Police released surveillance video of a "person of interest" wanted in connection with a home invasion in Santa Monica where a grandmother scared off an intruder who walked into her bedroom.
The incident occurred just before 5 a.m. on April 21, only hours after a prowler had triggered a burglar alarm at another home a few blocks away in the affluent Gillette Regent Square neighborhood, according to the Santa Monica Police Department.
Police said a man entered the home in the 700 block of 18th Street through an unlocked door and walked into 88-year-old Bernice Tesreau's bedroom.
"I said, 'who are you?' and he said 'shut up' and put his hands over my mouth," Tesreau recalled during an interview with NBC4.
Tesreau screamed as loud as she could as she struggled with the intruder before he ran off.
"I can't believe I held him off," she said.
The commotion awakened her daughter who was also in the home. The family, including two young children, locked themselves inside a closet until police arrived.
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"I truly believe my mom stopped him dead in his tracks," the woman's daughter said. "She's my hero."
About two hours before the incident, officers responded to a call for a home alarm in the 300 block of 16th Street. Detectives think the same suspect scaled the wall of the home only a few blocks away from the first incident and entered an unlocked guesthouse before running off.
Police said surveillance video of an alleyway outside the home on 16th Street revealed a person of interest in the case.
Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Ahn at 310-458-8452 or Sergeant Federico at (310) 458-8939. Residents can also report any suspicious activity to the Santa Monica Police Communications Center at 310- 458-8491.