Christmas Burglar Armed With Wrench Greeted by Homeowner With Shotgun Blast

Nathaniel Blair had just returned from getting Christmas gifts out of his car when he encountered the intruder

A Christmas burglar who tried to break into two homes was peppered by shotgun pellets fired by one of the homeowners before he was arrested by police who surrounded the Anaheim Hills neighborhood.

The burglar suffered minor, nonlife threatening injuries from the shotgun blast, said Anaheim police Lt. Bob Dunn.

Officers initially responded to a report of an attempted break-in near the 830 block of Quiet Canyon Way just before midnight. The subject was described as a man with a black ski mask who ran from the property before police arrived. 

Then at 3:30 a.m. Thursday, police received a call about a half-mile away regarding a man with a black ski mask inside a home in the 900 block of Country Glen Way. The homeowner had returned home a few hours earlier from dinner with his family, put his 3-year-old daughter to bed and gone out to the garage to get some holiday gifts from his car.

Nathaniel Blair said he might have left the house door open at that time, explaining how the intruder entered his house. Blair went back inside, then remembered about two hours after retrieving the gifts that he needed to move his truck into the garage.

"I came downstairs to this door right here behind me, opened it up and there was a guy standing right behind the door with a pipe wrench, one of the big pipe wrenches," said Blair. "I opened the door and was like, is this happening right now?

"At that point in time, I'm like, you know what man, you came to the wrong home if you think you're going to come into my house and do that."

The homeowner and burglar grappled, and Blair was hit by the wrench. Blair then ran upstairs, armed himself with a 12-gauge shotgun and fired at the subject, who ran away, Dunn said.

"There was one shot fired by the resident," Dunn said.

Blair did not suffer significant injuries.

"You don't come into my home and threaten my family," he said.

Police set up a perimeter and the bloodied assailant was located by K9 units shortly before 5 a.m. in a garage in the 1000 block of Country Glen Street, according to police. The man was taken to the hospital after being found in a resident's garage, Dunn said. He was expected to be booked on suspicion of residential burglary.

"That's creepy," said Blair's neighbor, Frank Zanganeh. "I would do the same thing. If somebody walks into my house with a wrench or with a gun, the coroner would have to come get him."

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