SAN DIEGO (CNS/ CBS 8) - A sharp-eyed passer-by alerted police Wednesday afternoon to a residential burglary under way in the Lake Murray area, helping officers quickly nab two men who allegedly had just beaten and robbed an elderly homeowner.
The witness made an emergency call shortly before 2 p.m. from a pay phone in La Mesa to report having seen two men using a crowbar to break into a home in the 8400 block of Harwell Drive in eastern San Diego minutes earlier, SDPD public-affairs Lt. Andra Brown said.
An officer arrived in the neighborhood to see two men running away from the home, Brown said. The patrolman, who had a service dog with him, caught up with the suspects a short distance away and took them into custody with help from a man who lives in the area.
Neighbors say the victim is 80-year-old Thomas Hoover, who lived alone after his wife passed away in the last month or so.
Neighbors also say this is the third time in several weeks the same home was targeted by burglars. The first time, burglars broke in while Hoover's wife was still alive and being treated by in-home hospice care. The second break-in occurred after the woman's death, when nobody was home, and according to neighbors, the thieves only stole items from her bedroom.
Police say Hoover was beaten with a tire iron or similar metal tool by a pair of intruders in his home. Medics took him to a hospital for treatment of head injuries.
The suspects, whose names were not immediately available, were expected to be booked into county jail on suspicion of assault, burglary and robbery.