Leda Smith, 85 (courtesy Uniontown Herald-Standard)

When an 85-year-old woman interrupted a robbery in progress at her home, she didn’t back down from confrontation.

Instead, Leda Smith confronted the 17-year-old thief with her handgun and forced him to call police.

Smith returned home from church Sunday afternoon to find a burglar had broken her door. Realizing someone was still inside her home, Smith entered to find her .22-caliber revolver, Pittsburgh’s WPXI-TV reported.

“I saw him move by my keyboard near the wall, but I just walked right on past him to the bedroom and got my gun,” she said.

Smith obtained the firearm after a burglar broke into a neighboring home and stored it next to her bed. She found the thief hiding and demanded to know why he was there.

“I said, ‘What are you doing in my house?'” Smith said in an interview with the station. “He just kept saying he didn’t do it.”

Then the woman told the boy to turn around, pick up the telephone receiver and dial 9-1-1. She ordered him to hand her the phone while she reported the invasion to authorities. An emergency dispatcher remained on the line with Smith while she directed the 17-year-old to lie face down on the floor and spread his legs.

Smith remained in her home, holding the burglar at gunpoint, until police arrived on the scene.

“It was exciting,” Smith said. “I just hope I broke up the ring, because they have been hitting a lot of places around here.”

Authorities said the intruder will face charges of attempted burglary in juvenile court.


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