Man stops would-be burglar at gunpoint in California home

Posted at 4:29 AM, Jan 21, 2020

LODI, Calif. (KTXL) -- A would-be burglar was caught by surprise recently after entering a woman's downtown Northern California apartment.

The woman was not home but her boyfriend was and when he saw a man he didn’t know, he pulled out his gun.

“So, it’s just I think a real important lesson to lock your doors even when you’re home now,” said Colleen Brown, whose Lodi home was broken into.

Surveillance video shows the suspect jumping over Brown’s back fence and crawling up the stairs right by her barking dogs.

“Walked right by them, no fear. Didn’t even stop at the dogs,” Brown said.

Brown said she believes he stayed low so people walking by in the alley wouldn’t see him -- but the suspect never expected someone to be inside.

Ed Pawlowski was having a cup of coffee in the kitchen when the man entered the home.

“I heard the door opening, expecting it to be her,” Pawlowski said. “Looked back down at my phone and by the time I looked up this guy had came inside the door and shut it very quietly behind himself. And I asked him what he was doing here.”

Pawlowski described the man as looking shocked and said since he has a concealed carry license, he drew his gun. But he didn’t shoot.

“He put his hands together and prayed not to shoot him. And I said, ‘I’m not going to shoot you, what are you doing in here?’” Pawlowski recalled.

The man said he was being chased, according to Pawlowski.

“In my mind when you’re coming in the door like that, you don’t creep inside a door. You run inside a door if somebody is chasing you,” Pawlowski said.

That’s when Pawlowski demanded the man leave. Video shows the suspect walking out casually with Pawlowski right behind him still holding his gun.

What the man’s intentions were still are not clear, but Brown said no one is usually home at that time. She works downstairs at Beauty of the Beast Pet Grooming and now all she can think about are the what-ifs.

“What if he hadn’t have been over to go to dinner? What if that guy was watching me? What if I had walked in on him?” Brown said.

Pawlowski said he followed the suspect out into the alley and watched to make sure he walked away. Brown and Pawlowski have since filed a police report and Lodi police would like to question the man.

“If you do recognize him, absolutely turn him in because I don’t think by looking at the video, I don’t think this is the first time of him doing something of this nature,” Pawlowski said.

Pawlowski said he’s glad he was able to keep his cool during the situation and that he was home and armed when the man entered the apartment.