JAN. 24, 2013: 12-year-old Cottage Grove girl interrupts home burglary, calls policeA 12-year-old girl home alone sees people trying to break into her home. She grabs a phone, hides and calls for help as the intruders snatch a backpack with electronics from the home before trying to escape on foot. That’s the scenario Washington County prosecutors say played out in Cottage Grove earlier this week.
By: Scott Wente, South Washington County Bulletin
A 12-year-old girl home alone sees people trying to break into her home. She grabs a phone, hides and calls for help as the intruders snatch a backpack with electronics from the home before trying to escape on foot.
That’s the scenario Washington County prosecutors say played out in Cottage Grove earlier this week, when two people were arrested in connection with a home burglary thwarted by a preteen girl’s quick thinking.
Justin T. Mead, 18, of Cottage Grove, was formally charged Thursday with felony burglary in Washington County District Court, after admitting to police the burglary was done in an attempt to get money for drugs and that he didn’t think anyone was home. Two juveniles also face possible charges. The burglary was not random, police said.
According to the criminal complaint:
The 12-year-old girl was home alone sick from school and napping when she was awakened about 2 p.m. Tuesday by the sound of someone jiggling the door. She saw two people trying to break in. She grabbed a phone, ran upstairs and locked herself in her mother’s bedroom. The girl called her grandmother, who called 911.
The complaint says that while the girl was calling for help, two suspects were downstairs taking a backpack that contained video game accessories, an iPod and school paperwork.
When police arrived at the home in the 7400 block of Jocelyn Avenue, one officer checked the front door, which was open, while another went to the backyard where two suspects, later identified as Mead and a 17-year-old Cottage Grove male, were running toward a back fence. They were ordered by police to stop but kept running. Police ran after them, apprehending Mead in Jocelyn Bay and the other suspect in the 7200 block of Jocelyn Avenue. They also located the backpack stolen from the home, the complaint says.
In police interviews, Mead admitted to breaking into the home to steal items in order to get money to buy drugs.
Mead was charged with first-degree burglary of an occupied home and fleeing a police officer, a misdemeanor. He was booked into Washington County jail.
A third suspect, a juvenile female, had been driving a getaway vehicle. She left the scene after police arrived and had exited their squads to chase the suspects. Video from a squad car dash camera showed the suspect vehicle leaving the scene, Cottage Grove police Capt. Pete Koerner said.
The female suspect was located in Anoka County, interviewed by police Thursday and could face a charge of aiding and abetting a burglary.