Easter Thief Hunt

MONTGOMERY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A lot of Easter egg hunting went on this past Sunday, but in one neighborhood, those hunting skills were put to a much more serious test when neighbors spotted someone breaking into an elderly man's home.

"I have got excellent neighbors,” Robert Jackson said. “You get in trouble, they'll help you."

Jackson was at a VA hospital in Virginia on Easter Sunday.

In the afternoon, a neighbor spotted someone walking behind Jackson's home along Morris Creek Drive in Montgomery.

His nephew John, who lives nearby, went over to investigate.

"Half his body was sticking out this window," John said.

John yelled for help, and the suspect took off through the back yard, jumping neighbors’ fences.

"We were looking for tracks in the grass,” John said. “I deer hunt and bow hunt. You pay attention to stuff like that."

Neighbors called each other and began tracking.

"I would say it was about 40 or 50 people," John said.

The suspect, 26-year-old Justin Barnette, ended up in Jackson's brother's yard a block away, where neighbors surrounded him until deputies with the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department arrived.

"Everyone was getting on me for calling them the posse, but they were my posse," Jackson said. “Most people won't get involved, but that amount of people chasing down somebody like that, I admire them for it.”

Neighbors say they spotted a driver who took off nearby in what they believe was supposed to be the suspect's getaway car. They have given that license plate number to police.

Jackson says the suspect was able to take off with a couple of his guns. One of them has been returned.


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