ASHEBORO, N.C. — Cellphone video shows the moment a North Carolina man, armed with a handgun, confronted three suspected burglars Sunday.
Stephen Routh told WGHP that he watches over his parent’s Asheboro home and went to check it out after getting a call about some unusual people on the property.
Once Routh arrived, he said he saw three suspects trying to leave out of the back door. That’s when he held them at gunpoint and ordered them onto the ground while talking with 911 dispatchers.
“I had the gun, and they were coming out and, as soon as they saw the big gun pointed at them, their hands went up," he said.
The cellphone video captured the intense scene after Routh ordered them to the ground, holding them for several minutes until Asheboro police arrived.
Before the suspects encountered Routh, they allegedly ransacked the inside of the home, leaving glass shattered everywhere.
“It is a terrible mess — all the drawers are screwed, cabinets, drawers have been open, stuff thrown out, papers everywhere,” he said, as he showed the damages inside the house.
The trio did not take anything of value before they tried to escape, leaving Routh confused over what they might have been looking for.
“They know this is not their home. They know they had no business in here, and they mentioned they just thought they would just go in there and look around,” he said.
Routh said the situation could have turned out worse but hopes the trio learn an important lesson from the incident.
“There have been too many instances lately of home invasions and these, like this where they get caught," he said. "Some people have been shot and killed, especially those home invasions … People are not taking this mess anymore.”
According to the Courier-Tribune, one of the suspects, 17-year-old Saulo Chi Alverz, was arrested for breaking and entering, as well as possession of marijuana. Officials did not identify the other two, who are both under the age of 16.