A would-be burglar was stopped in his tracks by a Spokane Valley homeowner armed with a 12-gauge shotgun who said he's had enough with thieves on his property.
Homeowner Chris Malloy saw a man walk behind his shed around 9:15 Tuesday morning in the 13600 block of E. 20th. It's the third time something like this has happened to him in three months and he's sick of it.
"I was in the house, walked past one of the bedroom windows and just saw him walking across the golf course, the yard, then I knew something was not right," Malloy said.
Malloy also saw a knife on the suspect's belt, so he grabbed his shotgun.
"I'm not the only one who's been hit on this block," Malloy said. "There have been numerous other hits."
Malloy took his fate into his own hands by holding the shotgun up and telling 36-year-old Kevin Neu to stop. Neu was surprised and then promptly sat down as the two men waited for Spokane Valley deputies to arrive.
"He kept his composure, contacted his neighbor, called 9-1-1. We were here within minutes, and ultimately I think we're going to solve several crimes," Spokane Sheriff's Deputy Craig Chamberlin said.
Deputies said they found keys in Neu's pocket to a stolen van located near Malloy's house and golf clubs and other likely stolen items were found inside. Investigators think they could belong to people in Newman Lake because six homes and cars were broken into there Monday.
"We have a prolific criminal off the street," Chamberlin said. "Everybody is safe, and hopefully we have a lot of victims who will get their property back."
Malloy thinks Neu may be responsible for the other burglaries at his home. If it's someone else Malloy will be waiting, gun in hand.
"I got lucky I guess. He got lucky," Malloy said.
Neu will be charged with criminal trespassing and possession of a stolen car. More charges from the Newman Lake burglaries may be coming. Deputies say Neu has a local criminal history dating back to 1993, with most charges related to theft.