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article imageWoman, 63, makes burglar sit down and wait for police

By Lynn Curwin     Jul 9, 2011 in Crime
Center Harbor - A 63-year-old New Hampshire woman who found a burglar in her home grabbed him by the collar and then made him sit down and empty his pockets while they waited for police to arrive.
Linda Carr got home around noon last Saturday to find her door ajar and pry marks on the locks. She knew she had locked it when she left, but she went inside because she was worried about her dog, who didn't respond to her call.
"At first I figured he was gone. I stuck my head in and called for my dog," she told the Union Leader. "She didn’t respond. I thought ‘oh no.’ When he came out I said ‘who are you?’ He told me and it turned out to be a false name. I grabbed his backpack and threw it on the floor, then he tried to walk past and I grabbed him by the collar,” she said. “He was tall and thin. I’m short and chubby,” said Carr.
When Richard Royea, 29, she was determined to stop him.
"He kept trying to proceed, and that's when it kicked in: go after him. I said, 'He's not going to get away with this!'" she told WMUR.
She said she grabbed him by the collar, pulled him into the living room.
"Well, when I dragged him back in here, I said 'You sit there and stay there and don't you move,' and he said, 'I wont, I wont, I wont.'"
She made him empty his pockets, which contained her jewellery and medication, and waited for police to arrive.
Her dog, a cocker spaniel called Lola, hid under the bed during the incident.
Royea was charged with burglary and released on bail.
"He was cooperative with us. He was remorseful at the time. I think he was embarrassed,” Center Harbor Police Chief Mark Chase told the Union Leader.
Royea only lived a short distance from Carr, and had bicycled to her home. Carr said she later realized she knew him and his family when he was a small child.
Carr said she feels less comfortable in her home now, and is considering getting a larger dog.
While Carr said she felt that her husband, who died almost three years ago, was with her and encouraging her, Chase told the Union Leader: “Obviously, we don’t recommend that you encounter the burglar. If you come home and see someone in your home, back away and call 911. It could have been tragic."
An 81-year-old woman in Calgary arrived home earlier this year to find the place had been ransacked and the burglar was still inside. Although the thief ran off once he realized the woman had returned, the victim suffered such a shock that she required medical assistance.
A video of Carr talking about her experience can be viewed on the WMUR website.
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