You’d think at a time when more Americans than ever before are stuck at home, burglaries would almost non-existent. Criminals don’t generally want to be caught, and if you’re interested in just sneaking in and grabbing a few items to sell on the black market, you’d want to find an unoccupied home. I keep running across stories of burglars who apparently either haven’t been paying much attention to the news lately, or just think so highly of their burgling skills that they believe they can smash a window and sneak inside without anyone waking up.
The latest case of a bungled burglary comes from Bay City, Michigan, where a man broke into a home early Wednesday morning, only to be confronted by the armed homeowner.
About 1:45 a.m. on Wednesday, April 29, Michigan State Police troopers and Bay County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the shooting scene at a house in the 5100 block of Baxman Road in Monitor Township. They arrived to find a resident had shot a 26-year-old man in his abdomen, said MSP Special 1st Lt. David Kaiser.
Police determined the wounded man had entered the home through a window he had broken, Kaiser said.
The burglar got a trip to the local hospital, while the homeowner isn’t expected to face any charges.
Then there’s the case of Andrew Bondie in Neshoba County, Mississippi. He was simply hanging out on a couch in broad daylight when the homeowner walked in the front door and saw the stranger getting comfortable. Bondie was held at gunpoint by the homeowner while he called the local sheriff, and deputies were able to take him into custody without incident. Why Bondie decided to make himself at home in a stranger’s house has yet to be revealed, but I’ll bet the bed in the Neshoba County Jail isn’t nearly as comfortable as the one in his own bedroom.
Of course, there are dumb homeowners as well as dumb burglars. Here’s a tip: if a burglar does get away, don’t go chasing after them. A Florida man is now facing murder charges after pursuing a man he caught breaking into his car.
The homeowner had just been burglarized the night before. Someone broke into his car and stole several items, including the vehicle’s keys and a gun.
After Friday night’s car break-in, the suspect apparently returned to the house on Southwest 228th Terrace at 5 a.m. the next day. Police say the homeowner, Ellis Georges, came outside after seeing the burglar trying to break into his car again through his doorbell camera.
The burglary suspect, 35-year-old Michael Rullo, then hopped on his scooter and drove off. Police say Georges chased after him in his car.
The pursuit ended less than a mile away on Southwest 232nd Street, which dead-ends where concrete barriers border the back of a Walgreens drug store. Miami-Dade police say Georges, 45, plowed his car into Rullo’s scooter, causing him to slam into the barriers.
So many bad decisions here, starting with Rullo’s decision to break into Georges car and ending with Georges decision to allegedly hit Rullo with his car. Now, instead of hunkering down at home with his wife, Georges is being held in the Miami-Dade jail without bond and facing years in prison. It’s understandable that the homeowner didn’t want Rullo to get away with burglarizing his car two nights in a row. He could have called police and hopped in his car to follow the suspect at a distance, but it sounds like Georges life was never in danger, and there was no justifiable reason to smash his car into Rullo’s scooter, even if the homeowner was only trying to prevent Rullo’s escape, not end his life.
My advice to would-be thieves is to find another line of work. It’s never a good idea to break into someone’s home to steal their stuff, but now is a particularly bad time to be in that line of work. Amazon’s hiring. So are a lot of grocery stores. Meatpacking plants will likely have some openings soon. There’s always food delivery, though I suppose that might pose too much of a temptation for some. Whatever you decide, it’s bound to beat burglary as a career choice, even in jurisdictions where burglars who are arrested are being quickly returned to the streets in an attempt to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus behind bars.