Tacoma grandmother scaring burglars away caught on camera

by: Maria Guerrero Updated:

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TACOMA, Wash. —

A Tacoma grandmother took matters into her own hands when she surprised robbers in her house, shouting them right out her front door.

Guelda Messina knows that police do not advise anyone confront intruders, but she says you never know how you will handle a situation until you are confronted with it.

It all happened at 9:15 a.m. Monday.

'I opened the door and I started down here and I saw them," Messina said.

Bumbling burglars made just enough noise to wake the wrong person.  

"Get the hell out of here," Messina yelled at one of the men she described as in his 20s.

The thought of three burglars, one armed with a crowbar, harming her didn't cross her mind.

"All I knew was they were in my house and they needed to get out. Period," she said.

As daytime burglaries often start, one suspect rang the doorbell several times.

Messina was asleep and did not hear the bell.

Someone then broke in through the downstairs area.

Security cameras in the home on North Juniper Street in Tacoma captured one man wearing a striped sweater and fedora heading up the stairs and outside to signal others.

The same man, armed with a crowbar, grabbed Messina's purse.

He briefly headed toward the bedroom where Messina was sleeping when an accomplice arrived.

A third person is seen running into the house. Messina awoke and initially thought the noises came from her husband, who had just left the house.

She walked out of her bedroom, saw the strangers and yelled at them, not knowing one of the men had to run around her to run away.

So where did her "take no prisoners" approach come from?

"I'm a mom,” she said, laughing. “It's, like, you know, automatic. I'm the boss."

The soon to be 78-year-old's daughters and husband, well known attorney John Messina, are balancing the terrifying ordeal with a little humor.

"My mom was joking with the cops, saying how bad her hair looked, when she came out she probably terrified them," said Megan Bostic.

“That’s her. That’s my Guelda,” said John Messina. “She's been that way since the day I met her."          

The burglars got away with $20 from her purse and a pair of earrings.

Tacoma police are investigating. If you recognize the men, call police.

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