Family comes face to face with burglar

By Gary Brode |

Published 07/30 2014 09:34PM

Updated 07/31 2014 10:31AM

TOLONO -- A woman and her family are shaken up after someone robbed their home. Police are searching for the suspect. It happened on Marshall Street. WCIA-3's Gary Brode tells us there have been a few break-ins in a normally quiet neighborhood.

It's been a peaceful area for as long as many can remember, but after recent crime in the neighborhood, some trusting people are having trouble trusting.

For nine years, the Maxwell family never worried about locking their doors. They do now.

Deanna Maxwell says, "He had that feeling that someone was in here."

So Maxwell's husband, Greg, walked through the home. The back door was wide open. He then checked the garage.

Maxwell says, "He said he leaned around and saw this kid. Kind of crouched behind his tools."

Fearing for his family, Maxwell's husband opened the garage to let the intruder out. When Maxwell checked the house, she found her purse on the ping pong table. Eight dollars was missing, but it's not about the money.

Maxwell says, "When you cross a line and come into someone's home, that's something that's hard to shake, hard to shake."

Maxwell admits she left the back door unlocked. She didn't think much of it because the neighborhood has been a safe place, but this isn't the first break-in.

Justin Deters has lived in this house his entire life. A few weeks ago, Deters and his parents were coming home from a Cardinals game.

Deters says, "We saw the lights on in my car and it didn't really occur to me that something was wrong. All of sudden I kind of peaked up and I told my parents is there a head in my car."

The only thing the burglar got away with was Deters' innocence.

Deters says, "I'm just surprised, you know? I'm not saying there aren't bad people in the world, but you know, you almost think that you live, when nothing never happens to you you almost think that it doesn't ever happen to you and it can't and it won't."

The Deters family always lock their doors now. So will the Maxwell's.

"In my heart of hearts, I really feel like it's a kid probably with an issue that needed money. I just wished he would have knocked on the door and asked."

The burglar was about 18 with short hair. He's about 6' with a lanky build. If you have any information contact Tolono police. It's not known if the break-ins are related.

Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.