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13-year-old girl helps police catch burglars in house

"We actually kind of ran but we were actually really scared. Never been in that kind of situation before."

That's how 13-year-old Alexis Stannis describes what she and younger brother Darren did -- hiding in a bedroom closet and calling 911 -- when intruders broke into their Pompano Beach, Fla., home on Thursday.

Both children were honored Monday for their quick reaction and calm demeanor during the incident. 

While their parents were at work, 10-year-old Darren told his older sister he heard suspicious sounds outside the house. Alexis then saw intruders trying to come inside through an unlocked back window.


"Well, they knocked on my front door I didn't answer, and I saw one of them walk around the house and then I just went back to my room, and then Darren realizes they're on the back porch trying to break in."

Alexis grabbed Darren and a cell phone, and the two hid inside a closet. Alexis called 911. In a shaky voice, she provided the necessary information to the dispatcher and police, who arrived and surrounded the house. 

"They were like, where are they in the house? Do you hear them? What's going on? Are you still in your closet? Yeah."

When police entered the home, they found three older teens hiding in the closet of another bedroom.

The three teens, one 17 years old and two who are 15, were caught with a knife, which they admitted to using to break into the house next door, police said.

All three were charged with armed burglary, NBCMiami.com reported. 

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The Stannises' mother, Tracey Stout, said she was proud of both her children for being so calm in such a dangerous situation.

"I'm really proud of my kids, they did a good job," she told reporters. "It's hard listening to the tape the 911 call but they really did a good job."

Both children were awarded with lapel pins and awards of excellence by Broward County Sheriff Al Lamberti at a press conference on Monday.  

Lamberti commended Alexis for her bravery and quick actions.

"She responded better than a lot of adults would in a very similar situation. She remained calm," Lamberti told NBCMiami.com.

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