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Teen's cell phone pic helps nab suspected burglar

Posted May 24, 2010

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— Lee County authorities gave kudos Monday to a 14-year-old girl who they say foiled a burglary by using her cell phone camera.

The girl was home alone Thursday afternoon when a man broke into her house on Sheriff Watson Road, a quiet two-lane road with few houses, at about 5 p.m., Lee County Sheriff Tracy Carter said.

"We don't think that he even knew she was in the house," Carter said.

Girl snaps picture of fleeing burglar Girl snaps picture of fleeing burglar

The girl hid in a bathroom while the burglar grabbed four guns and left, the sheriff said.

"This happened at a time when a lot of folks are getting home from work, so that's probably the reason he didn't stay very long," he said.

The girl used her cell phone to snap a picture through the bathroom window of the burglar's blue Crown Victoria as he drove off. She then called her mother, who called 911.

"That phone photo gave law officers in the area something concrete to look for. Based on that picture and the girl's description of the suspect, Sanford police arrested the man that night," Carter said.

Police charged Bryan Everett Allen, 31, of Sanford, with breaking and entering, larceny and possession of stolen goods in the case. He was being held Monday in the Lee County jail under a $15,000 bond.

Investigators said Allen, who has previous convictions for breaking and entering and larceny, confessed to the crime and helped them recover the stolen guns.

Carter commended the teen for keeping her cool during the break-in.

"She was very upset, but she was able to hold it together, obviously, in how she handled it. She did a good job. I'm very proud of her," he said. "I hope this will deter a thief from doing something like this again."

16 Comments

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  • wildcat May 25, 2010

    Smart thinking young lady. I hope they caught him.

  • mad_dash May 25, 2010

    Glad that little girl is safe!

  • itsmyownopinion May 24, 2010

    "nor did it read like it had the car in the bathroom. Looks like school failed a lot of people."
    crash2478

    Who said anything about a car in the bathroom? Which school failed you?

  • crash2478 May 24, 2010

    WOW I'd hate to be on trial with you people judging me. No where does it say he looks like a criminal type nor did it read like it had the car in the bathroom. Looks like school failed a lot of people.

  • OpenM1nd May 24, 2010

    "through the bathroom window of the burglar's blue Crown Victoria"

    Hey! Where can I get a Crown Vic with a bathroom in it? ;-)

    Well, the media takes things out of context all the time, don't they?

  • tsquaring May 24, 2010

    He's lucky he was only shot with a camera.

  • Mr. Middle of the Road May 24, 2010

    I agree that this could have ended badly. Very glad it didn't. And kudos to the 14 year old! Wow. She remained calm and had a good plan. Her folks should be much proud of her.

  • hardwork919 May 24, 2010

    "(The girl used her cell phone to snap a picture through the bathroom window of the burglar's blue Crown Victoria as he drove off.) If I had known Crown Victorias had bathrooms I would have bought one." itsmyownopinion

    LOL That was a very poorly worded sentence... I had to re-read it a few times myself... I'm just curious as to how this guy ran in, took four guns and left but took nothing else... I mean unless they were just laying on that table, it seems like he's visited this place before... at least that's what I get from it...

  • hhurley79 May 24, 2010

    way to go public education

  • dogluvr26 May 24, 2010

    mrr03--what exactly does it take to look like the criminal type? Having a mugshot?

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