Armed homeowners nab burglar on third visit
Alvin Lee, who lives in the Pine Park Road home, said it was the third time his property has been burglarized in recent days. “He had stolen the last thing he was ever going to steal from me. So I called my brother, and we set up what I guess was a sting,” recalled Mr. Lee.
Alvin and his brother, Roger, coordinated a plan that included Alvin driving his truck to work as usual, but secretly getting a ride back home Thursday and leaving his truck at the shop. The brothers didn’t have to wait long. About 20 to 30 minutes later they heard a bathroom window being pushed open, then watched and waited for the perpetrator to come inside. A mirror in the bathroom reflected the window and the brothers were able to see his progress. “He just diddy-bopped in there like he did the day before, and he wasn’t expecting a soul to be in the place,” said Alvin Lee, “he was very surprised.”
Armed with a .22 and a 9-mm, the brothers ordered the man to get on the floor and don’t move. “He wasn’t armed. We did not even touch him in any kind of way, because he did everything we told him to,” Alvin Lee said. The brothers called 911 and deputies with the Grady County Sheriff’s Office, along with Grady County Sheriff Harry Young, took the man into custody without incident.
Guy Combs, Lee’s 47-year-old neighbor, is charged with three counts of burglarizing Lee’s home during February and March. Combs apologized for his actions to Sheriff’s Investigator Daniel Singletary, saying, “he didn’t have a job and he was trying to make ends meet.”
Thursday was the third time Combs had allegedly broken into Lee’s property. Mr. Lee said he first noticed the violation on Sunday when he planned to trim some limbs, but couldn’t find his pole saw. Then, he said, he noticed other items missing from his outdoor shed, a boat motor and other tools.
On Wednesday, when he returned home from work, Mr. Lee noticed the door to his bathroom was closed, although he had left it open that morning. Inside the bathroom, he found dirt on a counter and toilet lid. He walked outside to look at the bathroom window and found the screen bent in two places.
Lee said he suspected the culprit would return, because he noticed there were attempts to conceal the previous break-in such as the bathroom window being carefully opened and then returned to its closed position.
When he was taken into custody Thursday, deputies found four gold rings in Combs’ pocket. He said he was returning them to the Lees. Alvin Lee had another twist on that theory, “My wife had noticed that two other rings were missing, but not these cheaper rings. He was just returning them, because he couldn’t get any money for them.”
Deputies have found several of Lee’s stolen items at a pawn shop where Combs is alleged to have traded them for cash. Among the recovered items from the pawn shop were stolen rings, minus the stones, the boat motor and some tools. “I’m missing a whole lot more,” Lee said.
Combs is being held in the Grady Detention Center.