HIGHLAND | A high school student home alone with her grade school-aged brother scared off a man who broke into her home Wednesday morning by calling police.
According to Highland Police Cmdr. George Georgeff, the parents left the home in the 2700 block of 39th Place for work around 7:15 a.m. Shortly thereafter, the high school student heard someone trying to get into the home.
Georgeff said the offender was likely watching the home when the parents drove off and did not believe anyone was home when he broke in.
Georgeff said the girl got her younger brother into a room with her and called police.
While on the phone with police, the girl said she could hear the intruder on the other side of the door of the room where she was holed up with her brother.
Georgeff said police believe the intruder heard the girl on the phone with police, became scared and ran.
An officer in the area saw the man running down the street and gave chase. Police administrators were in a training session at a nearby fire station and joined in the search, setting up a perimeter and calling in a K-9 unit to help track the intruder's scent.
Police contacted officials with the School Town of Highland, which decided to put some schools on lock down while the search took place.
Gary Sutton, director of personnel and pupil services for the School Town of Highland, said officials decided to put the high school and middle school on lock down as a precaution at 7:40 a.m. and when police suggested the offender could be headed south, added Merkely and Warren elementary schools to the lock down list.
The lock down was lifted at 8:30 a.m., Sutton said, after police assured them it was no longer necessary.
Police were not able to locate the offender.
Georgeff said investigators found a pile of clothing under a deck of a nearby home and believed it belongs to the offender who took it off in an effort to get away from police. Officers also found a hammer nearby believed to have been used in the break in.
The offender is described as a Hispanic male between 20 and 30 years old, standing 5 feet 9 inches tall with a stocky build. He was wearing dark blue clothing at the time of the incident.
Police are asking anyone with information about the crime to contact the Highland Police Department at (219) 838-3184.