How To Thwart a Burglary

Homeowners in several Arizona cities managed to thwart burglaries in progress, using fast- thinking moves that paid off to protect their belongings and loved ones.

In Phoenix, at a residence near Camelback Road, a homeowner stopped a burglary attempt in progress, when he caught three suspects in the act of prying open his garage door on a Monday morning. Apparently assuming the home was unoccupied and the resident already on his way to work, the burglars were taking their time working on the door. Fortunately for the homeowner and unfortunately for the robbers, homeowner was on site. The would-be victim confronted the burglars, firing a shotgun filled with bird shot pellets at the perpetrators. One of the suspects was hit and suffered minor injuries to one leg from the pellets.

The trio of robbers left fast, fleeing the scene of their attempted crime in a car. The homeowner called police, who caught up to the want-to-be felons and arrested two men and one woman in their vehicle, close to the scene.

Neighbors, rather than residents, thwarted a burglary attempt in Mesa just before ten p.m. on a warm Saturday night. One man, Shane Turner, broke into an apartment by prying open a window. He then opened the door to the residence to allow his accomplish, Matthew Massengill, inside the unit. Their actions alerted neighbors, who joined forced and moved swiftly to prevent the burglars from succeeding with their crime.

The thieves didn’t get away with the bevy of stolen goods taken from the residence, because as they emerged from the apartment unit they came face to face with the neighborhood group. Turner fled, and was soon chased down and held by one of the neighbors. Massengill attempted to escape by punching and attacking members of the neighborhood group, but was subdued with a swift blow from a wooden baseball bat. The perpetrator suffered a cut to the forehead and was also held for police. Both suspects were arrested and charged with suspicion of criminal damage to property and trespassing.

It’s been a busy month for proactive residents in the Mesa area. A homeowner near Val Vista and University drives rescued his teenage daughter when a burglar confronted her just before midnight one Thursday evening.

The teenager heard a noise in an upstairs room of the home, and went to investigate, finding herself face to face with a burglar in the act of ripping electronics equipment and a stereo from the home’s wall. He had apparently entered the home through an unlocked back door.

During the ensuing commotion, the girl’s father woke, armed himself with a handgun and confronted the burglar, ordering him to the ground. The suspect complied initially, then rushed the homeowner, who effectively subdued him by pistol whipping him in the face with the handgun. Fast self-defense thinking saved the day for this family, and police arrested the perpetrator on the scene.

In Palos Hills, witnesses kept would-be car thieves under surveillance and summoned police when three people were spotted breaking into a van on 111th Street. The witnesses were alerted when one of the three men threw a brick, smashing the van window, and taking a garage door opener from the van to open a garage and steal items from it.

In the same area, other witnesses alerted police to the burglary of a Cadillac Escalade by two men. After the witnesses confronted the burglars and shouted at them, the pair fled. Police caught up to them near Southwest Highway.

With a rash of burglaries across the state in recent months, these homeowners and neighbors were fortunate to be able to confront and successfully subdue or scare off the burglars who invaded their property.

Many burglars are more savvy than these crews, making certain that property is unoccupied and unwatched – and thus undefended – before choosing a home or property to victimize. And, taking on a burglar may not yield a happy outcome, as thieves can attack homeowners and neighbors when confronted. Setting up sensible home security systems from dead bolts to alarm systems, keeping property well lit, and removing items such as garage door openers or tools from public areas can make life a lot easier for homeowners and a lot harder for potential home invaders.

Photo Credits: 1, 2, 3

Posted on Tuesday, September 25th, 2012