Police: Homeowner scares 3 burglars

Suspects arrested after couple follows trio, police say

By Sheli Muniz - Reporter

LONGWOOD, Fla. - Authorities have released the 911 calls from the couple that caught three burglars breaking into their home and followed them to their next home.

[LISTEN: 911 calls released]

Seminole County deputies said the thieves went to a home on Terrace Boulevard in Longwood and rang the doorbell, hoping no one was home so that they could break inside.

"It sounded like someone was trying to jimmy the lock or put the shoulder to the door and my wife yelled at them like, 'Hey, what are you doing?'" said Paul Hamlin.

The three suspects are Heather Daughtry, Richard Crist and Mark Coocen.

"You know, you get a little defensive about somebody breaking into your house in the broad daylight and we certainly didn't want it to happen to anyone else," said Hamlin.

That's why the couple hopped in their car and followed them to a home for sale just down the street. Paul said one of the crooks was already at that door and about to pull the same stunt.

"They saw us, got spooked and basically drove through the lawn," said Hamlin.

Paul said he continued to follow them as his wife was on the phone with 911. They followed behind until Seminole County deputies arrived.

Caller: "I'm not going to get shot over this."
Dispatcher: "You're behind them right now?"
Caller: "Yes, we're behind them. Honey, go I don't want to get hurt. Are you kidding me right now?"

"We were just happy to do our small part in keeping our neighborhood safe," said Hamlin.

Crist, one of the accused burglars, was already wanted in Orange County, deputies said.

Deputies said the trio was found with a number of items in their pickup truck, which were most likely stolen.

Law enforcement urges residents to be extra vigilant. They said it is common for a crook to ring the door bell to see if anyone is home. It is also common for them to ask a generic question if someone does answer the door, authorities said.

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