IT was a Friday night like any other — barbecue, beers, friends and footy — but it ended in what police called a “cold and callous” crime that has rocked the Cobram community.
Father-of-three David Hyde, 51, spoke publicly for the first time yesterday about the night he came face-to-face with a burglar who came armed with a knife, and used it.
A deep scar runs down across the side of his lip and, pulling his T-shirt aside, fresh stitches ran across his collarbone in ugly train-tracks.
“He was still in the bedroom,” Mr Hyde told a handful of media outside the Cobram Police Station yesterday afternoon.
“He had turned the lights off by then and I’d walked into a dark bedroom and it went from there.”
A man had crept into the Hyde home in Dudley Park Road and into the bedroom next to where Mr Hyde, his wife Julie and their friends watched the Collingwood versus West Coast game last week.
Mrs Hyde raised the alarm after finding open drawers in the bedroom .
Her husband and the friends then ran outside hoping to catch the thief.
Mr Hyde went back in and the burglar confronted him, leaving him with injuries so severe he was flown to The Alfred.
Police are worried the offender will strike again, with fatal consequences.
“If it is a series of offences, obviously the violence has escalated,” Cobram Detective Sen-Constable Jason Williams said.
Police have linked the offender to an aggravated burglary on Cobram’s Punt Road on July 27 where two women found a man holding a knife in their home and to two attempted burglaries on homes two doors down from the Hyde home just this week.
“Somebody out there must know who this person is,” Sen-Constable Williams said.
“That person needs to consider, even if it is a friend or a loved one, that the next person that this offence happens to could be killed and the person that’s committed this offence may be ill, may seriously need help ... We need to catch this person.”
Protecting the community he was born and bred in is what drove Mr Hyde, an employee at packaging company Recopack, to speak out yesterday.
“I was lucky enough to defend myself to a degree. If it was somebody else, elderly, frail or young...” Mr Hyde trailed off.
Cobram police will door knock in the immediate area again this weekend in the hope of gaining fresh information.
The burglar is described as being of Asian appearance, athletic in build and of medium height and wearing a brown hoodie.
Information can be given anonymously to police by phoning Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.