Thursday, December 11, 2008

Arizona: Police: Homeowner Shot Intrude

Phoenix, Arizona

From KPHO of December 10, 2008
Police: Homeowner Shot Intrude

A man who police call a would-be burglar may be regretting kicking in the door of an east Valley homeowner early Tuesday morning, authorities said.

Investigators said after Richard Lopez kicked in the door of a Gilbert home, the homeowner grabbed a gun and shot him twice -- once in the face and once in the torso.

The driver of the alleged getaway vehicle, Mark Vega, took Lopez to the hospital, where they were met by officers, police said.

Additionally, Gilbert police said, Lopez may be connected to a string of home burglaries in the east Valley.

Lopez was arrested in April in connection with a similar string of crimes in the west Valley.

Police called the ring, which targeted more than three dozen homes, the "door-kicking burglars" after the method they used to break into homes.

Gilbert police said they are investigating a connection to the crimes in the west Valley; however, they would not confirm whether the two crime sprees are linked.

The east Valley homeowner who shot Lopez will not be charged, Gilbert police Sgt. Mark Marino said.

"In this particular case, the homeowner protected himself," Marino said.

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