A KILTERNAN woman last week faced down two burglars at her home and ran them out of her garden after an attempted break-in while she was home alone.
Aileen Eglington, who runs her own business, AE Consulting, and is chair of the Kilternan Residents’ Association, found herself in the scary situation of witnessing two men breaking into her home while she was sunbathing in her back garden.
It is the second time Aileen’s home has been burgled in the past year after a group of men broke into her home last summer and ransacked her house.
Eglington spoke to The Gazette about her horror when she realised two men were breaking into her house.
“I was sitting in my back garden … behind a load of lilies so nobody could see me in this particular part of the garden. I was listening to the radio when I heard a noise. It suddenly dawned on me that the noise was my side gate opening.”
She has two large double gates at the side of her house that are more than 2m tall but, crucially, the gates can only be opened from inside the garden.
“In that split second, I said: ‘Oh my God – there’s burglars in my garden!’ They had climbed over the gates at the side of my house and they had opened [them].
“There’s a huge big bolt on the gates and I’m not actually able to open the bolt on the gates, my husband, Paul, always has to do it.
“I can’t describe the feeling when you suddenly realise that there is someone in your garden. I froze in my seat for a minute, and then I got up and walked around the side.
“There were two guys down the side of the house in front of me. They were only about 6ft away from me so I screamed like a maniac at them and I ran after them. I didn’t think straight, I just ran after them. I was literally screaming my heart out.”
The pair of burglars ran away from her house and up the Enniskerry Road, where they jumped over the wall into the Blue Church, and then ran out the back of it.
Eglington added: “I’d say the two guys were in their late teens to early 20s, and one was very distinctive because he had a royal blue top and trousers on him. I thought that was unusual, because most guys wouldn’t wear matching colours like that.”
She called the gardai, who arrived at her house within five minutes, and they immediately started to look for the two men, but to no avail.
The first burglary involved a group of men who broke down the front door while her husband, Paul, was in the back garden cutting the grass. They ransacked the couple’s bedroom.
“They took my husband’s watch, all of my gold jewellery and the thing that saddened me the most was they took two little boxes which I kept in the wardrobe that contained my mother’s and my aunt’s jewellery. They have both since passed away.
“They knew exactly what they were looking for, and they upended our whole bedroom in the process.”
Eglington said increased crime rates in Kilternan since the closure of Stepaside Garda Station in March, 2013 mean she is worried for the safety of those living in the semi-rural area.
She said: “All I could think of that day was that I’m strong and tough, and I just ran after them without thinking. But there’s an awful lot of very vulnerable people living around here and we need to protect them.”