Thursday, December 18, 2008

Illinois: Dupo homeowner thwarts, handcuffs burglar

Dupo, Illinois

From the Belleview News Democrat of December 12, 2008
Dupo homeowner thwarts, handcuffs burglar

A Dupo resident fought back and made a citizen's arrest when a man attempted to burglarize his home in the middle of the day.

A St. Clair County sheriff's deputy responded at 1:16 p.m. Dec. 3 to a burglary in progress call in the 2800 block of Stolle Road in Dupo.

When deputy Cerether White arrived, he found Eric L. Kirk, 35, of 117 S. Fourth St. in Dupo, handcuffed outside the home with the 35-year-old homeowner kneeling on him.

The homeowner told White that Kirk had knocked on his door, and he didn't recognize him when he looked out the window. The homeowner tried to run the license plate on a blue minivan Kirk was standing near but could not read the entire plate, so he decided to get his gun, according to the police report.

When the homeowner, whose name was not released by the St. Clair County Sheriff's Department, retrieved his gun and returned to the door, his dogs started barking. That's when he noticed Kirk and the van were gone. The homeowner told police he then saw the van backed up to his garage and Kirk using a crow bar to try to open the garage door.

The homeowner called 911 to report the crime in progress and then fired two rounds into the ground near Kirk.

According to the police report, Kirk ran to the van and attempted to get away when the homeowner grabbed him, wrestled him to the ground and slapped handcuffs on him with the assistance of a neighbor.

"After interviewing the victim and a witness, (it was determined that) the victim shot his firearm in defense of his life and his home," said Capt. Steve Johnson, chief investigator for the St. Clair County Sheriff's Department. "Although law enforcement never wants citizens to take the law into their own hands, in this incident, it was a volatile situation."

Kirk has been charged with attempted burglary. His bail is set at $25,000, and he remains in custody in the St. Clair County Jail.

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