Home invasion victim: I never thought Id see this day in Bermuda
Still visibly shaken, Rhonda Wilkinson has only slept for two hours since Monday night when four armed assailants invaded her family home.
Every time the sun goes down her nerves get frazzled all over again.
Ms Wilkinson spoke to The Royal Gazette yesterday at her Devonshire home where plans to stay, even though she no longer feels at home.
Three man and a woman charged into her home around 8.30pm on Monday. She said the group used the woman as a decoy to knock on the door to gain entry.
When asked whats the main message she wants to get across to the community, Ms Wilkinson said: Make sure you look to see whos at your door, and dont let anybody in who you dont know or recognise.
With her hands still trembling she said: This really has got to stop, it has to because I would have never thought in a million years that this would happen to me ever really.
The culprits made off with cash, jewellery and a PlayStation unit but they left her with her engagement ring because it was not gold. Ms Wilkinson said they even threatened to chop up her dog.
They held a gun to my cousins head and told her if she didnt shut the dog up they would chop it up, so she tried to muzzle it by covering the dogs mouth.
She had my phone and she was going to call upstairs to my daughter to call the police. The guy with the gun took the phone from her and put the gun to her head with orders to sit down, shut up and dont move.
Ms Wilkinson said she heard about those details after the fact as she was dealing with her own part in the ordeal at the time.
When they held a machete up to me and my ten-year-old son he started crying. Thats when the guy with the gun said to the guy with the machete to take care of us. He told his partner to shut those two up.
But when he actually raised the machete up to me I grabbed my child and ran to hide. The poor child just cried and cried, I told him to be quiet and to be brave but he kept telling me mama I dont want to die, he just kept saying it.
Thankfully she said the very next day her youngest child was back to normal. Hes back to being a ten-year-old, I think he just pushed it back in his head I guess, but Im still going to get counselling for him anyway.
Hes not waking up with nightmares or anything like that, but he doesnt go to sleep as fast as he used to and no one is ever in a room by themselves anymore.
With school out for the midterm break the youngster went to the Botanical Gardens yesterday to help set up for the annual exhibition to keep busy. For his mother the good news is that children are resilient, but the experience has turned her into a nervous wreck.
They took money all the cash that we had for our groceries, I had rings on my fingers, my earrings and none of it was insured, they dropped one so I got it back. A lot of it has sentimental value.
As far as I know we were picked at random, I have no reason to think otherwise. My 19-year-old son heard about the attack while he was at the Bermuda Regiment.
He called me and asked if I was okay and wanted to know what was going on. I asked him to just get home now please, hes very upset.
Ive been going to work, Im not staying long; I just go because I dont want to be in the house by myself. When someone else comes home from work, thats when I come home.
Ive decided to stay here but I dont know if Ill ever get over this. Eventually I think Im going to have to but for now every sound I hear or if someone knocks on the door Im jumping; its unbelievable.
I never thought I would see this day in Bermuda I always reminisce with my children about how it used to be when I was young. It was safe and we used to be able to just go anywhere and have fun, all thats over now.
When asked if she believed the home invasion was drug related, or linked to unemployment with so many people out of work she said: I think it was all of the above, drug related, wanting money. Its all of the above.
My boyfriend has gone very quiet and when hes quiet like that I know that hes angry and I know hes processing everything in his brain.
Weve seen a few people around here lately, people who dont belong around here. On Saturday another guy rode up on a motorcycle and he didnt belong around here either.
That makes me think we could have been targeted.
With the windows being replaced in her home she said: Thank God theyre putting the blinds on now, my nerves are shot, Ive only had about two hours sleep since Monday.
I really dont want to go to sleep and its really hard for me at night. When it starts to get dark we all lock up the windows, I dont even want to be downstairs so we all go upstairs and lock the doors.
Meanwhile the investigation continues and police are appealing to anyone with information to contact the Serious Crime Unit on 247-1079, or the confidential Crime Stoppers hotline on 800-8477.
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