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UPDATED: Homeowners with guns confront burglars in Gig Harbor, Bonney Lake

Post by Stacey Mulick / The News Tribune on April 5, 2012 at 10:48 am |
April 5, 2012 11:15 am

UPDATED at 11:09 a.m.:

Pierce County law enforcement officers are investigating two burglaries this morning – one near Gig Harbor, one in Bonney Lake – in which the homeowners pulled guns on the would-be thieves.

In the Bonney Lake incident, the homeowner fired a shotgun at the suspect’s truck as it drove away, officer Todd Green said. It wasn’t immediately known whether the shot hit the truck or the would-be thief was injured.

The homeowner told Bonney Lake officers he was taking a nap in his home in the 8000 block of 205th Avenue East when he heard the door bell ring just before 9:45 a.m., Green said.

He ignored the bell. The homeowner told officers he then heard what sounded like kicking at his front door, Green said.

The homeowner grabbed a shotgun and went to the front door. He opened the door and confronted the suspect.

The suspect ran to his truck and started to drive off, Green said. The homeowner told officers he fired one shot at the truck.

Officers have yet to find the truck, which is described as an older model blue Ford pickup with a stepside and black ladder and pink bicycle in the bed, Green said.

The suspect was described as white, in his 30s, 5 feet 8 and 160 to 170 pounds. He had a stocky build and wore a beat-up black leather coat,  mirrored sunglasses and  light grey, wool gloves, Green said.

No shots were fired in the Gig Harbor-area incident but a woman did pull a gun.

According to Pierce County sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer, two young men rang the front door bell of a home in the 3200 block of 19th Avenue Northwest.

When no one answered the door, the suspects went around back and started to kick in a dog door in an attempt to get inside.

The woman, whose husband is a soldier, heard a commotion. She grabbed a gun and showed it to the two burglars. They fled, Troyer said.

The two were described as white, in their late teens to early 20s and wearing dark, baggy clothing.

The armed confrontations come one day after a retired Puyallup police officer shot and killed a burglar who broke into his South Hill home. Three others involved in the burglar were not injured. Two are in custody; a third is being sought.

Troyer said the burglars were using a common tactic – ringing the door bell to see if anyone is home. He said if homeowners see a stranger at their door, they should ask what the person wants before opening the door.

Don’t necessarily ignore the door because you don’t recognize who is on the other side.

“Be safe and let people know you have called police,” Troyer said. “If you are home and you are armed, make sure you know how to use them so they are not turned on you.”

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