Neighbors nab prowler in Union Township
Jim Cain said he didn't hesitate to grab his gun and spring into action when he saw a suspicious man lurking around his neighbor's house in Union Township.
Cain, with the help of his neighbor Dwayne Zenobi, is being credited for helping police apprehend a suspect and prevent a possible burglary.
According to Southwest Regional Police, officers were called to an unoccupied home Sunday night at 6055 Route 88, where Cain and Zenobi were holding Jed Shoemaker of Finleyville at gunpoint.
Cain said he went outside around 11:30 p.m. to have a cigarette when he saw a two-toned pickup truck pull into the parking lot across the street.
The driver turned off its lights. That's when Cain saw the driver walk toward the unoccupied house owned by John Hickey. He said the house was damaged when a vehicle crashed into it earlier this year and damaged the foundation.
“I saw him walk around a bush and then go behind a pine tree,” Cain said. “I knew something wasn't right.”
Cain called Zenobi, and the men grabbed their guns.
Cain said they found the suspect – later identified as Shoemaker – on a side porch.
“We told him to freeze and stay there,” Cain said.
Held at gunpoint, Shoemaker asked the men what kind of guns they were carrying and said he stopped at the house because he ran out of gas, Cain recalled.
“I got the gun pointing to the back of his head, and he's asking me these questions,” Cain said. “I thought it was weird.”
The men walked Shoemaker back to his truck to wait for police.
Southwest Regional Officer Larry Storch arrived and allegedly found a claw hammer, crow bar and flashlight outside Hickey's house.
Zenobi told police Hickey would not have left tools outside, according to an affidavit of probable cause.
Shoemaker, 34, of 3606 Washington Ave. later allegedly told police the tools belonged to him and that he knew the house was vacant.
He said he was going to break in to “see what was inside,” according to the affidavit.
Shoemaker is charged with possessing instruments of a crime and loitering and prowling at night.
Cain said more neighbors need to look out for each other and their property.
“You see all this stuff happening on the news, and you'll hear neighbors saying they didn't see anything,” Cain said.
“I was raised that you look out for each other. I work hard for what I have, and I'm not going to let someone steal it.”
Southwest Regional Chief John Hartman said that while he appreciates the assistance from Cain and Zenobi, and said they did “nothing wrong,” he cautioned citizens about taking police matters into their own hands.
“People have to understand that when they take that kind of step, something can go terribly wrong,” Hartman said. “We highly recommend they call police right away.”
Stacy Wolford is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-684-2640 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Rostraver takes on Ringgold sex case
- Resident injured in Mon City fire
- Rostraver man faces trial in child sex case
- Problem with gas line forces evacuations in California Borough
- Charleroi man accused of improper sexual contact with teen
- Monongahela man charged in assault of disabled father with antlers
- Grindstone man allegedly tried to meet teen, 13, for sex
- California police officer loses battle with cancer
- Frazier grad a true model for success
- North Belle Vernon man accused in attack, deadly threats
- In Monongahela Valley Hospital visit, former Steeler emphasizes value of exercise