CASTRO VALLEY (CBS SF) — A 14-year-old Castro Valley girl is being hailed as a hero by authorities after bravely helping nab a suspected burglar who broke into her home while she was alone.
Police said the man picked the wrong house to break into and messed with the wrong girl.
For any mother and daughter, it’s a nightmare scenario. But for Ana and Natalia, it could not have been more real.
“Yeah, it was intense,” said Ana. “And it was very very scary.”
14-year-old Natalia told KPIX 5 it was the first time she was ever allowed to stay home by herself.
She says first the burglar knocked on the front door.
“He kept knocking and then he went to the back door, and then he was banging on that door,” Natalia said.
Then, during a frantic FaceTime call with her mom, things got even worse when she saw the man go to the back of the house, where he knocked again.
“He jumped through the bathroom window. I was like, ‘Damn, I’m going to die,'” she said.
Thinking no one was home, the suspect broke in through the bathroom window.
That’s when Natalia told her mother to call the cops.
“I was texting her at the same time I was talking to the sheriff’s department, and I was telling them, ‘Hurry up! She scared!'” said Ana.
But fear did not give way to panic. Natalia locked herself in a bedroom and hoped for a quick arrival by the Alameda County Sheriffs deputies.
“They got here in like three minutes, the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department,” said neighbor Allison White. “They were amazing.”
Natalia acted so fast, she even helped catch her own intruder.
“The guy took off out the back slider, started jumping over all of our fences and dropping stuff as he was going,” said White.
That suspect — later identified by authorities as Clinton Deforest — was driving a stolen car and wanted on another warrant. He was caught within 15 minutes.
“Wow! She did an amazing job,” said Ana about her daughter. “I seriously thought she was gonna be freaking out. I got home, she was calm.”
“She was really cool under pressure,” agreed White. “Did a fantastic job for 14.”
Police said Deforest tried to jump a fence, but ended up in the hands of waiting officers who had already set up a perimeter.
They found stolen items from the house on him. Police say thanks to Natalia, he’s now in jail.