Armed homeowner thwarts intruder


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Johnson


BLANCHESTER — A Blanchester man was arrested after he allegedly entered a home and, when police officers arrived, they say the intruder was being held at gunpoint by the homeowner.

According to Blanchester Police Chief Scott Reinbolt, at around 4:30 a.m. Saturday police were called to a reported burglary in progress at 7410 Fairground Road; a Clinton County Sheriff’s Office deputy also responded.

BPD Ptl. Zeb Mabry said arrived at the home and found the intruder being held at gunpoint inside the home by the homeowner, Robert Huston. Reinbolt said the alleged burglar was identified as Sylas Johnson, 28, of Taylor Pike, Blanchester. Johnson was placed under arrest and was taken to the Clinton County Jail.

Mabry’s inquiries revealed that “Johnson entered the unlocked front door of the home and wandered about inside until he was confronted by Mr. Huston,” Reinbolt said. “The family’s six children were home at the time, ranging in age from 6 to 17. Johnson, who stated he believed he was in the home of a friend, was intoxicated at the time of the incident. The Hustons do not know Johnson.”

Johnson was booked on a charge of criminal trespass.

“We have asked Clinton County Prosecuting Attorney Richard Moyer to elevate the charge to felony burglary,” Reinbolt said. “Our inquiries show that Johnson was arrested in 2009 by Wilmington Police after being found intoxicated inside the closed dining hall at Wilmington College.” