Central California boy distracts home invader for 40 minutes to keep his little sister safe, suspect arrested

FRESNO, Calif. -- The Fresno County Sheriff's Office has arrested a man who broke into a home, intimidated a 15-year-old boy inside, stole property and a car, and fled on Wednesday.

23-year-old Steven Vega of Fresno is now in custody on charges of home invasion robbery, kidnapping, auto theft, possession of stolen property, and looting. Vega is also currently on parole for being convicted of a previous home invasion robbery.

The boy and his 13-year-old sister were inside their home near E. Butler and S. Clovis Avenues in Fresno when Vega broke in.

Only the boy saw Vega.

For the next tense 40 minutes, the teenager tried to stay calm and keep Vega away from his little sister's room by trying to deescalate the situation.

He led Vega into a room where he could load up a bag with whatever he wanted, which he did. Then the boy warmed up a frozen burrito and gave it to Vega to eat, while trying to divert Vega's attention away from the other bedrooms.

She did not know a stranger was in the house and her brother didn't want her to get scared, according to the Fresno County Sheriff's Office.


Vega finally took the keys to a gray 2019 Chevy Camaro parked in the driveway and drove off in it. The teen took his sister and went to a neighbor's house to explain what happened and a call was made to the Sheriff's Office.

On Thursday morning, detectives tracked Vega and the stolen car to an orchard and arrested him.

All the stolen items were found inside the car, and have been returned to the owners.
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