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As Burglars Break In, Terrified Teen Stays Calm In Closet, Dials 911

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Alexis Stannis, 13, barricaded herself inside the closet of her Oakland Park home and called 911 while thieves ransacked the home. (CBS4)

Alexis Stannis, 13, barricaded herself inside the closet of her Oakland Park home and called 911 while thieves ransacked the home. (CBS4)

Carey-Codd-600x450 Carey Codd
Carey Codd is a General Assignment Reporter for CBS4 News and jo...
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South Florida Crime

POMPANO BEACH (CBSMiami) – A 13-year-old Pompano Beach girl stayed extremely calm in the face of a terrifying incident when three teenagers broke into her home while she and her 10-year-old brother were home alone in the 2400 block of NE 10th Avenue.

She called 911 on her cell phone while hiding in a bedroom closet with her  brother.

Alexis: “Me and my brother are home alone and three guys are in our backyard trying to break-in. They’re on the back porch trying to break in.”

A few moments later, Alexis begins to whisper when she realized they were inside the house and walking through the rooms of her house.

Alexis: “I hear footsteps.”

911 Operator: “What’s your name?”

Alexis: “Alexis.”

911 Operator: “Are they inside the house, Alexis?”

Alexis: “I think so.”

911 Operator: “Where are you inside the house?”

Alexis: “In my room in the closet.”

Listen to the entire 911 call here

The break-in took place on Thursday, June 21st around 2:17 p.m.

BSO deputies headed to the house as Alexis calmly relayed information to the dispatcher about where she and her brother were and what she was hearing from the burglars. She admitted she was terrified.

“I was scared,” she said at a Monday news conference at the Broward Sheriff’s Office. “I didn’t know what to do.”

Deputies surrounded the house, and with Alexis and Darren still in the closet, eventually found the burglars hiding in the closet of another bedroom. All three suspects, ages 15, 15, and 17, were charged with armed burglary of a residence and theft. The suspects also admitted to breaking into a house next door where they used their knives to pry open a door.

“Who knows what could have happened since they were armed if Alexis hadn’t been so cool, calm and collected,” Sheriff Al Lamberti said.

Alexis said she had no idea the would-be thieves were armed.

“I didn’t know they had knives,” she said. “I didn’t know what I’d be doing if they came into my room with a knife.”

Deputies said the burglars knocked on the door before they broke in – a common tactic among burglars trying to determine if anyone is home.

“We can no longer tell our children not to answer the door if Mom and Dad aren’t home,” Sheriff Al Lamberti said. “They should never open the door to strangers, but they have to let criminals know that somebody is home. And they should call 911 like Alexis. ”

That very same day, an 11-year-old boy in Hollywood also called 911 when three teenage burglars broke into his home while he was alone for a short time. Luis Gutierrez Jr. was home watching television when his father went out to pick up dinner. Minutes later the boy heard a loud knock at the front door, followed by a smashing of glass at a back window.

The boy called his father, who told his son to call 911.

Listen to the entire 911 call

He stayed on the phone with a 911 dispatcher while he hid under his bed until police arrived.

All three teenage suspects in that break-in were also arrested.

In Alexis’ case, her mother told reporters that it was painful for her to listen to her daughter’s 911 call.

“It is hard – seeing my kids go through something like this,” said Tracy Stout.

But her daughter earned praise from many for her calm demeanor giving details of the crime and relaying important information like her address. BSO Communications Specialist Kimberly Kelly handled the 911 call. She said Alexis’ poise made her job easier.

“I really just wanted to give her a hug and make sure she and her brother were safe,” Kelly told CBS 4’s Carey Codd.

Alexis and her brother are safe – and closer than ever.

“I was trying to protect my brother,” she said. “I would sacrifice myself for him.”

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