Johnson County homeowner catches would-be burglars in the act

FRANKLIN, Ind. - A Johnson County homeowner caught a pair of would-be burglars in the act Thursday afternoon after a string of burglaries had been reported in the area.

Greg Stanley’s Franklin home may have looked empty at 1:15 p.m., but he was inside. He said he heard his dog barking and saw an unfamiliar vehicle in his driveway.

"By the time I got to the window to look out, I was able to see down towards the barn and the people's truck was backed into the barn with the hatchback open. And that's never a good situation so I went to the safe. It takes a few minutes to unlock the safe and get my firearm out. And by the time I came out they were nowhere to be found," Stanley said.

Stanley said he thinks a passing neighbor may have scared them off -- temporarily. He noticed the lock on his barn was gone. He drove around looking for the gray SUV.

"When I came back, within 10 minutes, here they are again. I pull in the driveway and there they are," Stanley said.

Stanley said he got out to confront the men.

"At that point, I pulled my handgun out to let them know that I was serious. And he looks at me and says, 'So you gonna shoot me for breaking in your barn?' And I didn't answer that question but I told him to turn his ignition off," Stanley said.

Instead, the car sped off. Stanley shot out a tire as the men left.

"It never crossed my mind to shoot them. I was just trying to stop them and get some justice and maybe slow down some of the crime," Stanley said.

The men were last seen heading back toward Interstate 65 on Whiteland Road in the gray SUV.

The driver was described as 50 years old with gray hair, a gray goatee and full-arm tattoos. The passenger was described as a thin man, possibly in his mid-40s.

Three similar burglaries have occurred in the area since Tuesday -- all with a similar vehicle description.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Johnson County Sheriff's Department.

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