Homeowner Holds Burglars at Gunpoint

December 2, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
A Fresno County homeowner took matters into his own hands Tuesday night, after he returned home and found burglars going through his belongings. The homeowner didn't want to talk to Action News on camera, but said he'd already been targeted twice before in the last two weeks. Sheriff's investigators said when the homeowner saw his lights on Tuesday evening, he knew the thieves were back. "When he went in, he saw one of the suspects going through his property in the living room," said Fresno County Sheriff's Department spokesperson Chris Curtice. Investigators said the homeowner pulled out a gun and fired a warning shot after Archie Dews took a step toward him. Shortly after that, both Archie Dews and the second suspect, Clarence Dews, were on the ground, where they stayed until deputies arrived and arrested them.

On Sunday, a liquor store clerk in southeast Fresno took things much further and shot and killed an armed robber. A second suspect ran away and is still on the loose. Curtice said these types of crimes tend to go up as the economy suffers. "I think they're some realities, the way the economy's going, things like that, that we're going to start seeing a rise in some thefts and various types of crimes. And people are within their rights to protect their lives and they're property," said Curtice.

That sentiment is keeping northwest Fresno's "The Range" busy as people rethink how to protect themselves. "When the economy goes down and property crimes and assaults, and a lot of other crimes start to go up, you will see a lot more people giving more consideration to purchasing a firearm for self defense, possibly applying for concealed weapons on their person for self defense," said William Ayers.

The Fresno county homeowner said he had no regrets about pulling a gun on the suspects Tuesday night. He also said he was more than ready to shoot, if needed. Investigators say stolen property was found in the pockets of both suspects and more stuff connected to the prior break-in was found in their vehicle. They also face additional charges for warrants and parole violations.