyne said. “People just need to be aware that it is out there.”