Armed neighbor thwarts alleged package thief

Armed neighbor thwarts alleged package thief

A south hill man says a package thief he confronted pulled a knife on him, and that’s when the good Samaritan pulled out his concealed pistol.

John Hoffman was returning from work Wednesday when he noticed a suspicious person in his neighborhood near the 2800 block of E. 18th Avenue.

“Made eye contact with him, just to make him [think] someone’s watching. You know, thinking he’d just keep walking,” Hoffman said.

He turned his van around and saw 26-year-old Jeramy Allen reaching for a package outside his neighbor’s home. Hoffman said Allen claimed to know the people inside.

“I said ‘No, you’re going to wait right here. I’m going to call police and we’ll figure this out.'”

Hoffman said that’s when Allen started running.

“I grab him, throw him to the ground. He’s trying to cause mass chaos. Running, screaming ‘Help! He’s coming after me!'”

In their scuffle, Hoffman said he saw Allen reach for his pocket. “I noticed that he turned on me and pulled a knife.”

Little did Allen know, Hoffman had something in his pocket, too.

“I have a concealed weapons permit. I did pull my weapon on him. I told him to drop his weapon. He was startled at that point seeing a gun in his face. I told him, ‘I will shoot you,'” Hoffman said.

At the time, Hoffman had no idea that 26-year-old Jeramy Allen had been arrested only a few months earlier for vehicle prowling. It only took a few days for Spokane Police to identify him thanks to car’s interior camera.

“Either way we’re paying for it I guess,” Hoffman said. “Either they are in the system and we’re paying for it, or they’re out here stealing packages and we’re paying for it.”

Allen ditched his knife and eventually ran off. Spokane police arrested him shortly after.

Hoffman said he hopes Allen has learned his lesson — at least in his neighborhood.

“These guys can’t be robbing and stealing from us. It’s not okay.”

Hoffman said this wasn’t his first encounter with Allen. He allegedly saw him peeking inside his work van early one morning a few weeks prior.

Allen was booked into the Spokane County Jail for assault and attempted theft. His bond has been set at $3,000 according to the jail roster.

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