Huntsville children hide in closet and call for help as a home intruder breaks in

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - A single mother is counting her blessings, after an intruder broke into her home, while she was at work and her children were at home.

Unfortunately, this isn't even the first security scare she's experienced.

Four months ago, an intruder attempted to break-in while Viola White's 18-year-old daughter was home. After that scare, she had deadbolts installed. Despite that, Monday morning, a crook still successfully got inside.

Viola learned of something wrong when she noticed a missed call from her 13-year-old girl. “I was at work from the girls and somebody was really actually in the house while they were here," Viola White recalls.

The 13-year-old was the oldest child at home at the time. Viola says her daughter knew then, that something was wrong. "He rung the doorbell and they know not to open that door," Viola says.

After both parents didn't pick up their phones, the 13-year-old called 9-1-1. By that point, the three children realized they weren't alone in the house.

"They heard somebody walking in my room, so the 13-year-old took the other two, and the phone, and told them 'come on let’s go hide in the closet'," says White.

Detectives believe the male intruder broke into the house through the bathroom window.

At that point, White says her 13, 12 and six-year-old remained as silent as possible inside her closet, as the crook combed through the house. “They basically had to hold my six-year-old down so she won’t say nothing because she'd normally be talking," she says.

The man made off with the family's television and several pieces of expensive jewelry.

Officers were able to recover the TV, which was broken at some point during the heist, when they found an abandoned vehicle the thief had also apparently stolen.

“From my understanding, this ain't the first house he hit this morning, there were several more," says White. As officers investigate, Viola is grateful her children did everything right, but is also nervous this might happen again.

She wants to install security cameras but says she doesn't have the means to do it right now, especially with Christmas just days away. “I need help," Viola says.

As for the thief, officers were able to collect fingerprints inside Viola's home. They also recovered a van the man had reportedly stolen and abandoned downtown. Detectives tell Viola, the crook had apparently hit several houses Monday morning.

So far, a suspect has not been named.