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Victim detains burglary suspect until police arrive

A man in Beaver County detained a burglary suspect until police arrived early Thursday.


Anthony Pritchard, 25, of Beaver Falls, is accused of a string of break-ins. Pritchard is charged with theft from a motor vehicle, theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property, and loitering at night time.

Harry Johns, of Conway, said he decided to take matters into his own hands when his son-in-law saw someone breaking into his van on Second Avenue.

"He saw him in here with a flashlight looking all over," Johns said. "It was like a split-second, so I just grabbed him by the neck and squeezed him real hard."

Johns' family called 911 while he kept Pritchard in a sleeper hold. During that time, Johns said Pritchard pleaded with him, telling him he had children and had fallen on hard times.

"'You just broke into my van. I don't have any sympathy for you,'" Johns said. "I got tired of him whining so I gave him a little bit more."

Conway police thanked Johns for making their job easier, but Officer Michael Priolo said, "He ran directly into danger and harm to try to rectify the situation himself. I can't make any recommendations on that type of behavior. You should just call 911."

Johns said what he did made his day.

"Don't come in Conway and take our stuff. We don't play that game in here," he said.

Police believe the burglar hit another vehicle before breaking into the van. Anyone who thinks they were a victim is asked to call police.

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