WICHITA, Kansas — Wichita police say a 62-year-old man who witnessed his neighbor’s home being burglarized went after the suspects with a pitchfork.
It happened in the 2600 block of South Cheyenne early Saturday morning.
“On the telephone, this little girl said, ‘I see robbers” and she said, ‘at the old lady’s house,’”said Bob Craig. Craig’s neighbor Silvia Chavez noticed suspicious individuals trying to get inside the home across the street, but Silvia does not speak English.
She had her young niece speak to Bob over the phone, to explain what her aunt had witnessed.
“And then they were looking for stuff, they opened the door of the little house and they were looking for stuff,” Silvia’s stepson, Trevor Mendez translated as she spoke with KSN on Sunday.
After speaking with Silvia’s niece, Craig went to see for himself, “So I walked over there and didn’t notice anything real quick, but then I saw these curtains were parted. That was suspicious because she [the elderly woman] never leaves them open. I looked at the back shed and the door was pried open, and that’s when I knew someone had to be there.”
Craig and his friend Joe called 911. The men then headed over to stop the robbers until police arrived.
On their way across the street, the pair grabbed the only weapons of protection readily available: a pitchfork and a shovel, out of the bed of Bob’s truck.
“That’s probably a little dumb but it was just a reaction,” Bob explained.
They chased the 19-year-old and 16-year-old men with the garden tools away from the house.
Craig added, “Just I mean barrel rolled out of the window, and they were a lot younger than I was so they were able to jump the fence, but I got a real good look at them.”
Authorities arrived a short time later.
“Officers were able to get into the area, both Wichita police officers and Sedgwick County Sheriff’s officers. We located both suspects hiding in the area,” said Sgt. Scott Brunow, Wichita Police.
Bob was able to identify the teens and identify with the burglary victim.
“I’ve had my house broke into, I didn’t like it, I mean that’s just not right. So if I can prevent them from doing it to them or to them or to anybody else, yeah I’m going to. I don’t care if its a shovel or a pitchfork or whatever it is,” commented Craig.
Both suspects were booked on burglary charges.
Police say the 86-year-old woman’s home was ransacked, but she was not at the house at the time.