ESCONDIDO, Calif. — An 11-year-old girl hid in a closet and used her mobile phone to message her mother for help Tuesday when a burglar who may have been armed with a gun broke into their North County house and ransacked it.
The child, who was home alone at the time, caught a glimpse of the intruder after he forced entry to the residence in the 2300 block of Live Oak Road in Escondido about 10:30 a.m., according to police.
Concealing herself in an upstairs closet, the girl sent a text message to her mother, who was at work in San Diego, Lt. Ed Varso said. The woman, in turn, made a 911 call to report the in-progress crime.
By the time officers arrived several minutes later, the thief had fled. The child told them he was about 6 feet tall, had a “buzz cut” hairstyle, was wearing “saggy” jeans and appeared to have been carrying a rifle through the home.
The burglar made his getaway in a dark-colored late-model pickup truck with an extended cab and a chrome toolbox in the cargo bed, the girl told police.
Detectives believe that the intruder likely was unaware that the youngster was inside the home during the crime, Varso said.
It was not immediately clear what the thief stole from the house.