Three children didn’t borrow any ideas from the movie “Home Alone” when two burglars broke into their house in south Wichita on Thursday morning.
Someone knocked on the front door of the house in the 3100 block of South Glenn at about 11:20 a.m. Thursday, Lt. Barry Von Fange said. The three children home at the time — a 7-year-old boy and girls ages 8 and 17 — did not answer the door or otherwise make noise, he said.
Apparently thinking no one was home, the two burglars kicked the door in. The three children ran to a bathroom and locked themselves inside.
“The burglars never saw the victims,” Von Fange said.
They made off with a television, computers, jewelry and other property, police said. The oldest child was able to get a glimpse of the burglars at some point, Von Fange said.
They were both men in their 20s or early 30s, with average height and build. One had black, spiky hair and wore a jean jacket. The other wore a gray hooded sweatshirt. They left in a red 4-door sedan which may have been a Ford Taurus.
Given the circumstances, Von Fange, the children seeking safety by locking themselves in a bathroom was not a bad choice.
But they might have avoided the entire ordeal by simply making some noise to let the burglars know someone was home.
“They would have left, more than likely,” Von Fange said of the burglars. “A burglar doesn’t want anyone to be home.”
Children or elderly residents who are home alone often shouldn’t open the door to someone they don’t know, he said. They can yell through the door, and if the unknown visitor doesn’t leave, they should immediately call 911.
“You want to protect yourself,” Von Fange said.
The best option if someone breaks in, Lt. Joe Schroeder, is to flee through a back door. If that’s not an option, locking yourself in a bedroom or bathroom with a cell phone so you can call 911 is a decent alternative.
If confronted by armed robbers, Von Fange said, the best option is to simply comply with their demands. Property has limited value in comparison to personal safety, he said.