It wasn't until Vanessa Garcia saw the balaclava, gloves, and two knives Abbotsford Police had seized from the thief who'd broken into her home that it occurred to her to be afraid.
"That really scared me. At the time [of the robbery], I was just thinking about getting this guy caught," said Garcia.
"But when I saw that, I thought, 'Oh wow! That could have went totally different than it did.'"
But instead, Garcia found herself being awarded with an Abbotsford police board commendation Tuesday for her display of steady nerves and quick response that allowed officers to collar a prolific offender on June 13.
On that day, the 22-year-old returned home from work around 3 p.m. to the house she shares with her parents.
She had already shut the front door behind her and taken off her shoes when she heard somebody rifling around in an upstairs bedroom.
She was immediately suspicious, as no one else was expected home and there were no cars in the driveway.
Quietly making her way through the house, Garcia went to check if her dad had come home early and parked his car in the garage.
But as soon as Garcia saw the back door was kicked in, she knew an intruder was in the house.
She quietly made her way out and around the house to her car while phoning 911 to report a robbery in progress.
"It was pretty scary but I didn't have time to get to worked up," she said.
"I was angry too and wanted this guy to get in trouble for what he was doing."
Staying on the phone with police, Garcia quietly backed her car out of the driveway so the thief wouldn't spot her vehicle and run.
By the time she'd parked down the road at a spot where she could keep an eye on her house, the police began to arrive.
A team of officers, including a dog handler, quickly surrounded the home.
As some entered the house through the back door, the suspect tried to
flee out the front, but was quickly nabbed by the police dog.
Garcia's view was partially blocked by greenery but she could hear all the commotion.
"I could hear them yelling freeze! Get down!," she said.
"But he wasn't listening and then I heard him yelling when the dog got him."
While presenting Garcia with her award, Mayor Bruce Banman noted that due to her actions, the thief was charged with several offences.
APD Chief Bob Rich noted it was through initiative by community residents like Garcia that police are able to catch criminals. Garcia was surprised but pleased with a commendation for something she thought was a natural course of action.
"I was pretty honoured that they wanted to acknowledge that I did something," she said.
"It's nice to be appreciated."
? Another alert Abbotsford resident received a police commendation on Tuesday although he could not attend the ceremony.
Kanwalbir Dosanjh provided police with information and a photo about someone acting suspiciously in Clearbrook Park.
On May 14, Dosanjh's wife and daughter were taking an evening walk in the park when a man stepped out of the bushes and began to follow them.
To safeguard his family, Dosanjh accompanied them on their next evening walk in the park on May 23.
Again the man stepped out of the bushes and started following the two women.
However, Dosanjh took the personal risk of obtaining a photo of the suspect.
The suspect's photograph was handed out to patrol officers and over the APD network. It eventually proved key to identifying and locating the man.