A 14-year-old girl's quick thinking led to the capture of an El Dorado Hills man who allegedly attempted to break into her Granite Bay home Wednesday, according to the Placer County Sheriff's Office.
Mitchell Paul Leahy, 34, (pictured) was being held on $175,000 bond at the Placer County jail in Auburn Thursday. He is facing charges of burglary, receiving stolen property, identity theft, committing a crime while on bail, possessing a firearm in the commission of a felony and giving a false identity.
The sheriff's office said shortly before 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, a 14-year-old girl was alone at her Barton Road home when she heard a knock at the front door. She did not answer but called her mother, who was away from the home, to tell her about the incident.
After knocking on the front door, the man apparently used an unlocked side gate to get access to the back yard, the sheriff's office said.
"While she was still talking, she saw the man attempting to force open the rear slide door," said Dena Erwin, spokeswoman for Placer County Sheriff's Office. "She told her mom that he was coming in the back, and the mom called 9-1-1."
The approaching sirens apparently scared the man, who ran and hid behind a wood pile in the backyard, where deputies found Leahy. They also found a crowbar, which the man allegedly used to try to pry open the back door, behind the wood pile.
Leahy initially gave deputies his brother's name, which came back clean. But eventually, he revealed his true identity, and deputies learned that he had been recently released on bail from Sacramento for burglary.
Inside Leahy's truck, which was parked nearby, investigators said they found a loaded firearm, narcotics, stolen property, a fraudulent passport, and identity information belonging to others.
He remained in custody Thursday.
Erwin said the girl did the right thing.
"Being home alone - any youngster should not answer the door," she said. "It was good that both the front and back doors were locked. The scary part is what would have happened if he had gotten in."
Granite Bay has recently been hit by home and vehicle burglaries, according to Erwin. Last month, two men were arrested for being responsible for dozens of vehicle break-ins in the town.