Tuesday, July 28, 2015
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Published: Monday, 1/20/2014


3 burglars scurry after homeowner fires shot


The three young males who tried to break into a South Toledo garage apparently did not heed the warning posted in a window at the home.

“Warning: I don’t dial 911,” reads the sign, with an image of a gun’s barrel, in a front window at 1518 Nebraska Ave.

The homeowner, Edward Charles, 66, fired at least one shot at three juveniles who were trying to break into the property’s detached garage at about 11:20 a.m. Monday, police said.

No charges have been filed against Mr. Charles, though investigators did speak with someone from the Lucas County Prosecutor’s Office about the case.

“That’s up for the prosecutors to decide,” Sgt. Joe Heffernan said. Mr. Charles apparently did not strike any burglars.

In Ohio, under the Castle Doctrine, homeowners are not obligated to retreat, and they are given the benefit of the doubt if they kill or injure someone who tries to illegally enter their home, car, or business. “It’s all about if you feel your life is being threatened,” Sergeant Heffernan said.

Police said Mr. Charles heard someone trying to get into his garage, saw the three young men, went outside, and shot.

Police were on scene for at least two hours, talking to Mr. Charles and looking for traces of the suspects. The suspects tried to enter the garage through a removed board in a door off the alley. It was unclear whether anything was taken. There were no known injuries.

A police K-9 unit tried to track suspects along nearby streets, but to no avail.

All three suspects were described by police as black, and about 5 feet, 11 inches tall with thin to medium builds. One wore all black, another wore white, and one wore tan. One carried a blue bag that did not belong to the victim, police said.

Detective Bob Schroeder, the lead investigator on the case, said he would “be happy to sit down with the persons [trying to break] in the garage and discuss it.”

Anyone with information is asked to call the Crime Stopper program at 419-255-1111. Callers may remain anonymous and could be eligible for a cash reward.

Contact Taylor Dungjen at tdungjen@theblade.com, or 419-724-6054, or on Twitter @taylordungjen.

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