A brave 12-year-old Arizona boy hid in the closet and called 911 after two burglars kicked their way into his house on Monday morning, police confirm to PEOPLE. He stayed on the line for 15 minutes as the burglars rummaged through his home, enabling cops to arrest the pair.
The chilling recorded 911 call released by ABC News depicts the boy coming face-to-face with the burglars and saying, “Please don’t hurt me.” At this, the burglars fled the residence, but cops had the house surrounded by then.
The boy was not hurt in the incident; his name is being withheld from the public at his parents’ request, according to Scottsdale Public Information Officer Kevin Watts.
Watts tells PEOPLE that the boy, whose voice on the call is trembling but poised, “did an exceptional job. He acted very maturely. And he remained very, very calm, and he provided the information we needed to get our officers out there.”
Watts adds, “It’s a terrifying situation, whether you’re an adult or a child He did the right things: He called, he moved to a place of safety.”
The burglars knocked on the door to the boy’s home Monday morning, but the 12-year-old didn’t answer. At this, the burglars kicked in the back door and began moving around the house. Listen to the recording of the boy’s 911 call below:
“They’re trying to break down the door right now I can hear them,” says the boy, who picked up a cell phone before running into a closet.
“I think they might be inside,” he says. “Please send help.”
Watts says because of the boy’s poise, the dispatchers initially thought they were talking to an adult woman and not a 12-year-old boy.
“It’s easy to say, ‘Remain calm.’ But easier said than done,” Watts says.
A Concerning New Trend?
The burglary took place in North Scottsdale, which Watts described as a suburban neighborhood with a very low crime rate. However, he said there has been a recent trend in the Phoenix area of daytime burglaries.
“They want to do it when no one’s there,” he says, adding that if someone does answer the door, they often have ruses, like saying they’re from a landscaping company or pool service.
He says that when children are home alone, it’s best for them to pretend that their parents are with them by saying, “Hey, Dad, someone’s at the door.” Watts adds that this incident is “a very good teaching moment for the community.”
Cops arrested Robbie Johnson Jr., 36, and Cole Lewallen, 31, and are charging the two with felonies. Both men have criminal arrest records, KPHO reports, and Watts tells PEOPLE that investigators found items in their possession from previous burglaries last week.
The two men have not yet entered a plea to the charges.
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