Victim seeks answers after she thwarts home invasion

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A northeast Richland County woman is still shaken, days after coming face to face with the man who broke into her home. It happened Thursday just off of Longtown Road around 9:00 a.m.

The suspects kicked their way through the Wilson family's garage door, what they likely didn't expect was Kenny Wilson was inside.

"I was awakened by this banging that was going on for quite a while," said Kenny.

It would take Wilson some time to realize that was the sound of her now boarded-up doors being kicked in.

"I slowly opened my door and peeked out and the man was standing," said Kenny. "And he had on a bright yellow shirt and shorts."

Questioning what he was doing there, Kenny got a story about how he'd been paid to come get his brother. He began searching her house.

"He was clearly agitated and kind of hyper and he wouldn't make eye contact and he's just looking everywhere," said Kenny.

Kenny also spotted a U-Haul and a woman in the driveway.

"She said, 'Oh yes, I'm just waiting here,'" said Kenny. "Then it occurred to me okay, great, they're definitely here to rob me and maybe they're going to put me in that U-Haul truck."

Health issues prevented Kenny from running, so she tried to calm the suspect, offering him a seat and drink. The suspect asked for her cell phone, which was in the bedroom.

"I knew that was my only chance to call for help so I called 911 on my cell phone and I told the police he's here, please hurry, he's here in my house, there's a U-Haul truck outside," said Kenny.

The dispatcher gathered information.

"'You know, Ma'am is he threatening you, does he have a gun?' I said, 'Well I don't, he hasn't threatened me, but he's agitated, and he has shorts on, I don't know what maybe in his shorts,' and I said please hurry," said Kenny.

Kenny now worries little or none of it was passed to responding officers.

"When police got here, they said they were not told he was in the house and that upset me more than anything," said Kenny.

Investigators were able to use the water bottle she'd given the suspect to collect his DNA.

The incident report from the Richland County Sheriff's Department states deputies were dispatched to a "burglary just occurred" call.

According to a spokesperson with the department, deputies are trained to check the immediate area when responding to that type of call. If the call had been classified as a "burglary in progress," deputies would have gone straight to the home.

It is unclear why the call wasn't relayed to the sheriff's department as a "burglary in progress." To try to answer that question, we've requested the 911 call from the Columbia-Richland 9-1-1 Communications Center.

The suspects got away with a generator, and tools from the Wilson's garage before deputies arrived. Those items were later recovered.

"I just wanted to hear the sirens, I remember thinking if I could just hear the sirens all would be well and they would get this guy," said Kenny.

If you have any information about this case, you are asked to call Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.

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