02/07/2002 AT 12:15 PM EST
While the cat's away: Britney Spears wasn't home at the time, but apparently that did not stop a man from allegedly lurking around her Hollywood Hills home, looking for her, on Monday, reports Reuters. The suspected prowler was detained briefly by Spears's private security staff and then turned over to the cops, said Los Angeles police officer Don Cox on Wednesday. But the unidentified man was subsequently released once the caretakers "refused to prosecute for trespassing, so there was nothing we could do," Cox said. No charges were filed. While all this was going on, the pop princess, 20, was across the country in New York, collecting an award from Cosmopolitan magazine for being the "Fun, Fearless Female of the Year." Discussing the L.A. incident with the TV show "Extra"on Wednesday, Spears told her side of the story. She said that her home's security system had been inadvertently shut off during the weekend, "but they got the guy." "Extra" reported the intruder apparently had taken temporary shelter in the garage on the property. Asked how she felt in the wake of the incident, Britney answered, "Well, this is the first time something like this has happened, so it makes you appreciate your security and the people that are protecting you."