Tips For Kids To Stay Safe From Burglars When Home Alone
TULSA, Oklahoma - Spring break is just around the corner, which means a lot of kids will be home alone. For them, knowing what to do if someone knocks on the door or tries to break in is important.
Usually, when someone knocks on the door and a child is home alone, they get quiet and hide; but if that person is a burglar, that's the worst thing they can do. Instead, what they should do is make lots of noise.
Fourteen-year-old Marquis had just goten out of the shower when he heard his backdoor crash open.
"He first kicked in this door, and that's when I grabbed my phone and ran toward the back because this door is always locked, and he kicked in this one next," he said.
The teen ran to his room, crouched down at the end of his bed and called 911.
"I hid here first and had second thoughts, so I got in here and closed the closet door and dialed," he said.
Marquis heard the burglar let in a second man, so he jumped out of his closet to shut his bedroom door. That noise scared the burglars away.
"I felt my heart was trying to come out of my chest, it was pumping so hard. I was shaking and my words didn't come out right,” Marquis said.
His mom was only gone for a few minutes and he didn't know he should make noise if someone knocks or kicks in a door.
Police say kids need to know what to do, just in case.
"You have to have a plan. For a young kid, 12 years old, to wing something like that, they're not going to know what to do, they'll freeze up," said Sergeant Brian Blair.
Conner was ten when he stayed home alone while his mom ran a quick errand. He saw a man with a knife hop the back fence, come to the back door and start banging on it with the knife.
Conner grabbed a pocketknife and dialed 911.
"I flipped open the blinds. I saw him walking over here. I ducked down right here where I was in a position to see him but he couldn't see me. I must've popped up and he saw me on the phone and he darted off," he said.
Conner was terrified and believed the man was going to break in and try to kill him.
He said, "I started crying at one point because, when he was banging on the door is when it first started, and that's what scared me the most, was the knife pounding on the glass and him pounding on the door."
Police say the vast majority of burglars want to hit an empty house, so, to make sure no one is home they knock on doors and windows first. If no one answers, they kick in the door.
To keep burglars out, kids should make noise - blast the TV or yell something like ‘Dad, someone's at the door,’ to make the burglar think a grownup is also home.
If a burglar does come in, the goal is to get out. If they're between you and the door, then children should know to get into one room that locks and call 911.
All of this applies to adults too, but they have more options when it comes to defending themselves.
Still, the best idea is to keep bad guys from ever entering in the first place, and noise is key to doing that.
Thankfully, both Marquis and Conner are okay, but they still think about it.
"Ever since that, I've been on edge, so a little sound would come and I would jump straight up and look around," Marquis said.
Conner said, "I worry about it a lot when I'm home alone."