El Cajon family says man tried opening front door to their home

Posted at 6:22 PM, Sep 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-02 21:31:12-04

An unwelcome visitor at a side door rattled a family, leading a mother to go online to warn others.

On Thursday night just after 5 p.m., inside a mobile home on Highway 8 Business, Shara Nichols, her husband and 10-year-old daughter were sitting on their couch watching TV.

“After we heard noise on the patio, we heard tapping on the window over there in the kitchen,” said Nichols.

Amid the tapping, her dogs started barking.

“Shortly after, we heard the door jiggling,” said Nichols.

At a side door, she heard the distinct sound of someone jiggling the door handle.                 

“It was nervewracking.  My heart was pounding.  I didn't know what was going to happen.  I didn’t know if they were going to come in.  I didn’t know if they were armed,” said Nichols.

Soon after, her husband marched outside.

“The gentleman was right there, standing at the bottom of the stairs,” said Nichols.

Nichols says a man in his late 20s asked her husband for a cup of water.  Her husband's response?

“He came down the stairs and starting escorting him off the property.  He said we were calling the cops.  The second guy was standing … at the gate,” said Nichols.

The men quickly left.

Nichols says deputies later tracked one down, but he said they were looking for landscaping work.  Nichols says she was told there wasn't enough evidence to arrest him, but Nichols believes she knows what the men were up to.              

“They wanted to see if anybody was home.  Maybe if we weren't home, they would have tried to gain full access and steal anything they could get their hands on, “ said Nichols.

Nichols posted the incident on Facebook pages like the East County Emergency Updates page in hopes of warning others about the encounter that's rattled a family's nerves.           

My daughter cried most of the night.  She asked me, ‘When are they coming back?”

While deputies told Nichols the man had no priors, neighbors online have reported seeing the men trying to open car doors in the area.