Elderly man who fought off home invaders was given a helping hand to keep him safe

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A 74-year-old man who came face-to-face with three men who broke into his home received some help from the community. (KFSN)

A 74-year-old man who came face-to-face with three men who broke into his home received some help from the community.

Just a few days have passed since Vernon Huebschwerlen used his cane to scare off the intruders. They took off with his wallet, credit cards, clothes, and other valuables and damaged his house while doing so. On Thursday, people who heard his story came by to help.

Vernon made a new friend in George Burrell, a contractor who donated his time and tools to fix the 74-year-old's doors and security locks.

"What they had done is they came and cut through the wire part and he didn't have-- he had a regular deadbolt instead of a screened deadbolt, so I got him a key deadbolt," said Burrell.

On Tuesday, Vernon was the victim of a hot prowl home burglary. One person lured him outside of his home asking for help, while several more broke in through this back gate and back security door to ransack his house. Once Vernon found one of the suspects he tried to fight back, and ended up scaring them off.

"I had the cane back, so when he ran out I hit him again."

Thursday morning, Burrell and his family came out to help Vernon. After they fixed the back door they replaced the hatches and added extra security to his back gate.

He called his efforts no big deal, but it meant so much more to Vernon.

"I just wanted to help him out and maybe it'll be an example for other people to help out their neighbors. It's just one of those things we should all do, have more respect for our elderly neighbors," said Burrell.

"He's got the door all fixed up so I can feel much safer now, and think they're not going to come in-- when I'm at home," said Vernon.

The retired Fresno Unified high school teacher brought to tears by the generosity of strangers.

"Well, the thing that I've learned through all of this is there's a lot of really nice people."

Vernon said he is suffering some back pain and stiffness from when the suspect pushed him down, but he hopes to get it checked out when he visits his doctor next week.
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