Neighbors hold suspected Edgewater burglar until police arrive

Christopher Barlow arrested, booked into jail

By Vanessa Araiza - Reporter

EDGEWATER, Fla. - An Edgewater couple said they have their neighbors to thank for nabbing a suspected repeat burglar.

Jessica Normandin and her family were at her son's sporting event Monday evening when she got a call from a neighbor about a suspicious man in her yard.

The neighbor said that, for about two hours, the man had been going through items Normandin had left along her curb. Then, the neighbor said, the man moved to the side of her house, by the garage window.

That's when the neighbors stepped in to find out who the man was and what he was doing at the home. 

"They got out and walked around the side of the house and he's trying to pry my screen off the window to the garage," Normandin said. "They confronted him and when they said 'You don't belong here,' he tried to say he knew who I was and that he was helping us and was allowed to be here but couldn't give them my name or who we were."

Neighbors called the Edgewater Police Department. Not long after, Normandin and her family arrived at her house.

As she was talking to neighbors outside, her son's father pulled up.

He asked what the man looked like and told her fiance, Beua Gleason, he hadn't gone far.

"He looked at me and said, 'You won't believe it. The guy is up the street,'" Gleason said. "We pulled up. I got out of the truck. I said, 'You tried to break into my house.' He said, 'No, no. I was trying to help you. I was trying to bring things back up to the house.'"

Gleason said 27-year-old Christopher Barlow then tried to get away on his bike but he and two other people were able to hold him down until police showed up.

While they were waiting for police, Gleason said, Barlow struggled with them and, at one point pulled a hammer out of his pants.

"You shouldn't go after someone but, you know, we did what we had to," Gleason said.

According to the arrest report, Barlow told police he rummaged through the couple's items on their curb, found a piece of glass and didn't understand why anyone would throw it away.

He said he was simply putting it back at the house because he didn't want anyone to break it and have bad luck.

Barlow was booked into the Volusia County jail and held without bail.

Police said they found methamphetamine on him during the arrest. 

Barlow has a criminal history that includes burglaries. He was already on probation for a burglary charge in October. 

Normandin still feels uneasy, knowing her home was targeted, but is grateful for her neighbors. 

"It is amazing that people will step up and help each other when so many people aren't," Normandin said.

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