A would-be burglar in Minnesota and a team of smash-and-grab robbers in California have both learned the hard way that not every victim is unarmed and defenseless. In two separate cases, armed citizens were able to thwart the criminals’ intentions without harm to themselves, thanks to the fact that they were exercising their Second Amendment rights.
It was just before 10:30 p.m. on Friday night when a homeowner in Waite Park, Minnesota heard a banging sound coming from his front door. The homeowner, who was upstairs at the time, grabbed his pistol and went to investigate, only to discover a stranger trying to climb in through a window.
The victim shouted he had a gun and told the burglar to leave. When he didn’t flee, the homeowner stepped forward and hit the suspect in the face with the butt of his gun. The burglar then ran from the scene.
Through their investigation, police learned a house a block away was also burglarized by a man fitting the suspect’s description. The victim told investigators he was upstairs when he heard his dog barking. Once downstairs, the owner found the suspect holding several pieces of property worth around $120. The victim spoke with the suspect and took a picture of his ID to show police. The burglar entered the house by breaking glass in the front door.
I’m curious to know how the second homeowner managed to get a picture of the suspect’s ID, but that intriguing detail is apparently missing from the official police report. Thanks to the description from the burglar’s intended victims and the suspect’s own actions, however, police were soon able to take 20-year-old Dylan Nyatenya Okoth into custody. Okoth actually made it pretty easy for the officers when he refused to leave a local convenience store, leading the clerk to call police. When officers arrived, they quickly realized Okoth matched the description of the burglar and took him into custody, though with bail set at $75,000 he might not remain behind bars for long.
While authorities believe they got their man in Minnesota, police in southern California are still looking for the robbery crew that targeted a Manhattan Beach jewelry store on Saturday. It’s the second time in a decade that Prestige Jewelers has been hit, but this time the suspects weren’t able to get away with nearly as much merchandise after an armed employee drew his gun and fired in self-defense at the robbers.
On Saturday, five hoodie-wearing thieves smashed up the store’s jewelry showcases, according to Manhattan Beach Police. The worker pulled out a gun and fired on the suspects, eventually chasing them from the store, police confirmed.In the previous robbery, two men were arrested after rampaging through display cases and jewelry boxes during a Sunday afternoon robbery in August 2014 that lasted less than a minute.The only deterrence the men ran into that day was the screams of the store’s manager, which caught the attention of several nearby shoppers. She, along with others, called 911.On Saturday, the suspects fled into awaiting vehicles and headed southbound on Sepulveda Boulevard while police arrived shortly after the incident at 12:40 p.m. The suspects are still at large.No employees were injured during the incident, although police said “some jewelry was taken.”