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‘Please don’t hurt me,’ terrified boy startles burglars as they ransack his home

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Posted at 10:41 AM, Aug 05, 2015
and last updated 2015-08-05 12:48:02-04

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – The chilling 911 call made by a 12-year-old boy as his house was being broken into in Scottsdale was released Tuesday.

“There’s two strange men I don’t know in my back porch, and I think they’re trying to open the door,” the boy is heard saying.

The terrified 12-year-old’s voice was trembling as he did his best to stay calm in the most turbulent of situations.

“I think they might be inside,” he’s heard saying. When the dispatcher asks him where he is, he replied, “I’m in the closet.”

Then he pleaded with the dispatcher to help him.

The boy’s name is not being released because he is a juvenile. Also, his family has asked for privacy. Arizona burglary suspects KPHO

According to the Scottsdale Police Department, the boy was home alone Monday morning when two men he did not recognize knocked on the door. The boy did not answer, which SPD said the two men took as an invitation to break in.

It happened in a North Scottsdale neighborhood near Bell Road and Thompson Peak Parkway.

“The 12-year-old went and grabbed a cellphone and hid in a closet and called 911,” Sgt. Ben Hoster of the Scottsdale Police Department said.

A few minutes into the call, the boy could hear the men, who have since been identified as Robbie Johnson Jr. and Cole Lewallen, make their way into the room where he was hiding. They came face to face with the trembling boy.

“Please don’t hurt me,” he’s heard saying on the call.

According to police, the boy was not only startled by the suspects but he startled them, as well. So much so that they took off and ran right into officers staged at the house.

Although the boy was understandably distraught, he was not hurt.

“Obviously he was very scared,” Hoster said. “It’s very traumatic for a 12-year-old.”

Police said the boy did everything right in this case. But with an increase in the number of daytime burglaries where criminals knock then wait for a response, they are trying to send a new message to residents.

“We’re trying to change some of the things that we do and how we train citizens to respond to these,” Hoster said. “If you’re home speak up. Say something; hopefully they’ll move on.”

At the same time, SPD is adamant that citizens not put themselves in harm’s way. To that end, police suggest residents announce themselves through the door if they do not recognize the person on the other side.

If the person does not leave and you are concerned, call 911.

Johnson Jr. and Lewallen are being held on felony burglary charges with more charges possible.

Hoster said both men have previous arrest records, but the details of those were not immediately available.


911 call from Fox 10 Phoenix:

911 Operator: “Hello this is 9-1-1.”
Caller: “There’s two strange men, I don’t know them, they’re trying to open the door.”

The boy was home alone as two men tried to break into his Scottsdale home.

911 Operator: “Are they trying to kick in the door, or just trying to get the door open?”
Caller: “I don’t know, I think they might be inside.”
911 Operator: “Where are you at?”
Caller: “I’m in the closet.”
911 Operator: “Do you hear them in the house?”
Caller: “Yes.”
911 Operator: “Where do you hear them?”
Caller: “I feel they caught me.”
911 Operator: “Ok, don’t worry, we have officers on the way.”

The dispatcher tried to calm the boy down while officers rushed to the house. When suddenly the suspects opened the closet door and found the boy hiding. Suddenly the suspects opened the closet door and found the boy hiding.

Caller: “Please don’t hurt me.”
911 Operator: “Did they open the door?”
Caller: “Yes, they’re running, they’re running!”
911 Operator: “They opened the door and saw you?”
Caller: “Yes, they saw me, what do I do?”
911 Operator: “Ok, just stay on the phone with me, the officers see him, do not hang up. You stay on the phone with me ok?”
Caller: “Ok.”