It takes a special kind of stupid to return to the scene of the crime that you’ve just committed, especially if you’re gonna try to commit another. That’s exactly what a pair of suspected burglars in Ohio are accused of doing over the weekend, and one of them ended up shot as a result.
Police in Columbus, Ohio arrived at a home in the city’s Milo-Grogan neighborhood late Saturday evening to find the pair still at the scene of their alleged crime, and an armed homeowner with quite the story to tell.
Columbus police say just after 11:30 p.m., two 24-year-old men, identified as Dante Shields and Chase Fetherolf, had forced their way into a house while armed in the Milo-Grogan neighborhood. As the suspects attempted to assault the victim, a 26-year-old man, Fetherolf dropped his gun unknowingly which allowed the victim to get his own gun.
The victim then ordered the suspects to leave the house. The suspects were forced outside but then kicked the front door open to get in the house again. Police say the victim then shot Fetherolf in self defense, leading officers to detain both suspects at the scene.
Mistake number one was choosing to burgle that home in the first place. Mistake number two came when Fetherolf dropped his firearm and the homeowner grabbed his. The biggest mistake, however, was kicking in the door of the home after they’d been disarmed, knowing full well that the homeowner had a gun.
It makes me wonder if this wasn’t at least a semi-targeted attack, though authorities haven’t said yet if Shields and Fetherolf had any connection to the victim. Either they really wanted something specific inside that home (including, perhaps, the homeowner) or these two are truly some of the dumbest criminals I’ve run across in recent memory. Heck, even if they were looking for something specific inside the home I’d say they proved their idiocy by taking their chances on breaking in a second time after they’d had a gun taken away and were removed from the home.
Honestly, if they’d just kept running they might very well have gotten away with their crime. Clearance rates for burglaries and robberies are well below 50% nationwide. In fact, in 2020 just 14% of burglaries across the country ended in an arrest, compared to 28% of robberies. Then again, most of the time we discover a burglary the thieves are long gone, not hanging around or engaging in a repeat performance while cops are on the way. Shields and Fetherolf apparently made it pretty easy for Columbus police to wrap up this case, and now the pair are both facing charges of aggravated burglary while the homeowner isn’t expected to face any charges.
Hopefully we’ll learn more about the circumstances of this attempted home invasion in the days to come, but the most important fact is already known: the armed homeowner is alive and well today, which may not have been the case if he didn’t have a gun of his own for self-defense. We can’t pick and choose if we’re targeted by violent offenders, and we can’t depend or rely on them being fumbling buffoons if we are their chosen victim. Our choice is how or if we’ll defend ourselves, and this homeowner chose wisely… unlike the morons who attacked him.