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Hunter bags fugitive burglar

Originally ran here as:
"Hunter bags unlikely game: a wanted man"
by Susan J. Stabley, Staff Writer
The Herald
December 24, 2001

HICKORY GROVE, SOUTH CAROLINA -- David Comer headed out on his all-terrain vehicle Saturday to hunt deer, just like he usually does on a weekend afternoon.

But less than 30 minutes later, the Hickory Grove native returned with someone else - a suspected burglar York County sheriff's deputies had been searching for.

Earlier in the day, one of Comer's neighbors in rural western York County returned home and surprised two men attempting to break in, according to Sgt. Ray Feaster. Both suspects ran and one was nabbed by law enforcement; the other disappeared into the woods.

Meanwhile, family members warned Comer that a suspect was on the loose. Ever the hunter, Comer replied that he would catch the culprit. Off he drove in his four-wheeler, and soon he came across the suspect.

"I could tell he had been walking or running for some time," Comer said. "His shirt tail was out and his shoe laces were untied. He was exhausted."

Comer said he was fairly certain this was the suspected burglar on the lam, but he wasn't afraid.

"I had the gun and he didn't," Comer said.

Comer didn't even have to tell the man to put his hands in the air: "He did that of his own accord when he saw my rifle."

Comer marched the man back to the house and kept him in his driveway until law enforcement showed up.

The semi-retired tire store operator said he was a little bit disappointed he didn't bag any deer, but he said it was worth catching someone who may have posed a threat to his neighbors.

"I'm glad he was caught, even though it did mess up my hunting trip," Comer said.

Feaster said the case was under investigation and that the men, who haven't been identified by police, have charges pending.

Contact Susan J. Stabley at 329-4063

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