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Mom Stopped a Burglary in Progress!

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Lori Wertz, mom of 2, stopped a burglary in progress at her home. Here's how she did it!

Lori Wentz

momlogic: What happened that day?

Lori: That morning, I wanted to get a workout in, so I wore my workout clothes to the office and then left to take a Jazzercise class. Afterwards, I headed home to get changed. I arrived at my house around 11:00 AM. As I pulled into my driveway, I was on my cell phone with a client from New York. Ironically, he and I had been on the phone two nights before this and he advised me that I should own a gun for protection. I work as a realtor, and he said I should have protection in my line of work. I told him I didn't believe in guns because I feel they cause problems and don't solve them. It was so strange that we'd just had this conversation, and it was still fresh in my mind ... So as we were on the phone, I pulled into my driveway and saw a car in my driveway that I didn't recognize. I remember saying to him, "I think I am being robbed!," and I hung up the phone. It turns out he got nervous and called the police, but he's in New York and he told them there was a robbery in progress in McLean, Virginia, but he didn't know my address. He gave the police my cell phone number, and they called me.

ML: What split-second decision did you make that ultimately thwarted the burglary?

Lori: Everything happened so fast. I looked at the vehicle and saw it had a crack in the front windshield. It was also parked crooked in my driveway, so I felt it was a burglar. I didn't have a lot of time, it was an instinct -- I pulled into my driveway sideways and blocked their car, so they couldn't leave. If they were going to flee, it was going to have to be on foot. I angled my car so they couldn't get out. As I waited for the police, I was shaking in my car. I was barefoot and my sneakers were on the other side of the car. I didn't know if I was safe and suddenly, I saw two of the robbers -- we made eye contact as they fled out the back door. They looked at me and I looked at them. They did a 360-degree turn and ran down the road. I didn't want to stay in my vehicle because I didn't know how many more robbers were in the house. I ran barefoot across the street. Then I saw my kids' friends' car driving by. I jumped in their car and told them to go and park across the street. Within seconds, the police showed up in front of the house. They were on foot chasing the guys. I thought they'd catch them because they were 20 feet in front of them.

ML: Describe the scene outside your home.

Lori: There were eight police cars, canines, and helicopters.... This all went down at 11:00 AM, and the police didn't end up catching the two burglars until about 5:00 PM. The robbers had busted through my back steel door that even had a deadbolt. They busted down the entire door.

ML: Did the burglars end up stealing anything?

Lori: Our house was a mess. They had lined up all the stuff they were going to steal upstairs. They planned on taking our flat-screen TV, my son's Xbox, the drum set from the Rock Band game, they had a drawer filled with my good jewelry, a Ziploc bag filled with change from my daughter's room, and they dumped boxes of my daughter's clothes all over. They were ready to go and bring the load out until they saw me in the driveway. They ended up stealing my daughter's camera, but my neighbor two streets back called the police to inform them that they found the missing camera in their yard.

ML: What made you think so quickly about blocking the driveway?

Lori: It's from being the baby of five children. I am from Pittsburgh, PA, and grew up in an area where you think quickly on your feet. I wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth. You need to be street smart, and you have to be aware of your surroundings. I tell my kids all the time, if something doesn't look or smell right ... if you think twice about something ... don't do it!

ML: How are your two teens handling this?

Lori: I thought they were fine. I went down to my son's room the other night and his door was locked. We have a rule in our house that we never lock doors -- my door isn't ever locked, ever. I didn't say anything because I didn't want him to have to admit he's scared (but I'm assuming he is). When this blows over, I will bring it up. My daughter is pretty upset. She's going to be a senior and my son is going to be a junior in high school. It's SAT week, and they have finals. They don't need any added stress. Their grades are critical right now.

ML: How do you feel about being hailed a hero?

Lori: A hero is someone who saves someone else. Maybe I saved someone else from being robbed? I feel good that they were caught. They probably did this before and would probably do it again. But I don't need to be called a hero.


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