by: Kathryn Burcham Updated:
UNION COUNTY, N.C. - A Monroe man is in jail on burglary charges after investigators say a homeowner with a gun in hand caught the suspect in the act.
Union County Sheriff's deputies arrested Jesse Keith Tuesday morning in a Unionville neighborhood after they said one of the victims called 911 after spotting Keith rifling through his car in a detached garage.
"He saw this suspect, a white male wearing a surgical mask, looking through his car," said Capt. Ronnie Whitaker.
Detectives said the victim grabbed a gun and began firing warning shots in the air while Keith ran away, with his surgical mask an apparent disguise still clutched in his hand.
Authorities said Keith hit several other garages and cars in the area, sometimes smashing windows to gain entry.
The Rev. Francis Peters with the Cedar Grove Holiness Church said he discovered Keith had targeted the church's utility boxes after the power went off in the sanctuary.
"I think he figured there was an alarm system here and he was trying to shut that off. He didn't cut any wires or anything like that that I (saw). Had he have cut them in that box, he would have gotten an awful surprise," Peters said.
Deputies caught Keith minutes later. Authorities said he lived in the same neighborhood as the homes he was targeting.
Keith remains in the Union County jail on a $50,000 bond.
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