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13-Year-Old Hides in Closet While Home is Burglarized

By Chelsea KAY, @ChelseaKayTv
Published On: May 22 2013 07:48:14 PM CDT
Updated On: May 23 2013 12:21:56 PM CDT
COTTONWOOD, Calif. -

A 13-year-old Tehama County girl is safe after hiding in a closet while three men burglarized her home.

It happened just before 9 a.m. Saturday on Bywood Dr. in Cottonwood.

Amy Stultz-Digby, the teenager's mother, told us her daughter was supposed to be home alone for just a few hours before going to a friend's house.

She said the teen was watching a movie in a back bedroom when she suddenly heard voices on the porch. Stultz-Digby said her daughter knew not to go to the front door, but when the three men started picking the lock, she said she had to think fast.

"When she realized they were coming in regardless, she just went in the closet," Stultz-Digby said.

That hiding place worked for a while, until one of the suspects opened the closet door.

"She said take what you want and leave," Stultz-Digby said of her daughter.

As soon as the suspects saw her, deputies said the trio took off.

"She went to the window and saw all of them leaving and she watched the car leave," Stultz-Digby said. "She actually watched the car leave the driveway, then she ran to the phone and called 9-1-1."

Stultz-Digby said she was working a few hours away when she got the call.

When asked about what it was like to get the call, Stultz-Digby said it was terrifying.

"I had a million things running through my head," she said.

When she made it home, she said her daughter was pretty calm, but still a bit uneasy.

"One of the things that we did right away was we went and adopted a dog from Haven Humane so that we could all sleep a little easier," Stultz-Digby said.

The suspects got away with about $1,300 worth of stuff, including an Xbox, a flat screen TV and a tablet.

"The stuff can be replaced," Stultz-Digby said, "the stuff that they took, all it's really going to do is force us to have more family game nights together."

Stultz-Digby told us she and her husband are both very proud of their brave daughter.

"I was very impressed. I can't imagine me, I probably would have just screamed," Stultz-Digby said.

Looking back on the incident, she said she's just "so grateful that [the suspects] were just thieves."

The suspects are described as being white male adults driving a white car with a black raised stripe on the sides.  

The man who deputies said found the teen in the closet is described as being 20 to 30 years old, about 6 feet tall, thin, with dark hair and with a black circle tattoo on his upper-arm shoulder area.

Anyone with any information on the suspects is asked to contact the Tehama County Sheriff's Office.