3 arrested for 20 home invasions of Metro Detroit's elderly after teen hiding in basement calls 911

A group of thieves who were charged with breaking into at least 20 Warren homes were arrested thanks to a 15-year-old who called police as they broke in.

The teenager was in the basement when she heard the commotion upstairs. She had her phone so she called 911.

"Someone's trying to break into my house," she told the dispatcher. 

"There's three of them?" the dispatcher asked.

"I'm pretty sure," the teen responded.

The frantic call was made from a home on Aline Street in Warren Wednesdaywhen the teen realized that three men were inside the house.

Those men, who police identified as 28-year-old Carlton Ashford, 26-year-old Cedrick Ashford, and 20-year-old Dejhan Marshall were all arrested. But police said this isn't their first crime. They said they are believed to be responsible for more than 20 home invasions in Warren, Frasier and Eastpointe over the past several months, according to police chief Bill Dwyer.

"Cedrick Ashford - who actually served time for federal bank robbery. All these guys are bad guys," Dwyer said.

Police say the 15-year-old spotted the men breaking into her home right after her grandparents left. Carlton used a screw driver to get into the home through a back window and the three men then ransacked different rooms, police said.

"You never want your kids to be in danger, you never want your kid to be in a position that they fear for their life," said the teen's father, Brian Connor. "I don't know what I would've done, I can't even imagine what any of us would have done in the same situation." 

The girl kept calm and quietly called 911 while hiding in the basement. 

After police arrived and arrested all three, they said they learned the three suspects had been terrorizing the elderly for months.

Ruth Ceci was one of those victims and said the men broke into her home twice within a 10 day period last month. The 81-year-old now recalls a suspicious van, and a driver, watching her.

"He followed me out and then I went to church and he must've come back and then went in my house," Ceci said.

The three suspects were arraigned on three counts - including a 20-year home invasion felony. They were all held with high cash only bonds.

"Because they caught them nobody else has to feel like I feel. Praise God that they don't feel like I feel," said Ceci, who's still afraid to return to her Warren home

Police are searching for the owners of the stolen jewelry and are thankful for the teen's bravery.

"When you prey on people that can't help themselves that's the lowest kind of humanity. It's amazing. She's a hero, she's a hero," the girl's mother, Geri Connor, said.