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Youth pastor confronts burglars

By KRDO.com Staff
Published On: Dec 25 2012 12:25:14 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 25 2012 11:50:46 PM CST

Two suspects arrested, a third escaped.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -

Police are investigating a home burglary in Colorado Springs on Christmas morning that was foiled by a youth pastor and alert neighbors.

Officers said it happened around 9:30 a.m. in the 2500 block of East San Miguel Street near Circle Drive and Uintah Street.  Police said two suspects are in custody, and they're looking for a third. 

Jim Stevens, a youth pastor for the nearby Central Church of the Nazarene, said neighbors called him to report suspicious activity by a man and two women at the targeted home.  Stevens lives behind the church and said he and his family were opening presents at the time.

"I went out in just my pajamas," he said.  "I have a gun, but I didn't bring it.  I thought it was just kids." 

Stevens said the home belongs to the children's pastor of the church who was away at the time.  A car was parked next to a hole in a wooden fence, Stevens said, and he saw a man walking through a back door carrying stolen items.

"He was more surprised than I was," said Stevens.  "I just kept hoping he didn't have a gun."

Stevens said he used his cell phone to call police and report a burglary in progress, then told the man to surrender.  That's when Stevens said the man attacked.

"He rushed me, threw all of the stuff at me, hit me in the face and took off running," said Stevens.  "It wasn't a full punch, but he knocked me pretty good."

Stevens said he detained a woman who was sitting in the car with the engine running by taking the keys.  He said he also restrained a second woman coming out of the home."

"She said it was her house and that she was pregnant," said Stevens.  "I held her arms behind her back and waited for police to come."

Police said the man remained at large, and credited the involvement of watchful neighbors.

"We've had a few burglaries over the past week," said police Sgt. Tony Erickson.  "If it wasn't for neighbors watching over each other, communicating with each other. It's worked out well, and that's the way it should be."

Stevens said he spent the rest of the day with his family and reflecting on the incident.

"It could have ended in a lot of different ways," he said.  "God was definitely watching over us today and protecting us."

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