LAKE CITY, Fla. -- A man passing by an abandoned residence was able to help police by detaining a suspected burglar Wednesday morning.
Around 11 a.m. Wednesday morning, Lake City Police officers were called to SW Columbia Avenue. A caller told police he had a burglar detained and needed the police, according to a news release from Lake City Police Department Public Information Officer Steve Shaw.
When officers arrived, they found the suspect's vehicle backed up to the back door of the home and a refrigerator in the doorway. Shaw said the witness told police he had used his vehicle to block the driveway, then called the police and held the suspected burglar until police arrived.
The witness told police he was passing by the abandoned residence when he saw the vehicle backed into the driveway. He said he saw the suspect trying to take the refrigerator out of the back door.
Shaw said the accused burglar, 44-year-old Philip Christie, told police an unknown neighbor told him the residence was abandoned and he could go inside to claim items. Christie then changed his story and said he was house hunting and interested in buying the house.
When police looked inside the truck, Christie had backed up to the back door they found two boxes of tile and an electric motor. The owner of the property said the tile and the motor came from the shed in the backyard. The owner also said the house was not for sale.
Shaw said police found the door forced open. Also inside the truck was a multi-tool wrench that matched pry marks on the door of the shed and the home.
Christie was arrested and charged with burglary and possession of burglary tools. He was booked into the Columbia County Jail on a $20,000 bond.
First Coast News