The facial tattoo "Misunderstood" stood out to victims of a robbery at gunpoint in Dania Beach.
In hushed tones while hiding in a closet, a 13-year-old Pompano Beach girl told a 911 operator that burglars were trying to break into the home where she was with her 10-year-old brother.
The calm tenacity of Alexis Stannis is being credited with helping the Broward Sheriff's Office round up three teens, at least one who was wielding a knife the agency said, and charge them with armed robbery of a dwelling and grand theft.
"Who knows what could have happened, since they were armed, if Alexis hadn't been cool, calm and collected?" said Sheriff Lamberti Monday during a press conference to recognize Alexis and her brother Daron.
The incident took place Thursday afternoon at the family's home along the 2400 block of Northeast 10th Avenue in the Cresthaven community of Pompano Beach.
When there was a knock at the door, the children didn't answer because no adults were home at the time. Soon after, they heard the sound of someone trying to get in through a window.
That's when Alexis grabbed her brother and a cellphone, darted into her bedroom and locked the door before taking further refuge inside a closet.
"I told her to call 9-1-1," Daron recounted on Monday.
Speaking with BSO communications operator Kimberly Kelly, Alexis calmly provided details that were relayed to the deputies heading for the house.
"I'm going to stay on the phone with you, stay on the phone with me Alexis," Kelly assured the frightened teen during the call that lasted a little more than 10 minutes.
"I can hear them in my brother's room now, which is right next door. Please come now," Alexis pleaded.
Arriving deputies searched the ransacked home and found three teens, one 17-year-old and two 15-year-olds hiding in another bedroom closet, the Sheriff's Office said.
Alexis and Daron came out of hiding only after the deputies and emergency operator assured them it was safe.
The trio later confessed to breaking into a neighboring home according to detectives
"I'm familiar with them," said Sgt. Frank Heitmann, who works in the criminal investigations unit and is the detective on the case.
According to Heitmann the teens, who live in the same neighborhood, have criminal histories. Two of the robbers, have histories that include burglary, petty theft and grand theft. Tracy Stoudte, was at work while everything unfolded at her home.
"I'm really proud of my kids," said Stoudte. She later added that she was "very surprised" how well they handled the situation.
Stoudte, 33, came rushing from work when she was notified.
"I wish I was there when it happened but unfortunately I wasn't," said Stoudte. "It's hard seeing my kids go through something like that."
At Monday's news conference, the sheriff presented the brother and sister with BSO award coins, lapel pins, back packs with school supplies and BSO drawstring packs also filled with other goodies that included a MP3 player.
Lamberti took this opportunity to be a lesson for families and their children.
"They should never open the door to strangers, but they have to let criminals know that somebody is home," stressed Lamberti.
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