VASSALBORO — A teenage girl hid inside a closet as the unsuspecting burglar tossed through drawers just on the other side of the door.

All the while, she spoke on the phone to police, describing the break-in.

When the thief opened the closet door and saw the 16-year-old, he bolted the other way and fled the house. She was able to identify the thief after police stopped his car while he was fleeing from the scene.

Nobody was injured, police said.

“She did all the right things,” said Kennebec County Sheriff Randall Liberty. “She avoided contact. She hid. She contacted authorities. It worked out well.”

Even so, “It was very traumatic for her and for the family.”

Andrew Prior, 23, and Gypsy Carron, 22, both of Rome, were arrested on Stanley Road. Each was charged with burglary and criminal mischief.

Both were being held at the Kennebec County jail on Tuesday. Carron, who was driving at the time of the traffic stop, was being held in lieu of $5,000 cash. Prior, who police allege broke into the home, was being held without bail on a charge of violating probation conditions in connection with an earlier burglary, according to Liberty.

“He has five years hanging over his head” for the probation violation, Liberty said.

The teenager, whose name was withheld by police because of her age, was alone inside her Lombard Dam Road home around 3:30 p.m. when she heard a window break and someone unlock the door. She ran down the hall and hid in her mother’s closet, Liberty said.

The girl first called her mother and then called police. She stayed on the phone with police dispatchers the entire time the burglar was in the house and was able to provide information to police when they arrived on the scene.

She had seen a car pull into a driveway and then park on the street, and so she was able to give police a description of the suspect vehicle. That information proved crucial, police said.

“She got almost the whole plate number correct, except she had an eight instead of a three,” said Kennebec County Sheriff’s Deputy Scott Cyrway. “She did well.”

The burglar spent several minutes rummaging through the house as police converged. He made his way into the bedroom, where the girl was hiding, and began rifling through the drawers, Liberty sad.

“He opened the closet door and saw her,” he said. “He was startled and ran.”

The burglar ran through the woods and circled back around to the getaway car, Liberty said.

Maine State Police Trooper Shawn Porter was the first to arrive at the home, and confirmed that the girl was safe and that a burglary had occurred. That confirmation came moments before Kennebec County Sheriff’s Sgt. Scott Taylor, still on his way to the house, noticed a car that matched the description given by the girl. Taylor turned around, pulled the car over, and arrested Prior and Carron.

Cyrway said the car was impounded and he didn’t know whether there were items stolen from the home inside the car.

Maine State Police Trooper Derek Record also responded to the burglary and traced tracks that police believe the burglar left in the snow leading through the woods and back to the road, Cyrway said.

Liberty said police are still investigating the case and are looking into whether Prior and Carron are responsible for other burglaries in the area.

Craig Crosby — 621-5642

[email protected]

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