Teen girl catches house burglar with her bare hands; One arrest

Arrest (Photo: Politie)Arrest (Photo: Politie)

On Saturday 16-year-old Nina Nootenboom caught a burglar in her Enschede home and managed to hold him down until the police arrived to arrest him. The police call the girl a hero, but add the caution that it is unwise to confront a burglar yourself.

Nina, her father and her older sister Julia (18) came home on Saturday to find their living room had been ransacked. As they were gone only a short time, Nina quickly realized that the thief could not be far away. "I acted in a reflex", Nina said to newspaper AD. 

"Nina made the assessment within 20 seconds of how the burglar had entered and walked to the pantry. There she saw just two legs dangling from a broken window", her mother Yvonne  Nijhuis said to the newspaper. She grabbed the burglar's legs, while her father ran to the other side of the window and Julia called the police and a neighbor. "The police were very quick. They were on the pavement with four cars within five minutes", Yvonne said. 

The teenage girl says she acted on adrenaline, and didn't even stop to think about what she was doing. Even when the burglar told her that he can't breathe, she didn't relent. "If you can talk, you can breathe", she said to him. 

The police arrested the man, who they know well, according to Nina - they called him by name. The man was released from a 3 year prison sentence last week Monday, the police said to them. 

The excitement left Nina in a bit of a shock. She slept badly on Saturday night, she told the newspaper. "The day was a bit too intense, I suspect. You know, I'm actually a very scared girl. But when I saw that someone had just smashed our window and searched through our stuff, there was such an anger in me."

Her parents are also barely recovered from events. "We told her that in a future case she should rather call 112. In retrospect, you do not want to think what could've happened if this man had become aggressive or had a weapon", mother Yvonne said. 

The police officers praised Nina and Julia for their courage, but also cautioned that confronting burglars is unwise. They joked that the sisters can come work at the police if they want to, but for the time being should leave police work to police officers.