Thursday, June 28, 2007
Provo man uses pistol against burglar
Burgle him once, he buys a gun and an alarm.
Try it again and you might get shot.
Police say residents of the Old Academy on University Avenue took on an auto burglar with loaded guns Wednesday morning.
It was the second time the resident's vehicle had been burglarized, and Provo Capt. Cliff Argyle said the man purchased an alarm after the first burglary.
The alarm paged the vehicle owner at 4:30 a.m., notifying him that his Toyota 4Runner had been broken into. He ran down to the underground parking lot with his roommate.
Both brought their pistols.
The two residents confronted the would-be burglars, telling them to get on the ground, Argyle said.
The suspects instead ran to their vehicle and started to drive away. The roommate of the vehicle owner fired his pistol at the green sedan, hitting the front driver's-side tire.
"The tire did not deflate, and the driver kept driving and the vehicle went on its way," Argyle said. The suspects got away in their green sedan. The roommates did get a license plate number and police are waiting to release it.
Argyle said everyone is lucky that no one was seriously injured.
"Anytime you have two firearms being used, it's a great possibility that someone may get injured using those," Argyle said, noting that one of the roommates thought the burglary suspects were trying to hit them with the vehicle.
Residents shouldn't confront suspects during the commission of a crime, police say. Instead, they ask that victims and witnesses notify the police department and let police officers make contact with the suspects.
Argyle also cautions vehicle owners to not keep valuable items in one's car because vehicle burglaries are crimes of opportunity. When a burglar-to-be sees an iPod or laptop computer sitting on the seat of a vehicle, it's tempting.
"It's just an invitation for someone to break into your car and take that stuff," he said.
The burglary suspects did not get away with anything, and Argyle said they do not know if it is tied to the burglary that frustrated the resident earlier this week, causing him to buy an alarm. In that case, he awoke to find items from his car missing. Argyle did not know what items were stolen.
The Old Academy is Brigham Young University contracted housing. Part of the agreement signed by tenants states that there will be no firearms "unless prior written consent is received from owner/agent and all other tenants in the rental unit."
As for whether the roommates could face charges within Provo City, Argyle said none are being considered at this time. He did say this crime story is unique.
"We've had people confront vehicle burglars in the past, but this is the first time I can recall where the person has used a firearm to confront someone," Argyle said.