A Brandon senior has a warning for fellow residents after he took matters into his own hands — and a knife — and scared off some would-be robbers just as they were about to enter his home.
Larry Williamson scared off the trio of men when he grabbed a knife and surprised them by rushing out his door and hollering at them.
"I sure scared them, anyway… I don’t know if they’re still running or not because, by golly, I sure scared the bejeebers right out of them," he said.
Williamson, 77, now wants to warn fellow residents to make sure they lock their doors. At least lock the outside door if you happen to be home and have the inside door open.
He described his ordeal in an interview on Tuesday.
It happened on June 6, around 4:30 a.m., as he prepared to head off to work as a guard for Paladin Security.
Williamson lives at his downtown house with his wife, but he happened to be home alone that morning.
About to leave for work, he had his uniform on and his lunch bag ready on the kitchen table by the back door. The back door itself was open, and the outer aluminum screen door was shut but unlocked.
However, Williamson thought he’d better feed his fish, which live in two large tanks in the living room, before leaving the house.
As he finished that task, he happened to look out a side window and spotted three men lurking right outside. He knew they were about to break in.
"It was going to be a rainy day in heck when they were going to get into my house," Williamson said. "This isn’t going to happen on my watch."
Williamson has worked for five security companies over 22 years, and his training instinctively kicked in — he knew he could throw off an opponent with a surprise attack.
He swung around toward the kitchen, grabbed a filleting knife from on top of the fridge as he passed by, and stormed out the back door.
The three men were about eight feet from the unlocked door, poised to enter.
One of them appeared to be armed with something — perhaps a knife or pipe — Williamson said he couldn’t tell in the darkness.
As he rushed from the house, Williamson slammed the aluminum outer door behind him with a bang.
"Hey you … you guys get the hell out of here and don’t come back!," he yelled, pulling the sheath off his knife and throwing it to the ground.
But the three men had already turned and "scattered like chickens."
Two ran south, and the other west.
"I think he had to change his shorts," Williamson said of the man who fled west.
Williamson said he doesn’t regret how he handled the situation — he figures he had five seconds at most before the men entered his home, and there was no time to call police — but he doesn’t advise others to do the same thing.
He said he wants to warn citizens to be alert and keep their doors locked, even when at home.
His back door had been open for eight minutes, yet the trio of men were ready to break in even at 4:30 a.m.
They were ready to do that, Williamson said, even though they must have seen him through the living room window and lights were on in the room.
After the men scattered, Williamson called police.
Brandon Police Service Const. Trevor Robins said police attended Williamson’s home, but the suspects had already left. Police patrolled the area but didn’t find any suspects.
Williamson said he also drove around in his truck to find the men, but couldn’t.
Robins agreed that locking doors is a good idea, even when at home. He added security cameras and lights, or lights equipped with motion sensors, are a good idea to deter burglars. Lights can also be left on inside the home.
However, Robins said confronting criminals is a bad idea as the situation can turn violent. Dial 911 and let police handle it, he advised.
» Twitter: @IanHitchen