Jake Vincent Ruffino (Photo source: Hancock Co. Sheriff's Dept.)
HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -
Officials in Hancock County are praising a man who stopped two suspected burglars in their tracks, and held them at gunpoint until deputies arrived.
Hancock County Sheriff Steve Garber said Paul Boswell became suspicious when he noticed two men he didn't recognize at a friend's house in Jordan River Shores. Boswell called the friend and asked if anyone had permission to be there. When the homeowner said no, Boswell took action.
Authorities said he went back to the house and blocked in the strangers until deputies arrived.
Joshua Alexander Johnson, 24, of Covington, Louisiana; and Jake Vincent Ruffino, 18, of Slidell, were arrested at the scene and charged with burglary.
Deputies searched the suspects' vehicle and found several hundred dollars worth of equipment and several pounds of sausage and other meat.
The homeowner talked on the phone with WLOX News late Friday afternoon. During that call, she said she was angry because she felt "violated". The suspects allegedly kicked in her door, and began stealing items. "These people going into my home and they got caught. They got caught red handed," she told us.
Sheriff Garber said citizens, like Boswell, are the county's greatest asset in catching criminals.
"Although we do not recommend that citizens hold suspects until our arrival, we do appreciate Mr. Boswell's bravery," the sheriff said. "We fervently ask our citizens to report anything they believe is out of the ordinary in their neighborhoods. I would rather the deputies respond to ten calls that turn out to be nothing, than to miss one burglary we could prevent."
"This case was perfectly handled by the concerned citizen, the deputies that responded, and our investigators," Chief Investigator Kenny Hurt said.
Both Johnson and Ruffino are charged with Burglary and are being held on a $25,000 cash bond set by Judge Lagasse.