Police dispatcher describes girl's call for help

July 1, 2011 (ELGIN, Ill.)

Elgin police say when two men smashed a window and broke into a house Monday they apparently had no idea someone was inside. The teenager called her aunt who called 911.

Dispatcher Kathy Grage then reached the girl on her cell phone. She was hiding under a bar in the basement, whispering into the phone while she heard the men going through the house upstairs.

"This is Elgin Police. Oh my God, someone's in my house. What? Help me. Someone's in my house. I know. Please help me!" the girl told Grage.

Grage says she could immediately tell the girl was frightened. She tried to keep her calm while she dispatched officers to the home.

"I could hear the men in the background," said Grage.

Grage says she needed to keep the girl on the line but also make sure she kept quiet.

"Can you hit the button on your phone for the number of voices you're hearing? Like if you hear two people hit it twice?" Grage told the girl.

Police say it was two men -- 28-year-old Salvador Sarabia and 27-year-old Fidel Romero -- who were busy stealing a large flat screen television and other items, while Grage stayed on the line with the girl downstairs trying to keep her calm.

"Police are just pulling up. I want you to stay on the line with me, OK? Hurry up. Please help me! It's ok. I got lots and lots of officers outside. Everything's going to be OK," she told the teenager.

"I was very, very proud of her. For being 13-years-old, she's very, very brave. She kept calm the whole time," Grage said.

Emergency personnel say the only mistake the girl made was calling her aunt before dialing 911. The aunt tells ABC7 the girl is still too shaken up to talk about her experience.

Police arrested both suspects outside the home. They are charged with residential burglary.

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