HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - A Hattiesburg neighborhood took matters into their own hands and helped a local homeowner catch a burglar in the act. With the recent rash of burglaries in the Hub City, neighborhood watch groups have become more vigilant and aware of their surroundings.
Dinah McMillian has lived on Walnut Street for more than a decade, a close knit neighborhood as she described it, but Tuesday, she was outside her home gardening when John Conerly, 20, allegedly crept in.
"I had the front door open but the screen was latched. So, I walked around to the front and the dog kept barking and I thought well that's strange, I came around to the back of the house and saw the door half open."
That quickly confirmed something wasn't right. McMillan said she purposely closed the door so her dog Isabella wouldn't get out. Luckily, she had her cell phone and her son was one street over.
"My son came right over and I said if you go in the back I will stay out front and if somebody is in their we will catch them. "
The suspect was caught in the act. McMillian's son yelled for her to call the cops from inside as he followed Conerly out.
A nearby construction crew heard the commotion and stepped in. The group chased Conerly down the alley way for about a block until Hattiesburg Police caught him.
"It took less than a minute for them to arrive," said McMillan. "They hand cuffed him and went through the backpack he was carrying and found my wallet. Of course we didn't know what was missing out of the house."
Conerly didn't have the chance to take much more thanks to McMillian's 15 year old pooch Isabella
"If the little dog had not been barking, I would have just walked in the house and I don't know what could of happened but it turned out really good."
Conerly was arrested and charged with residential burglary.