suspect confronted, arrested
By CINDY SWIRKO
Gainesville Sun staff writer
Wednesday, January 10,
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
"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
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
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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