Woman Hides Inside Closet During Attempted Home Burglary

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A College Station woman said she hid inside a closet while a man tried to force his way inside her home.

Rachel Stevenson, a Texas A&M University Junior, had reason to celebrate with friends at her College Station home near campus Saturday night. Her birthday was the next day. Her first day to be 21, and the first day she'd faced a home intruder head on.

She was at home alone Sunday night, watching the Grammy Awards on television.

"I heard a knock at the door. And I'm always weird about answering the door anyways," said Stevenson.

Turns out, she had good reason to be cautious.

"I looked through my peek hole, and I could see someone standing at the far end of the porch," said Stevenson.

Stevenson said she didn't recognize the face looking back at her, so she went to her room with her phone in hand. A few minutes later, the man knocked again, but this time he was no where to be found.

"I had 911 on my keypad, and I was walking around, looking through my windows, trying to see where he was," said Stevenson.

When Stevenson heard a knock on her back window, she knew it was time to call 911.

While on the phone with police, Stevenson said the would-be intruder tried his luck with the windows on her back porch.

"I could hear him moving window to window on my back porch," said Stevenson. "And then he got to the guest bedroom window, and that one happened to be unlocked. I heard it slide up."

Stevenson clutched her phone and ran to the safest place she could find in the house. A tiny hot-water-heater closet, barely big enough for her to fit in.

Police arrived within minutes and arrested Larry Bert Smith, 51, of Wellborn. For Stevenson, those five minutes inside that closet might have well been hours.

"It was a very long five minutes. Very long." said Stevenson.

Lieutenant Chuck Fleeger with the College Station Police Department said Smith had already picked up a few items from Stevenson's yard, and was trying to get inside the home for more.

Fleeger said it's always a good idea to call 911 if you think someone is trying to break into your home. Even if you're not absolutely sure it's an intruder.

"We'd much rather come out and check something out and it turn out to be nothing, than for them to feel like they shouldn't call," said Fleeger.

Stevenson said she only has one regret about that Sunday night.

"I wish I had my shotgun," said Stevenson. "I'll have it now. And now that I'm 21, I'm not going to waste any time going to get my concealed handgun license."

Smith was booked into the Brazos County Jail with a $25,000 bond. He's been charged with burglary of a habitation.