Quick-thinking neighbor holds suspect at gunpoint until police arrive - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Quick-thinking neighbor holds suspect at gunpoint until police arrive

Bob Briley Bob Briley
Ron Warner Ron Warner
Ron's Pistol Ron's Pistol
Briley's garage was left open Briley's garage was left open
Lawnmower Baxter was forced to drop Lawnmower Baxter was forced to drop

SPOKANE, Wash. - A Spokane man is being credited with stopping a burglary at his neighbor's house after making an effort to check on a situation he found suspicious.

Bob Warner was sitting at his dining room table when he noticed a SUV drive by his home several times before stopping outside of his neighbor, Bob Briley's home. A man got out of the SUV and went to the front door of the home, knocked and when there was no answer, returned to his vehicle and drove away.

Briley was not home at the time but his wife was. Briley says his wife did not open the door after peering out a window and seeing what she described as a "big, tall guy."

The suspect, 37-year-old Frank Baxter, returned to his car and drove away only to return five minutes later. This time, Baxter backed his SUV into Briley's driveway, lifted up the hatch on his SUV and entered the garage, which had been left open.

Warner, already suspicious after the many drive-by's, grabbed his 9mm pistol and phone on the way out of his house.

Baxter, apparently confident no one was home, started to lift a lawnmower. That's when Warner confronted him.

"As soon as he lifted that up," says Warner, "that's when I drew down on him.

Warner says Baxter told him he would put the lawnmower back but Warner insisted that it was over, that he was on the phone with police and to lay down. Baxter did not follow orders so Warner took him to the ground where he would remain until police arrived.

Warner says Baxter pleaded with him to let him go.

"He said he had kids that need to be fed, that he lost his job," says Warner, "he tried to hit my sympathetic side, but I don't care for thieves."

Police arrived on scene shortly after, followed by Bob Briley who said he saw a police officer with his gun drawn at a man on the ground.

"I knew I'd left my garage door open so I knew someone had been in there and been caught in the act," says Briley.

Baxter was cuffed and then taken away by police. That's when Briley saw Warner and knew what happened.

"If you rob the neighbors you're robbing him," says Briley, "I feel much more comfortable knowing Ron's on deck."

Warner says he keeps an eye on a lot of his neighbors because a lot of elderly people live in his neighborhood. While he said he was nervous to draw a gun on a human, he did what needed to be done.

Police say Warner did the right thing by calling police and that instances like these are situational; how comfortable you are confronting a suspect.

Police Officer Glen Bartlett says thanks to Warner they were arresting a suspect instead of filing a burglary report.

Officers also remind you that leaving doors unlocked and windows open is an invitation to burglars and even though it's getting warmer outside, keep an eye on what you leave open.

The incident happened around 11 a.m. in the 2600 block of West Longfellow.

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