JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A suspected auto burglar who was held at gunpoint had no idea he was falling for a trap like a mouse that had just spotted cheese.
Surveillance video captured the incident, which happened early Sunday morning on Timberlin Park Boulevard in the Timberlin Parc subdivision on Jacksonville’s Southside.
The footage shows George Fenwick confronting Robert Pound after he said he caught Pound burglarizing his truck.
Pound, 25, of Jacksonville, was arrested when the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office arrived. He is facing a charge of burglary.
Fenwick told News4Jax that he purposely left his truck unlocked and rigged with a wireless motion sensor that triggered a hand-held alarm.
When the alarm went off about 4 a.m. inside his home, Fenwick said, he grabbed his gun, which was equipped with a laser. He went outside and shined the laser through the glass of his truck.
“There was somebody in my truck, so I approached with my firearm and ordered him down,” Fenwick said.
Fenwick said Pound followed orders by lying face down into the driveway as Fenwick kept the laser on him while taking cover behind another vehicle. He said he took cover because it was dark out and he didn’t know if Pound had an accomplice nearby.
“I did step behind a car and held the gun on him from there, just in case someone else did come,” Fenwick said.
Fenwick told News4Jax that he didn’t have a phone on him to call police so he used the burglary suspect’s cellphone to dial 911. Fenwick also said that before 15 officers arrived on scene to put the man in handcuffs and haul him away, Pound tried to talk his way out of going to jail.
“He told me his baby had just died and that he was homeless, but I told him he could tell that to the police officer,” Fenwick said.
Fenwick told News4Jax that several of his neighbors have been victims of recent vehicle burglaries that resulted from vehicles being left unlocked as they sat in driveways. He believed the crook or crooks were following the same mode of operation to get inside the vehicles.
“They’re basically coming into the neighborhood and checking doors and if the doors are unlocked, they’re going in,” Fenwick said.
Fenwick also believes the man he captured was likely the same man seen on previous surveillance videos from other neighbors who recently had vehicles broken into.
“He walks around and he’s not scared. He wasn't trying to hide his identity at all in the past. This time he came with gloves and a mask, so he was trying to hide his identity,” Fenwick said.
In this case, the interaction between Fenwick and the man he held at gunpoint until police arrived was captured on surveillance video. The video is several minutes long, but it shows a dome light turning on inside Fenwick’s truck that was parked in his driveway. Moments later, the video shows Fenwick coming outside and pointing his gun’s laser into the interior of the truck. Then it shows Fenwick holding the man at gunpoint and ordering him to the ground until police arrived.
Fenwick told News4Jax that he was well aware of the law and that he himself could have been arrested if he just came out and shot the man who was inside his truck.
“I couldn't have shot him unless he pulled a firearm on me. The intent was just to catch him. I really thought it was going to be a kid and it wasn't,” Fenwick said.
Fenwick showed News4Jax how he rigged his truck with a sensor device, then purposely left the door unlocked, hoping the suspected burglar would take the bait. The device acted as a transmitter that sent a signal to a hand-held alarm that could only be heard inside Fenwick’s house. The only way that alarm could be tripped was if someone had entered his truck.
Hours after Fenwick captured Pound, he put out a warning to other neighbors about the importance of locking their vehicle doors at night.
“These guys are coming through checking doors. They’re not breaking windows. They’re not breaking into cars. As far as I know, there has been a couple of cars stolen. I’m not sure the keys were in them or not. Lock your cars,” Fenwick said.
As of Monday night, Pound remained in the Duval County jail on a $20,000 bond. Court records show he’s had several run-ins with law enforcement, including convictions for burglary and grand theft.