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Burglary suspect confronted, arrested

Gainesville Sun staff writer

Wednesday, January 10, 2001

A suspected serial burglar was confronted by an armed homeowner and chased by police, who eventually flushed him out of an apartment crawl space and arrested him Tuesday morning.

James E. Grimes, 19, of Gainesville was charged with four counts of burglary, one count of grand theft and one count of resisting arrest without violence, Gainesville Police Cpl. James Jendzio said.

One of the homes Grimes is suspected of burglarizing Tuesday morning, at 5620 NW 25th Terrace, is owned by Edward Amsbury. Amsbury was working on his computer at the time.

"This guy was banging on the door, and I ignored it because I had something to finish up," Amsbury said. "I heard him going around the house rattling windows and doors. I got my firearm and called police. He started crawling in (the kitchen window) before police arrived.

"I said, 'That's far enough' and stuck a gun in his face from about 8 feet away. He slowly slithered out the window and left."

Grimes later was arrested after he ran from police into an apartment at Pine Ridge and hid in the crawl space.

"We gave him orders to come down. He wouldn't," Jendzio said. "We were preparing to gas the crawl space. He decided the better option was to come down."

Tuesday's burglaries lengthen the list that have occurred in Northwood Pines, Northwood Oaks and Pine Ridge north of NW 53rd Avenue.

Gainesville Police Officer Elizabeth Ham said more than 25 burglaries have been reported since October. Two neighborhood burglaries were reported Tuesday morning. Jendzio said Grimes has previous burglary arrests. Jendzio spotted Grimes walking near 5900 NW 23rd Terrace about an hour after the Amsbury burglary.

"I stopped him and told him he was under arrest. He took off running," Jendzio said. "He found an apartment window that was unlocked. He opened it and jumped in. We were fortunate the citizens pointed out the window he got into. We located the suspect in the crawl space."

Jewelry taken from one of the morning burglaries was found in the crawl space.

Jendzio said the burglaries have followed a pattern. They happen during the day with the culprit knocking on the front door to learn if anyone is home. If not, he breaks in through a back window or door. Cash, jewelry and other valuables that can be concealed in pockets are taken, Jendzio said. Bulkier items such as electronics are left behind.

Ham, a crime prevention specialist, said the northwest burglars would move to different areas depending on the activities of neighborhood crime watch groups. When a group started neighborhood walks and patrols, burglars moved to a different area nearby.

Neighbors who are home during the day can be especially helpful in stemming the daytime burglaries, Ham said.

"They can help watch the neighborhood, and if they see anything suspicious, call in right away with as much information as they can," Ham said.

Cindy Swirko can be reached at 374-5024 or

NOTICE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed, without profit, for research or educational purposes. We do our best, as well, to give credit to the original news source who published these Guns Save Lives stories out of respect and appreciation for their willingness to spread the word that Guns Save Lives. God Bless the Americans that publish these stories - for assisting Americans in hearing the truth.


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