Woman hides in closet during home invasion

She was on the phone with 911 while the suspect rifled through her things

20-year-old Cindy Huang was home alone when a man broke into her house in SE Portland. (KOIN)
20-year-old Cindy Huang was home alone when a man broke into her house in SE Portland. (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A man is in custody after allegedly breaking into a SE Portland home while a young woman hid inside.

Cindy Huang told KOIN 6 News she was home alone on SE Clinton Street early Friday afternoon when the suspect, later identified as 54-year-old Derek Jones, rang her doorbell. The 20-year-old didn’t recognize the man, so she waited until he left but when she went back downstairs to make lunch, he returned.

20-year-old Cindy Huang was home alone when a man broke into her house. She hid in the closet on the phone with 911 dispatch while he attempted to rob her. (KOIN)
20-year-old Cindy Huang was home alone when a man broke into her house. She hid in the closet on the phone with 911 dispatch while he attempted to rob her. (KOIN)

“This time he was knocking really loud and ringing the doorbell really vigorously so I got really scared,” Huang said.

She immediately went back upstairs and called the police but while she was on the phone, Jones allegedly broke in through the back door.

“Once I heard that, I went into hiding in my parents’ closet and I was just on the phone with police the entire time,” Huang said.

Huang said Jones made a lot of noise as he riffled through the house, including her own bedroom and her parents room where she was hiding. The 911 dispatcher kept her calm while she waited for police to arrive.

“I was just hoping he wouldn’t find me so I wouldn’t have to be a hostage or anything,” she said. “It was a scary 10 minutes. Scariest thing of my life.”

Derek Jones, 54, was arrested Friday after allegedly breaking into a SE Portland home. (PPB)
Derek Jones, 54, was arrested Friday after allegedly breaking into a SE Portland home. (PPB)

Police arrived quickly and took Jones into custody before he could get away, but he tried to steal Huang’s laptop, WII console, purses and liquor.

Huang said she’s witnessed her car being broken into twice, but had never experienced a home invasion. She is relieved and thankful everything is over and it turned out the way it did.

“I never knew these things would happen to me,” Huang said. “It’s always in the movies….”

Jones was booked into the Multnomah County Jail on charges of burglary, theft and criminal mischief, all in the 1st-degree.

He’s been arrested 38 times in the past, 21 of those were felony arrests.

20-year-old Cindy Huang was home alone when a man broke into her house in SE Portland. (KOIN)
20-year-old Cindy Huang was home alone when a man broke into her house in SE Portland. (KOIN)