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Valinda teen helps deputies catch burglar

January 11, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
A brave teen helped sheriff's deputies catch a burglar in the act. The incident was recorded on his cellphone, as well as on 911 tapes.

The 15-year-old, who is homeschooled, was alone at home on the 16800 block of Lawnwood Street on Tuesday morning doing homework when a burglar, later identified as 42-year-old Aurelio Hernandez, broke into his house.

The teen was able to capture some of the terrifying ordeal on his camera phone.

He said Hernandez used a screwdriver to shatter a window and get in. He heard the glass breaking and immediately grabbed a cordless phone, ran into his mother's bedroom and called 911.

"They told me to try to hide for a while. They told me to go under the bed, but the bed is like, it lies really low, and I guess I'm too big for that, so all I had really was just a few pillows," the teen said.

While hiding under sheets and pillows, the boy gave updates to a dispatcher, as deputies raced to his house.

At one point, Hernandez started ransacking the room the teen was in, rummaging through a closet. The teen remained motionless and undiscovered. He said he was close enough to see Hernandez's shoes.

"When he was right next to me, I had mixed thoughts, thinking, 'Should I trip this fool or should I just stay still?'" he said.

Minutes later, deputies knocked on the front door. Hernandez actually answered the door and pretended to be the homeowner, but deputies knew he was lying.

The teen said his parents are proud that through it all, he stayed calm and collected.

Hernandez was taken into custody and is being held on $50,000 bail. Police say Hernandez may be responsible for other burglaries in the area.

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