SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A Springfield couple woke up Sunday morning to a stranger standing over their bed, naked.
Neighbors in the area say they are shocked.
“That’s just such a strange violation of boundaries in a way that’s probably more distressing than stealing something,” said neighbor Mary Chiles.
According to the Springfield Police Department, 41-year-old Gene Ferguson broke into a home in the Delaware neighborhood through an unlocked door.
“The best thing you should do is to make a habit of checking your doors and windows, especially before you go to sleep,” said Cris Swaters, Public Information Officer for SPD.
When police arrived, they found Ferguson in the area after he left the home.
Police confirmed to OzarksFirst that the man accused of this crime was also sentenced to probation in 2019 for a similar crime where Ferguson broke into a woman’s home and she woke up with him in her bed.
“A lot of these crimes are crimes of opportunity,” Swaters said. “So if you’re taking away that opportunity, keeping your doors and windows locked, making it hard to get into your home and taking some measures to make your home unappealing for someone who may want to commit a crime.”
Chiles says she doesn’t want to live in fear.
“Everyone thinks it’s never going to happen to me, and I think it’s probably good to be aware and kind of keep your ears open, but to not be fearful as much as you can,” Chiles said.
Ferguson is currently in custody and is facing burglary and sexual abuse charges.