Alex Leek, 14, came home from school earlier this week and encountered a sight that typically gets hearts skipping a few beats.
“I walked in and there was a guy squatting on the floor,” Leek told WDAF-TV in Kansas City, Mo. “I was kind of like, ‘Whoa, who’s that?’”
The thief ran out the front door Wednesday with more than $1,000 in electronics, including Leek’s phone, so he couldn’t call police.
Leek said he doesn’t know what came over him, but the eighth-grader's next reaction surprised even him: Leek tracked the perp.
"I just kept following this guy," he told WDAF. "I was like hiding and stuff so he couldn’t see me."
Unfortunately others Leek ran into while following the thief weren't helping, even after Leek told them the guy just robbed his house. So Leek kept after the thief...all the way to the library in his Independence, Mo. hometown.
There Leek approached a security guard and relayed what happened.
“The security guard went out and told him to stop and then he stopped and he dropped some stuff,” Leek recalled. “He tried telling the security guard that I robbed him and he was in his house playing video games.”
The robber ran off, but police caught him just a few blocks away.
Bradley Jenkins said his nephew is one brave guy.
“He’s a smart kid and he’s got a lot of heart, and I’m just really proud of him...that’s my guy,” Jenkins told WDAF. “You’ve got to do what’s right, do what you feel is right, he tried to get adults help, and if they aren’t going to do it, then I’m proud of him for doing it himself."
As you might imagine, Leek's grandmother is just glad he didn't get hurt.
“I’m glad he’s safe,” Kelly Jenkins told WDAF.
The suspect, 24-year-old David R. Smith, was the Jackson County Detention Center and arraigned Thursday on charges of theft and second-degree burglary.
Leek said he’s happy police caught the thief.
“He won’t be able to rob any more houses...because he went to jail,” he told WDAF.
By the way, Leek's family got all of their belongings back.