Imagine you’re a young kid sitting home alone when suddenly you hear an unexpected noise at the front door. Is that someone trying to get in, or are you just imagining it? Then after you get up to investigate, through your window you spot a strange man acting furtively in the garden…
One 12-year-old girl knows exactly what this feels like. Indeed, Taylor Blanton was sitting at home one afternoon when she had the fright of her young life. She was in the kitchen, absorbed in playing a game on her phone, when something dramatic broke her concentration.
Specifically, she heard an unusual noise that seemed to be coming from outside her own front door. Her immediate and terrifying first thought was that somebody was trying to gain entry into the house.
Someone breaking in would be enough of a nightmare for a tough and capable adult, let alone a young girl. But what made it even worse for Taylor was that she was home alone, as her mom hadn’t got back from work yet. This wasn’t some Hollywood comedy, either; it was all too real and no laughing matter.
Then she caught a glimpse of a mysterious man roaming around the outside of her house. And, naturally, the sight spooked the 12-year-old. “I’m kind of freaking out,” Taylor told Inside Edition in September 2015. “Oh my gosh, this is a criminal.” And her gut feeling was spot on.
Bravely resisting the understandable reaction to panic, Taylor knew she had to seek out the best place to hide in case the lurker did get in. She decided on the closet in her bedroom. “If he breaks in, I’m not just going to just be sitting in a chair, like ‘Hi!’” she said.
The closet was the perfect place for the tween to conceal herself if the intruder did manage to find his way inside. But, crucially, Taylor had been incredibly resourceful in the moments before she selected her hiding place. In fact, she had been brave enough to do some serious evidence collecting as she made up her mind.
The smart girl had been spying on the suspected house-breaker as he snooped around the Blanton family’s garden. Moreover, she courageously found a spot where she couldn’t be seen and kept an eye on him from there.
Indeed, Taylor really did have her wits about her that day, because she then did something that would later be instrumental in helping the police apprehend the suspected criminal. And all she used was her phone.
Before she retreated into the bedroom closet, she had the nerve to film and photograph the creep as he sneaked around her family home. The 12-year-old filmed the miscreant as he seemingly cased the joint before he went across to the neighbor’s house to try his luck there.
The next thing Taylor knew, the prowler was trying the handle to the back door of her house as well as banging on the garage door. He was becoming more determined. It was then that she knew she had to head to the closet just in case his efforts were successful. But she had one more task before she hid herself away.
Nervously and quietly, Taylor dialed 911. And when the responder asked her if she had a description of the guy, the clever young girl was able to impress them with an extremely clear one. What’s more, she also had a damning video and a photograph of the man on her phone.
Taylor told the operator, “He’s wearing a red Auburn T-shirt and he’s wearing a hat, and he has a rag in his back pocket.” These were great details to send out to police units – details which may have proved very helpful in any neighborhood searches.
Finally, a relieved Taylor heard sirens coming down the street; yes, the police were on the scene. She was out of danger now, but did the cops have any luck catching the suspected burglar wearing the red Auburn T-shirt?
Thankfully, police were able to track down the perpetrator only a few blocks away, and they took him into custody. And it was all thanks to the quick-thinking 12-year-old who had filmed and photographed the prowling man.
The man was later described as a “career criminal” by police. They added that this wasn’t the only incident they wanted to question him about. In fact, he was suspected to have been involved in a number of other break-ins in the vicinity.
However, according to Inside Edition, the arrested suspect claimed that all he was doing in the Blantons’ garden was “looking for a glass of water.” But he didn’t fool anyone – least of all law enforcement.
As a result, he was charged with a couple of counts of attempted breaking and entering and one count of malicious destruction of property. Meanwhile, poor Taylor would later describe the situation she had found herself in as “not fun.” But that was possibly a bit of an understatement; it must have been truly terrifying for a girl so young.
Nevertheless, Taylor’s bravery ought to be commended. After all, the man may have gone on to rob and terrorize many other people if it hadn’t been for her actions. And while the younger generation are constantly being nagged and told to get off their phones, in this case it’s a blessing that Taylor didn’t put hers down.