Teenage boy stops robbery suspect single-handedly

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INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- An eighth grade student in Independence single-handedly stopped a robber on Wednesday.

Fourteen-year-old Alex Leek came home from school and found a robber inside his home helping himself to the family's electronics. Alex said he doesn't know what came over him, but what he did next surprised even him.

"I walked in and there was a guy squatting on the floor," said Alex, "I was kind of like, 'Whoa, who's that?'"

The thief ran out the front door with more than $1,000 worth of valuables, including Alex's phone, so he couldn't call police.

"I just kept following this guy, I was like hiding and stuff so he couldn't see me," said Alex.

"He tried to get some people, you know, 'Hey he robbed my house,' and nobody wanted to help. So he just kept following this guy to the library and he went to the security guard and said that guy robbed my house!" said Kelly Jenkins, Alex's grandma who lives nearby.

She said she received a phone call from Trails West Library where Alex ran for help.

"I thought he was telling a joke, and he goes, 'I'm serious grandma!'" Kelly said.

"The security guard went out and told him to stop and then he stopped and he dropped some stuff," said Alex, "He tried telling the security guard that I robbed him and he was in his house playing video games."

The robber ran off and Independence police officers caught up with him just a few blocks away.

"He's a smart kid and he's got a lot of heart, and I'm just really proud of him, things haven't been easy for him, that's my guy, I'm proud of him," said Alex's uncle, Bradley Jenkins.

He says his nephew is one brave kid.

"You've got to do what's right, do what you feel is right, he tried to get adults help, and if they aren't going to do it, then I'm proud of him for doing it himself," Bradley added.

Alex's grandma said she's thankful nothing worse happened.

"I'm glad he's safe," she said.

Alex said he's happy police caught the guy and he was able to prevent this from happening to others.

"He won't be able to rob any more houses, and he won't because he went to jail!" he said.

The suspect, 24-year-old David R. Smith, is in the Jackson County Detention Center and was arraigned Thursday on charges of theft and second-degree burglary. Alex and his family got all of their belongings back.

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