Des Moines homeowner corners burglar in garage | | The Des Moines Register

A Des Moines homeowner fired a gun during a burglary this morning but it was only a warning shot.

Randy Owens, 42, said he fired a shot into an old furnace so the burglar would know he wasn't holding a BB gun. He said he did not shoot at the burglar.

A police report earlier indicated that Owens fired at the intruder but he said this afternoon that he intentionally fired away from the burglar.

Owens heard a garage alarm about 5:30 a.m. and went to investigate. A side door had been kicked open; it had the outline of a large footprint on it. The lock was broken.

When he entered his shop, Owens said he noticed someone under one of his tables.

Police said in a report: "He told the suspect to come out and a verbal argument ensued. As they argued Randy stated that he drew his 9 mm handgun. The suspect lunged forward, striking Randy in the forearm with a cane."

Owens said the man pleaded with him to let him go. Owens tried to hold him in the garage until police arrived but the man kept coming at him and Owens allowed him to get away.

The man ran off in the dark and police arrived a few minutes later.

Crime scene investigators were processing the immediate area later in the morning, seeking clues to the burglar's identity.

A preliminary report showed that Owens' address in the 1500 block of East 21st Street is outside an area currently under study by detectives seeking a suspect in about a dozen other break-ins. The description of the man in this morning's break-in does not fit the description of the person who is committing burglaries on the west side of the city.