San Diego

Coronado Teen's Bravery, Quick Action Keep Family Safe from Intruder

A teen’s bravery helped keep her and her family safe and scare off a suspected burglar who broke into their quiet Coronado home.

The 16-year-old was sleeping in her downstairs room when she thought she saw a figure in the window. She said she felt frozen with fear before gathering herself and tiptoeing to an adjacent room where her 15-year-old sister slept.

It wasn’t until she heard movement in the other room -- footsteps, moving furniture and a falling ukulele -- that she knew it wasn’t a dream.

“She pinched her awake, put her hand over her mouth and she said ‘Don't say a word. Just run,’ and they both jetted upstairs,” the teens’ dad Dennis Holland said. “It’s pretty crazy.”

The sister alerted their dad and he grabbed the closest weapon he could find – a tennis racket – and headed downstairs. By that time, the intruder was gone.

“To think of that in that situation, ‘cause she had to be scared out of her mind and to have the composure to think through a plan when I'm sure she was shaking inside, we’re really proud of her. It’s pretty amazing,” the father said.

Coronado police were still investigating the incident Thursday. As for evidence, they’re examining a window screen as well as a bag filled with snacks and a wig found on the ground outside.

“I would think this kind of thing is really rare for good reason because you don't know what you're getting into,” Holland said. “It could have been a Navy SEAL’s house or someone with a gun or a bad dog.”

Police say there is no evidence anything was taken during the break-in.

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