Residents of California neighborhood terrified by prowler with axe and knife ringing doorbells in the middle of the night

News & Politics

A group of residents in a California neighborhood were terrified by a strange man who wandered around with an axe and a knife ringing doorbells.

The masked man was captured on one couple’s surveillance video outside of their home in the Hillcrest neighborhood in San Diego.

“We just saw in the morning that there was a guy walking around on the property with an axe. The following night, with the doorbell ringing, that woke us up, we thought, ‘What the heck is going on?’ So we looked at the camera,” said a resident named Ben to KFMB-TV.

The video from three in the morning showed the man with the axe ring the doorbell, then knock on the door, and then jiggle the door handle to see if it was open.

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“And he just kinda sat down and started flipping a knife open and closed on the stairs right outside our place,” said Ben.

They called police the next morning, but police told them to call right away next time.

Residents started posting videos from their doorbell and surveillance cameras on social media and realized that the same man was skulking around their homes on Friday and Saturday nights.

“I saw the images and the ring camera videos. And it was very jarring and scary,” said Sophie, another resident of Mission Hills.

Others said they couldn’t sleep at night after finding out about the prowler.

“Poking around and walking around carrying an axe. I know carrying an axe isn’t illegal you can do that but it is frightening. A lot of the neighbors are concerned,” said a man named Vincent.

One of the residents said police told them they contacted the man. The resident said the man walked away after speaking to the police, then turned back after they left and returned to his bizarre activities.

KFMB was told by San Diego police that they detained the man and that he was receiving resources.

Although most found the situation frightening, Ben said there was at least one positive development.

“The best thing that we’ve taken away from this was some of these community apps, so that we actually ascertain whether others are having this kind of experience too and that itself makes us actually feel a little bit safer,” said Ben.

“People are just wondering what to do,” added Vincent. “How can we keep our neighbors safe? What can we do as a community to stay safe?”

The average single family home in the Hillcrest neighborhood costs about $825k according to Redfin.

Here’s a news report about the incident:

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