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Brave Babysitter Steps Up, Saves Child From Dangerous Burglar

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Making the decision to hand your child over to a babysitter can be a hard one. Every parent has that nagging thought that runs through their head, “What if something goes wrong?”. Jonathan Lai and his wife called on Jenna Lee Baker in order to watch their three-year-old son for an afternoon. What seemed like a regular afternoon soon turned into a nightmare situation. Keep on reading to find out how Jenny turned into a modern-day superhero!

Welcome to Irvine

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Jonathan Lai and his family are based out of Irvine, CA. As a tightly-knit family, Irvine has plenty to offer. The metropolitan area is located in Orange County, CA. The area is known for being home to some truly amazing local attractions. In fact, Irvine is considered one of the best cities to live in the entire United States, at least according to Business Insider and WalletHub! Still, that doesn’t mean that tragedy cannot strike!

Hiring a Nanny

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While the Lai’s are a close family, they realize that they cannot always be together. Whether the adults need to work, or they merely need some time alone, a nanny was quickly becoming a necessity. Hiring a nanny is tough, though, especially because you have to trust them with so much! The best nanny will be able to wash, feed, entertain and keep safe their young child all at once.

Here Comes Jenny

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Fortunately for the Lai family, Jenna Lee Baker was on the way. Baker applied for the nanny position and was quickly accepted for the job. Jenna knew that she could take care of the three-year-old ball of energy that is the Lai’s young son. However, she had no idea what she was really getting into. Fortunately for everyone, Jenna is possessed of some pretty amazing stuff!

Summer of 2017

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Our story officially starts on a seemingly ordinary summer day in 2017. The Lai family had called Jenna over to watch their son while the parents were away at work. Jenna had planned on taking the three-year-old with her as she ran around town completing errands. A fun day out breezed by for both Jenna and her young charge. Unfortunately, when they returned home, something felt off.

A Sixth Sense

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No, we aren’t talking about an old Bruce Willis. What we are talking about is even harder to believe! Some psychologists believe in the idea of a mother’s intuition. Of course, Jenna isn’t the mother in this story, but as the acting nanny, she was probably in a similar emotional state. Upon returning home, Jenna knew that there was something wrong with the house, though she couldn’t put her finger on it.

Home Invasion Dangers

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Did you know that more than 2,00,000 home break-ins are reported every single year? While most of these crimes are committed in an empty home, there are still occasions when people are in their residence at the time of the crime. No matter where you live or how secure your property is, being broken into is a grim possibility.

Returning Home

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The moment that Jenna walked through the front door of the Lai residence, she knew that something was amiss. There was a feeling in her stomach that told her to turn and leave. Unfortunately, the Lai’s child ran into the house. She begged him to come back, but he refused. What came next will likely never be forgotten by Jenna. Fortunately, it was all captured on camera.

Importance of Home Security

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While home security systems can’t guarantee the prevention of a break-in, they definitely can help make your home more secure. At the very least, your security system can help you to gather evidence of the intruder who dared to break into your property. The Lai residence was equipped with a nanny-cam and that is where you’ll begin seeing the following images.

Intruder in the Home

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As Jenna begged for the child to return to her, she heard pounding footsteps from the hall upstairs. Jenna knew that Jonathan and his wife were both out of the house. Instantly, her stomach dropped. Who could this be? What would you do if you were in this situation? Would you run in to fetch the little child, or would you hide and call the police?

Instincts of a Hero

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While we don’t typically conflate babysitters with heroes, maybe we should rethink that position! After all, this isn’t the first time that a nanny made the news for saving a child’s life. Caroline Maurer was another nanny who made the news for saving her charge. In Maurer’s situation, she managed to push a stroller out of harm’s way when a drunk driver barreled down on her. Both Caroline and her child were saved.

Making the Save

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Jenna knew that she couldn’t sit idly by, not with any hope of saving the child she had been entrusted with. Harnessing more courage than most people, Jenna ran into the house and grabbed the child. She pulled the little boy out of the house before running over to the neighbors. Out of breath and clearly terrified, Jenna begged their neighbor to call the police. Was Jenna overreacting or was she right to be afraid?

Joys of CCTV

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With Jenna and the little boy safely out of the house, one would think that the situation was over. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. While the Lai family clearly trusted Jenna, they still knew how important it was to have a CCTV system in their home. When Jonathan looked back over the tape, what he saw sent chills straight through to his bones. How close had he come to losing his child? How close had he come to have a serious crime committed in his home?

A Vile Crime

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When Jonathan had decided to install the CCTV system into his home, he had no idea how much of an impact it would have. According to research done by the U.K.’s British Standards Institution,  the massive growth of CCTV usage has correlated positively with a reduction in crime. With that being said, Jonathan couldn’t have known that this would happen.

Invasion of Privacy

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As Jonathan sat and watched, he was floored by what he saw. On screen, he saw Jenna set down her purse. He also saw his child run into view. Moments later, Jenna and the child vanished from the house, only to be replaced by a sinister presence. A creeping stranger appeared from upstairs as he began to root through all of their belongings!

How to React

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As Jonathan watched the stranger creep through their home, he felt a deep sense of shock and horror. Here, before his eyes, a stranger was invading his very privacy. Fortunately for Jonathan, Jenna and their child were safely out of harm’s way. Do you know what to do if you get caught in a home invasion? According to the United States government, staying safe during a home invasion is all about hiding in a safe room until help can arrive. NEVER leave your safe room once you are in it.

