October 24, 2005
After a rash of home break-ins in the Belmont area, Charlottesville police have a suspect in custody.
His arrest is thanks to one brave Belmont resident.
Neighbors are calling Wayne Crawford a hero.
Charlottesville police are commending his brave actions for helping them apprehend a burglary suspect last night.
"We heard someone screaming for help, saying 'help, help, help,'" said Lydia Hawkins, a Belmont Resident.
The man screaming for help was Wayne Crawford. He got to his Belmont Avenue home around 7 p.m. last night and surprised a burglar inside his house.
"I saw a flashlight... in the house. So I ran around back and I caught him coming out the window," said Crawford.
"There was a big guy in the yard that had some guy pinned down like this with his arms behind his back, [while Crawford] had his knee on the guy's back," said Hawkins.
Crawford held the man down for 10-15 minutes waiting for police to arrive.
"He even tried to let him up...to be reasonable, but the guy tried to run away," said Ron Cobb, a neighbor.
Crawford didn't think about whether the burglar might be carrying a knife or a gun. He says he just reacted.
"I just wanted to catch him because if I called the police, by the time they got there he'd be gone," said Crawford.
"I'm glad he got him," said Cobb.
Despite a few minor scrapes and bruises, Crawford is glad he caught him too and that his neighbors can sleep a little easier tonight.
"Hopefully it will bring a little peace to some of the neighbors and the rest of the neighborhood," said Crawford
The man Crawford tackled and held down until police arrived is 43-year-old Charlottesville resident Robert Neal Jones. Jones is being held tonight without bond.
There's no word yet from police on whether Jones has any other connection to other burglaries in the Belmont area or in other areas of the city.
Charlottesville police are expected to make a statement tomorrow and provide more details on their investigation into a series of burglaries throughout the city.