Seminole County teen helps catch suspected burglar

The Seminole County Sheriff's Office said a serial burglar who was going from house to house, looking for unlocked doors, is behind bars thanks to one brave teenager.

"I need the police to come to my house.  I have a teenage daughter at home by herself and she said someone just tried to walk in the front door and she's scared," said Tina, the teen's mother in a call placed to 911 dispatchers.  

"It was just a woman, and she tried to open the front door," 15-year-old Brianna explained to the same dispatcher who had just gotten off the phone with her mom.
While Brianna's mom was rushing home from work, deputies showed up within minutes help the teen and find the woman who had just tried to walk in their front door.  

"I was sleeping in my room, and because my brother had just left and I was supposed to go and lock my front door ... I just hadn't gotten out of bed," Brianna said.

Less than 10 minutes after her brother left, she says the front door rang. 

"When I heard the doorbell ring, I just came up and looked out of the peephole and I saw her."

Brianna said she did not recognize the woman standing on the other side. 

"I was just going to wait for her to leave. She walked away and she came back and started looking under my door mat I guess for a key," said Brianna. 

That's when the woman suddenly opened the door. 

"She got it probably that far open [roughly 6 inches], and I had to push it closed on her," said Brianna. 

She told the operator the strange woman's parting words really scared her.

"Before she left, she said, 'I'll come back later.'"

Instead of running, Brianna kept watching the woman through the people hole, knowing she would need to get deputies a description.  She told deputies the woman had light-colored hair that was in a ponytail and she got into a large white SUV. 

Deputies stopped 34-year-old Sheri Buholtz-Brownlow before she made it out of the Wekiva Cove subdivision.   Investigators said they have connected Buholtz-Brownlow to a handful of other burglaries in the same neighborhood. 

"It was every mother's worst nightmare," said Tina. 

Now, this family's reminder to everyone to lock their doors.  
Up Next:

  • Popular

  • Recent

Stories You May Be Interested In – includes Advertiser Stories