Neighbor fires warning shot to stop burglary: 'I would want them to do that for me'

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) Residents are praising a fellow neighbor's action after he fired warning shots to stop a burglary in progress.

On Tuesday morning, a suspect entered a home in the 200 block of Las Flores Drive in northeast Bakersfield.

A witness reported hearing loud noises from across the street and saw the suspect leave his neighbor's home with a big-screen TV. The suspect then got into a white pickup truck and drove away.

About an hour later, the same neighbor reported seeing the burglar return and re-enter the same house.

When he came out carrying more property, the witness yelled at him to stop. The burglar ignored him, and that's when the witness fired warning shots.

"I think that a homeowner has the right to protect their home and their property, and the way I understand it, the neighbor across the street was trying to protect his neighbor's property," said Janet Goff, who's lived on the block for more than 40 years. "I would want them to do that for me."

Ray Pruitt of the Kern County Sheriff's Office, said, "This witness observed these suspects commit a burglary at his neighbor's house across the street. He did what he was supposed to do. He called us and reported it to us."

The homeowner was not home at the time of the burglary.

"It's a fairly nice neighborhood, so people are going to come by and try to rob, especially if people are gone during a good part of the day," said O.J Droppers, who's lived in the neighborhood for 15 years.

Witnesses describe the suspect vehicle as a 1994 lowered white full-size Chevy pickup with California license plate No. 5A31191.