HOUSTON A woman, who hid in her bedroom closet while four thieves ransacked her home, is being credited with helping police crack a southwest Houston burglary ring.

The 58-year-old woman at a home on Regal Oaks Bend Lane heard someone knocking at her front door early Tuesday afternoon. She didn t recognize the young man at her door and called 911 while he continued to knock. Then as three other people broke through her back door she hid in a closet and kept a 911 operator on the line.

Police caught the three burglary suspects at the scene and a fourth after a brief foot chase. Police said they identified two of the men at the scene as known gang members.

The men had filled a pillow case full of electronics and other items from the woman s home, police said. Police found a sedan parked nearby with a trunk full of game consoles, laptop computers, computer games, i-Phones, and even a brand new flat-screen television. They are tracking the stolen merchandise to determine just how many burglaries the group might have committed.

Pretty much all of southwest Houston, we re having the same sort of thing, said Houston Police officer M.T. Jackson. Some of the young guys they tend to target the homeowners out here and it s our job to target them.

HPD operates a Burglary Apprehension Team that is ready to respond to calls exactly like this.

It s unacceptable, said the woman s son Jason Brock when asked about the burglary problem. And, thankfully, she was able to protect herself and be locked away to the point where she can call for help.

Brock said his mom was not injured, but was quite shaken up and frightened by the ordeal.

Police said the technique used by the suspects is all too common. One suspect will knock on the front door of a home until he is sure that no one is home. Then the entire group will break into the home.

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