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Dad and daughter catch burglars, record their dangerous chase

By Jareen Imam, CNN
updated 10:09 PM EDT, Mon June 23, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • A father and daughter discovered that their Houston home was being burglarized
  • They followed the suspects in a car chase that almost turned deadly
  • They captured video of the dramatic car chase

(CNN) -- A father and daughter weren't going to just sit there when they discovered their home was being burglarized.

Kevin Smith, a plastic surgeon from Houston, was just arriving home from a business trip on Friday when he and his daughter saw a group of apparent thieves pulling out of their driveway in a red pickup.

His 22-year-old daughter, Alana, immediately worried over the whereabouts of her sister, who she left at home when she went to pick up her father from the airport.

They called her sister Kara's cell phone while sitting in their car, but there was no answer. Fearing the worst, father and daughter took off in pursuit of the suspects' truck -- something authorities say you should never do.

"I locked eyes on them, and their eyes were terrified. I knew that they had done something terrible," Alana said in an interview with CNN. "I didn't know what happened to my sister, and I didn't know if she was OK. My instinct was this was my only chance to get these guys."

Kevin Smith recorded the chase on his cell phone while his daughter drove their car after the suspects.

But he captured more than just a speedy car chase down their neighborhood road. The driver of the pickup noticed the pair trailing behind, and put the truck into reverse, crashing into the father and daughter's vehicle.

The suspects then threw their car into reverse again, smashing into the pair's Audi sedan a second time.

In the cell phone video, Alana can be heard asking her father, "Dad, now what do I do?" after the car turns off during one of the collisions. He tells her to turn the car back on.

"I wasn't scared. I just wanted to catch them," she said.

They chased the truck for several more miles until the suspects turned their vehicle around and aimed it right at the father and daughter.

"It was just like in the movies," Kevin Smith said. "It was really eerie. At the end of this road, you see the truck turn around and you see the red truck popped out of the dust and head right turn towards us."

The truck smashed into their Audi, sending the would-be robbers and the father and daughter into a nearby ditch. The father then called the police. Minutes later, authorities arrived on the scene, arresting two of the three men, who now are facing criminal charges.

The Houston Police Department did not provide additional information.

"I'm proud of my daughter," Kevin Smith said. "As a father, you really don't know how you raised your kid until they get older and you see how they can handle themselves. I don't want her to be cavalier, but I want her to know I am proud."

He believes the suspects may be responsible for a series of burglaries that have been plaguing his south Houston neighborhood.

"I'm tired of these people taking advantage of us. We're not going to tolerate it anymore in our neighborhood," he said.

As for Kara, the daughter who was left at home, she was at the gym during the incident and wasn't able to answer her cellphone while she was working out.

Alana, who is going to law school in the fall, says the whole experience was unprecedented, but she feels blessed and fortunate that she and her sister are alright. "I needed to do this for my neighborhood and my family," she said.

Smith suffered no injuries after the incident, and his daughter was released later from the hospital after being checked in for whiplash. Their car suffered front and back-end damage, and they were able to retrieve the television, laptops and a myriad of other possession that were stolen from their home.

CNN's Ryan Sloane and Carma Hassan contributed to this story.

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