A quick-thinking 12-year-old used her iPad to give an intruder some face time with Dallas police last week.

A quick-thinking 12-year-old used her iPad to give an intruder some face time with Dallas police last week.

Sophie Clark, a rising seventh-grader at the Saint Monica Catholic School, was home alone at her house on Rosser Road when she heard a back window shatter and her dog Sugar barking her head off outside.

Next there was a racket downstairs in the living room and loud footsteps coming up the stairs. She took a peek to see what was up.

"I saw glass everywhere, and I was like, oh no, someone’s in the house," she said.

Samuel Hardges, 27, was arrested shortly after the July 14 break-in about a mile away from Sophie’s northwest Dallas home with her cell phone in his pocket.

Turns out she didn’t need it to call for help.

Police were alerted to the burglary just minutes after the burglar knocked out the window of a house on Rosser Road.

Sophie had left her phone to charge in the kitchen, so she locked herself in her room and used her tablet’s FaceTime app to call a friend who lives down the street.

"I told her, ‘Someone’s in the house,’ and she said, ‘Well, go hide in the closet,’" Sophie recalled in an interview Friday.

Five minutes later, the crying girl bolted out the door to meet her friend and her friend’s father, who had just pulled up in their pickup.

"I was bawling, crying," she said. "I was hugging my friend."

Officers quickly arrived but didn’t find the prowler inside the home, but it was clear he left in a hurry: His hammer was on a window ledge near the shattered window, and a satchel was on a picnic table in the backyard.

The upstairs study was ransacked, and Sophie’s iPhone and its charger were missing from the kitchen.

Undercover officers found Hardges on Marsh Lane, looking over his shoulder and at houses. According to his arrest affidavit, his behavior suggested "he wished to avoid detection."

Officers arrested Hardges after questioning him and finding Sophie’s phone in his pocket.

"If [Sophie] wasn’t here, he could have been here for hours," the girl’s mother, Susan Clark, said Friday. "Nobody would’ve known."

Clark said she used to think her house was safe because it’s in a quiet neighborhood and her black Labrador hangs out in the backyard as a line of defense.

Now she tries not to leave her daughter home alone. They keep the security alarm activated and the door to their backyard fence locked.

"This just happened to be OK," Clark said. "But it could have gone very badly. … Who knows what could have happened if she’d come out of the room and asked who was out there."

Hardges remains in the Dallas County Jail in lieu of a $2,500 bail.


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