A stranger who entered a woman’s apartment and stared at her while she slept on the couch before fleeing after she woke up — and stealing a pair of socks on the way out — has been charged with burglary.
Dan Abimana, 23, was seen on home security footage inside the Ankeny, Iowa, apartment of a woman who says she did not know him. In the early morning hours of April 1, Abimana apparently entered the residence, spending some 30 minutes inside. During that time, he was seen walking through the entire apartment, at times staring at the woman who lived there as she slept on the couch.
He was also seen organizing some shoes and placing them next to the couch.
Abimana later turned himself in after recognizing himself in a report by local CBS affiliate KCCI.
“I sleep with the TV on,” the woman explained, offering a reason for why a stranger was able to get into her apartment without waking her. “He was super quiet. I think the combination of the two is how I just kept sleeping.”
She said that the intruder had “even been down to the kids’ room.” She said that she was surprised and shocked after the incident.
“You know, it’s creepy,” she told Goldberg.
She said that Abimana woke her up after apparently bumping her knee while moving around her as she lay on the couch.
She asked him who he was, but didn’t get an answer. She asked again.
“He said, ‘I’m the guy who dropped you off last night,’” the woman told Goldberg. “At that point, I knew he wasn’t a friend of the kids or anything.”
The woman said she then “started screaming for my son.” At that point, Abimana was already headed toward the door — apparently grabbing a pair of socks on his way out. The woman said that she believes he was still “in the building somewhere” after that. She called the police, who came to the apartment and took fingerprints and searched the grounds. She told law enforcement that she wanted to press charges.
She also has a theory as to why Abimana chose to organize some of her shoes while he was there.
“My assumption was that he was on drugs or something,” she told Goldberg. “I didn’t smell alcohol on him when he was standing right in front of me and I was awake.”
She attributed the stranger’s entry to an unlocked door.
“Someone had come home earlier in the night after work and just absentmindedly forgot to lock the door,” the woman told Goldberg, adding that the man had been in another apartment before theirs.
She says the situation could have been much worse, and warns others to take steps to keep themselves safe.
“Lock your doors!” she said to Goldberg. “I can’t say that loud enough or enough times. I am really really grateful that nothing happened to the kids that were in the apartment.”
Since the incident, the woman says she has taken additional security measures to keep herself safe.
“I have, but I will not mention what it is,” she told Goldberg. “I live alone.”
Abimana is now facing two counts of trespassing.
“I don’t think it was anything like he was trying to harm anyone,” Ankeny Police Sgt. Corey Schneden told Goldberg.
As to why the charges aren’t more severe, Schneden said that it doesn’t appear that Abimana had any nefarious intent and that he might have ended up in the wrong apartment by accident.
“He mentioned that there was some alcohol that was involved, but that was really it,” Schneden said. “It sounded like he didn’t have any ill intentions towards anyone. I don’t know if there was confusion because it was a large apartment complex and he was over visiting someone and he got mixed up. I don’t know exactly what his motives were at that time or how he got confused and went into those apartments.”
The woman who lives in the apartment, meanwhile, says that she isn’t satisfied with the charges.
“I was very upset, I was not happy at all,” she said. “I felt at the least it should have been either burglary or assault. I was in fear for my life when I woke up.”
The woman says that she has been permanently changed by the experience.
“I have trouble sleeping,” she told Goldberg. “I constantly wake up in the night and look around to see if anyone’s in my room. If I go around the corner coming in, I look to see if anyone’s there. It’s really affected me.”
“I want to see some justice, is my main goal,” she added.
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