Fresno man catches burglar in the act while house sitting for friend

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A Fresno house sitter confronts a burglar and gets him to surrender by faking he had a gun. (KFSN)

A Fresno house sitter confronts a burglar and gets him to surrender by faking he had a gun.

Police arrested 19-year-old Westley Shelton after arriving at a Central Fresno home to find a house sitter who wasn't afraid to take action. The suspect was on the ground and held at what the burglar believed was gunpoint. It happened around 11:00 a.m. near Channing and University.

Fresno police said the burglar had a lot of bad luck this morning. First, an alarm went off, then, a house sitter showed up. The only thing the suspect got was a trip to jail.

Raymond Melendez rushed over to his friends house Thursday when the alarm company called to say the motion detector was set off in the living room. Within a minute, he arrived to find a barefoot burglar making himself at home. "I said, 'who is here?' I said, 'I got a gun in my back, you need to come out or I am going to shoot you.' Just as I barely peeked through the hallway, he peeked at the same time and then saw me. I said, 'you need to come out or I am going to shoot you.'"

Fresno police officers said Melendez didn't know if the suspect was armed but he never backed down. "So that's when he came out and I said, 'you need to lay on the floor.' But I had my hand behind my back all this time, I didn't want him to not think I didn't have a weapon," said Melendez.

Officers pulled up a few minutes later and arrested Shelton on charges of residential burglary. They discovered the front door kicked open, and a large amount of property taken from the house was sitting on the back porch. "He did tell me that he doesn't live in the area and he's had no place to go. He's looking for food-- he gave me that line," said Joe Gomez, Fresno Police Department.

Officers also found the refrigerator wide open. Detectives aren't sure what the suspect was truly after.

Melendez said he was initially afraid of the face-to-face meeting. At one point he thought the suspect was going to jump on him, but when it was all over he was impressed by his commanding authority and ability to fake Shelton out. "Actually, this is the first arrest I have ever done as a citizen."

Fresno police said Shelton was arrested just Wednesday for being under the influence of a controlled substance.

He has also been arrested for various other crimes like auto theft and brandishing a weapon recently.

Related Topics:
burglaryfresnofresno police departmentarrestFresno - Central
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