A Thorough Thief

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We guess if you have to burglarize a home, you might as well be thorough. Of course, you probably just shouldn’t steal at all. Lai watched in stunned disbelief as the criminal went room-to-room inspecting all the family’s belongings. Lai pointed to the screen as the criminal appeared in their child’s room. Lai said, “To have him going into my kids’ rooms and see him just walking in, is most scary for me.”

CCTV As Evidence

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While we are living in the age of video manipulation, CCTV is still respected as a source of evidence. By having the CCTV system installed, Lai was preemptively making sure that he’d have recourse in the event of an invasion. Captured clearly on the screen was the physical image of the criminal, as well as clear shots of their face. Lai made sure to put this footage into the hands of the authorities.

Making a Run

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Moments after Jenna rescued the child from the Lai, the burglar decided that it was time to go. Did the burglar know that Jenna had called the police? Were they even aware that Jenna had been indoors? In the end, it didn’t matter. The criminal ran out the front door, sporting sweatpants, a hoodie, and a backpack. The image of the thief would prove pivotal for the police department.

Criminal Hours

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Did you know that there is a prime time for crime? When is it, do you think? If you guessed late at night, you made the popular choice. You also made the wrong choice. Prime burglary hours are between 10:00 A.M. and 3:00 P.M. That’s right! Most home invasions happen right in the middle of the day. Why is this the case? Well, most people are at work or school during this time. 

Working Alone

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As Jonathan played back the video footage, he couldn’t help but feel relieved that his nanny and child were safe. Jenna, on the other hand, was closely watching the footage for herself. Jenna noticed something that Jonathan had clearly missed: the burglar was on the phone, the entire time. Why was the burglar on the phone throughout the invasion? Was there a second suspect?

A Criminal Team

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Jonathan quickly switched camera feeds in order to review the backyard. Sure enough, the criminal approached the house while on the phone. Unless they were on hold with some customer service representative, it is very likely that the criminal was working in concert with a second pair of eyes.

ABC 7 News

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Lai’s story was quick to make it to the air. Lai talked to ABC 7 Eyewitness News about what had happened as well as his inclination. Lai went on to explain what Jenna had pointed out, that the criminal was always on the phone. Lai posed this simple question, “Who could he be talking to the entire time, and what were they talking about?”

Potentially Dangerous Situation

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While our story had a happy ending, not everybody is so lucky. Babysitters are routinely on the front line of danger when home invasions happen. In fact, earlier this year in South Jersey, a babysitter was held at gunpoint by a burglar. Fortunately, the babysitter and child survived and the burglar, Shannon M. Soroka, was quickly apprehended.

Finding the Entrance

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Thanks to Lai’s CCTV system, it wasn’t hard to crack the code as to how this break-in had occurred. Following the footage on the screen, Lai was able to find the exact method of entrance for the criminal: the front door. Well, to be specific, the burglar tried breaking in through several windows before smashing in the glass of the front door. Not exactly a smart criminal, right?

Secure Your Door

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While it is too late to warn Lai,  you can still take this situation as a chance to learn. If you have a large glass front door, consider installing some sort of security foam. Your glass door may be strong, but it won’t hold back the hardened hands of a vile home intruder. For a small price, you can have additional peace of mind.

Shocking Awakening

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Watching the footage of the burglar breaking in was an eye-opener for Jonathan. Lai watched the video numerous times before admitting that he was a changed person. Lai described to the news crew how violated he had felt. Lai went on to describe that he had lost a sense of security in his neighborhood, despite the incident-free years that they had lived there.

The Babysitter Hero

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While Jenna was notably rattled, she was just happy that she had been able to help. Jenna had acted quickly in order to get the child safely out of the home. Still, doubts lingered in her mind. What if she hadn’t acted in time? What could have possibly happened? These kind of thoughts are common for survivors of home invasions.

Loving Her Job

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Despite the traumatic event, Jenna was still quick to admit that she loved her job. Thanks to her quick actions, everyone involved in the situation ended up safe. Jenna totally could have decided to leave the child behind, but she was brave enough to stare her fear in the face. Jonathan was quick to describe how lucky his family was to have had her.

The Super Nanny

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Okay, maybe Jenna isn’t Ms. Doubtfire, but she is pretty darn close! Jonathan Lai described Baker as a ‘rockstar’ and a ‘Supernanny’. Jonathan went on to give an emotional thank-you to Jenna. Jonathan said, “I’m so grateful that she’s in our lives.” We figure that somebody might be due for a little raise!

All in a Day’s Work

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While Baker would be right to be proud of herself, she was the last person to sing her own praises. According to Jenna, she was just happy to be part of the family. Jenna admitted that she loved the little child and that she was honored that the Lai family put her in charge of their little boy. Jenna went on to say, “I don’t think of myself as a hero.”

Installing Your Own CCTV

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At this point, you have to be wondering if you need to install your own home security system. There are plenty of options available to you. From small apartments to massive multiple-story homes, there are security systems that you can bring home today.

Outline Your Needs

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Before you purchase a CCTV system, take some time in order to analyze your needs. Do you need cameras placed outside? Do you want a camera facing your front door? How many entrances do you need to have covered with a camera?

Professional Assistance

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Once you’ve selected your security system, you’d be better served to call in the pros. Having a professional install your home security system is the best way to go. A professional can make sure that your entire system is up and operational before departing.

Finding Your Own Nanny

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If you are in need of a nanny, make sure you take the time required in order to make a good hire. As you can tell from Jonathan Lai’s story, having the right nanny can literally be a game changer. Make sure that you carefully comb through submissions before performing interviews and background checks.

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