DEARBORN HEIGHTS, Mich. – Police in Dearborn Heights was able to stop a home invasion in progress thanks to a clever senior citizen and her helpful neighbor.
It started with two men in masks entering a home and telling the woman inside they were armed, and it ended with police arresting the man seen in the video player above, Michael Klegg.
The other suspect got away.
Despite being startled awake by two armed gunmen, that woman was able to see herself to safety, and here’s how she did it.
She told the intruders she wasn’t feeling well, but instead of rushing to the bathroom, she bolted out of her home and across the street, where she was able to call for help.
“This is kind of a wake-up call for the whole neighborhood,” said Farouk Harajli.
Harajli says that the wake-up call came at around 6 a.m. last Wednesday, when his neighbor, a 77-year-old woman living alone, woke up to armed robbers in masks in her home.
She didn’t panic. In fact, she did the opposite.
“She made herself like she was getting sick,” Harajli said. “She wanted to go to the bathroom, and apparently, she was able to get out of the back door and run across the street.”
She came to Harajli’s house for help, where his wife answered the door, and together they called 911.
One minute and 45 seconds later, nine officers were on the scene.
“Sgt Stephens was the first person to arrive on the scene and was able to observe a vehicle with the suspect backed into the driveway just as our victim had described,” said Dearborn Heights Police Chief Jerrod Hart.
Hart says the suspect by the car ran off; officers chased him down and made the arrest.
Police later identified him as Klegg, 33, of Taylor, who police say is a habitual offender.
Officials say the second intruder got away.
Police say they recovered two handguns, a face mask, and items belonging to the victim in their car.
Dennis Groh lives a few doors down.
“She no longer feels safe in the house, and that’s tragic,” said Groh.
Groh said he is glad his neighbor is physically ok; Still, he can’t help but feel like she was robbed of something she can never get back.
“The memories of raising children, having a family, husband passed away, all of those precious memories in one location and as a result of the actions of a couple of individuals that’s been snatched away from her,” Groh said.
Neighbors who helped the woman say she is with family and is too shaken up to return to her home.
Klegg, the suspect in custody, is being held with no bond on multiple felony charges.
He was charged as a habitual offender for a fourth offense.
Neighbors applaud the police for their quick response to the shocking incident. While investigators do not know why the victim was chosen, police are stressing the incident as an isolated incident.
Still, they encourage everyone to get to know their neighbors, exchange numbers, and create a plan for yourself in the event of an emergency.