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Stranger enters Northeast Portland home, climbs into 10-year-old's bed

This is an image taken from Kelsey Smith's Ring camera that shows an intruder walking into her home uninvited. (Courtesy: Kelsey Smith){p}{/p}
This is an image taken from Kelsey Smith's Ring camera that shows an intruder walking into her home uninvited. (Courtesy: Kelsey Smith)

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A Portland homeowner says her sense of safety is shaken after a person she didn't know walked into her house Tuesday and climbed into her 10-year-old son's bed.

“They came in the front door, and they wandered into my children’s room, and crawled up onto the bed," said Kelsey Smith, who lives off of Northeast Halsey Street in Portland.

Her Ring cameras captured the whole encounter. The video shows the intruder, later identified by police as 54-year-old Terri Lynn Zinser, walking into Smith's home uninvited.

Smith told KATU she had the door unlocked because contractors working on their home were coming in and out. The video shows Zinser walking right into Smith's 10-year-old son's room and crawling onto the bed behind a pile of laundry and lying down.

One of Smith's dogs was barking non-stop at the intruder, which then alerted Smith to their presence. She at first thought it was her husband, but then quickly realized it was someone she didn't know.

“I got closer, and I realized it was a homeless person, and so I immediately backed out of the room and sort of hollering at my friend on the phone that I needed help,” Smith said.

When Smith told Zinser to leave, Zinser started swearing at her and picked up an ottoman and threw it at Smith before walking out of the home.

Smith was not injured but says the experience was very troubling.

“It was really disturbing to have her curled up in my children’s room. I mean, the safety of this whole household just feels like it’s been upended,” she said.

Smith says she's grateful her son wasn't home at the time.

We showed the video to Jeff Woodward, the manager of the Mental Health and Addiction Navigation Outreach team for the Joint Office of Homeless Services.

"It tells me that this person is clearly in crisis and is not getting access to the care they clearly need,” he said.

Woodward says they always stand ready to help people when they need it, but they have limited resources. And people have to want to accept help.

“It’s a fine line that we have to navigate every day because we have to balance between the rights of the individual and their right as an adult, and their self-determination,” he said.

Smith called Portland police immediately after the encounter. They arrested Zinser and charged them with burglary in the first degree and harassment.

Zinser was booked into the Multnomah County jail, but then shortly thereafter was let go on a court-ordered release. Court records show it was a no-complaint, which could mean either the victim doesn't want to move forward with the court case or the District Attorney's Office is gathering more evidence before they move forward with charges.

“Something has to change. I mean, something has to change. I hope that the city officials are doing something different than what they’ve been doing because it’s not working,” Smith said.

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