TheBlaze

Burglars tried to rob a deceased man’s house, but his neighbors stepped in — now they’re in trouble

Source: KCAL-TV screenshot

Leon Wolf

A California gun owner may be facing criminal charges after he used his weapon to shoot out the tires in the getaway car of some alleged burglars who were trying to rob his deceased neighbor’s home.

What happened?

According to KCAL-TV, two men were trying to break into a home in Apple Valley, California which had been unoccupied since its owner passed away. A neighbor, whose name has not been released by the police, noticed something wrong and called 911. Then he went outside and confronted the burglars with a handgun.

In order to prevent the thieves from getting away, the neighbor shot the tires out on the suspects’ vehicles, and fired some additional warning shots at the ground. Another neighbor heard the gunshots and arrived at the residence armed with a shotgun. Together, the neighbors held the suspects in place until police arrived and arrested both men.

According to the Victor Valley Sheriff’s Department, the same home had been burglarized in recent months before, and “several thousand dollars” of goods were removed from the home.  Police found evidence linking the men who were detained by the neighbors to the previous robbery, as well, and were able to recover “about 75%” of the victim’s stolen property. They additionally found methamphetamines at the suspects’ home. The suspects, who have been identified as Justin Elder and David Turner, have been charged with burglary, possession of stolen goods, possession of drugs, possession of guns with drugs, and possession of drugs for sale.

What’s next?

The problem, for the neighbor, is that he may soon face legal problems of his own. The sheriff’s department has submitted a report to the San Bernadino County District Attorney’s Office for “review and consideration of charges for reckless discharge of a firearm at an uninhabited vehicle.”

Because the neighbor has not been identified by authorities, TheBlaze was not able to reach him for comment.

Other neighbors told KCAL that this was the type of neighborhood where people look after each other. One neighbor, identified as Eric Rhinehart, said, “Seems like they might have tried to hop in the car and drive away. He did shoot some shots into the car to prevent the vehicle from leaving, and it didn’t leave.”