Landowner catches burglars in act, sends them running

Landowner catches burglars in act, sends them running

DOUGHERTY CO., GA (WALB) - Eric Venable, a Dougherty County landowner, surprised three burglars that had piled up items on his porch in an attempt to steal it all, according to police.

But Venable sent them running, and tonight police and neighbors are on the hunt for the suspects.

It happened around 2 p.m. Wednesday. Eric Venable said he spotted a truck parked behind a vacant house on some land he leases near Leary Road.

He surprised three men cleaning out the house. When Venable pointed his rifle out the truck window, he said they scattered like quail.

"So I grabbed my rifle, and he saw me and ran around to the driver's door," said Venable. And he was hollering. I saw another guy when I pulled up, and he went this way. And he was yelling, 'heh, heh, heh.'"

Two of the men took off in an old white pickup truck, crashing through a gate, while the third just ran away.

Venable didn't shoot, but wonders if he should have stopped the truck.

"I believe if I would have gone ahead and shot a hole in his block or something like that, that really should have been okay to do for somebody taking your stuff," said Venable. "It really would have had a better effect."

The three men were described as white, in their mid 20's, driving a while late-model Chevrolet pickup truck with a bent front end from hitting the gate.

Police and the neighbors are on the lookout, and Venable wants the crooks to know this crime will be stopped.

"Everybody out here's got guns, and everybody's looking. I've already informed all the neighbors around here," said Venable. We'll find that old early model Chevrolet. You might as well go ahead and get rid of it."

Venable estimates it will cost $1,000 to repair the damage to the house and the gate. He said he keeps watch on his property all the time, and that's why he caught these men red-handed. Now he wants them arrested.

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