by: Liz Artz Updated:
ATLANTA, Ga. - A man startled three burglars inside his east Atlanta house and the criminals got away by shooting their way out.
It was the latest in a series of burglaries residents on Hilburn Drive say they've experienced within the past several weeks.
The victim, who did not want to
use his name, came home Saturday night to three men burglarizing his east Atlanta home. As he drove up he noticed a SUV backed into his driveway, lights on, and a stranger peering out an upstairs window.
The homeowner ran inside to find TVs and electronics off the wall and lined up, ready to be carried out of the house.
He told Channel 2's Liz Artz that the crooks had gone through the upper-level of the house and getting his electronics ready to be carried out one at a time.
He said he startled the crooks and that's when, according to police reports, they started firing. The homeowner told Artz it was traumatizing; he said he doesn't feel safe in his own home.
Three rounds in all were fired from a pistol, the homeowner ran to neighbor Austin Stanford's house, who is licensed to carry a gun. Stanford heard the shots and ran outside.
Stanford says he has several weapons inside his home and he will use them. The two neighbors met Sunday evening with a dozen other residents on Hilburn Drive along with Atlanta police officers to discuss crime in their neighborhood.
They've organized extra patrol, ordered watch signs and are banding together. They said all residents are on high alert and watching out for each other. They will call police about all peculiar activity.
Residents said in the last month four houses have been burglarized. They're fed up and willing to fight back. They even asked Atlanta police when they are in the right to use deadly force.
Stanford said it's gotten to the point to where he and his wife always carry a gun. The community is organizing extra citizen patrols they will pay for out of their own pockets.
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