Monday, January 18, 2010

Alert homeowner foils break-in attempt

January 08, 2010 6:35 PM

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) – Police are searching for a person they believe may have been involved in a string of burglaries in a Grand Rapids neighborhood.

Currently, Grand Rapids Police are investigating dozens of break-ins that took place at homes in the area of Burton and Eastern on the southeast side of Grand Rapids.

Police say an alert homeowner recently helped prevent a break-in not far from that neighborhood, helping put Jacquil Baber-Bey in the Kent County jail. Police say Baber-Bey is one of four high-schoolers who was not in class on Wednesday, but instead out trying to break into homes.

That homeowner, who asked to be identified only by her first name, talked to Newschannel 3 on Friday.

"Doorbell rang, and happened to be real close to the front door," said Heidi.

When she answered the door, Heidi says the teenager there didn't ask for her, but gave the name of his counselor, Sarah.

"Being in the health field, I do not know anyone who has their clients come to their house," said Heidi.

Heidi says she told the teen to go ask a neighbor on Okemos Drive SE, then she looked out her back window.

"There were three more kids waiting back by that fence," said Heidi.

Heidi saw a total of four teens, and she believed that they were planning a break-in. A call to 911 brought Grand Rapids Police, who arrested two of the youths.

"Her instincts were absolutely right," said Lt. Ralph Mason of the Grand Rapids Police Department. "Young people, should have been in school, instead they were skipping school and out getting into trouble."

Police say the two they arrested are high school students at Creston. Baber-Bey is 18, and now faces two home invasion charges.

Investigators credit Heidi for her help, but say that anyone who finds themselves in a similar situation should be even more cautious.

"In the future, probably don't even open the door, talk through the window," said Officer Jon Kraczon.

"I just called 911 because I figured by the time I looked things up in the phone-book I wouldn't have them in my view anymore," said Heidi.

The second suspect arrested is fourteen years old and being held at the Kent County Juvenile facility. Police are still trying to identify the two other youths involved.