LODI, Calif. -- A would-be burglar was caught by surprise after entering a woman's downtown Northern California apartment. The woman was not home, but her boyfriend was, and when he saw a man he didn’t know, he pulled out his gun.
“So, it’s just, I think, a real important lesson to lock your doors, even when you’re home now,” said Colleen Brown, whose Lodi home was broken into.
Surveillance video showed the burglar jumping over Brown’s back fence and crawling up the stairs -- right by her barking dogs.
“Walked right by them," said Brown. "No fear. Didn’t even stop at the dogs."
Brown said she believes he stayed low so people walking by in the alley wouldn’t see him -- but he never expected someone to be inside.
Ed Pawlowski was having a cup of coffee in the kitchen when the man entered the home.
“I heard the door opening, expecting it to be her,” Pawlowski said. “Looked back down at my phone, and by the time I looked up, this guy had came inside the door and shut it very quietly behind himself, and I asked him what he was doing here.”
Pawlowski described the man as looking shocked and said since he has a concealed carry license, he drew his gun -- but he didn’t shoot.
“He put his hands together and prayed not to shoot him, and I said, ‘I’m not going to shoot you,'" said Pawlowski. "'What are you doing in here?’”
The man said he was being chased, according to Pawlowski.
“In my mind, when you’re coming in the door like that, you don’t creep inside a door," Pawlowski said. "You run inside a door if somebody is chasing you."
That’s when Pawlowski demanded the man leave. Video showed him walking out casually, with Pawlowski right behind him, still holding his gun.
What the man’s intentions weren't immediately clear, but Brown said no one is usually home at that time. She works downstairs at Beauty of the Beast Pet Grooming and said all she could think about were the what-ifs.
“What if he hadn’t have been over to go to dinner?" Brown said. "What if that guy was watching me? What if I had walked in on him?”
Pawlowski said he followed the burglar out into the alley and watched to make sure he walked away. Brown and Pawlowski filed a police report and Lodi police said they want to question the man.
“If you do recognize him, absolutely turn him in because I don’t think by looking at the video, I don’t think this is the first time of him doing something of this nature,” Pawlowski said.
Pawlowski said he’s glad he was able to keep his cool during the situation and that he was home and armed when the man entered the apartment.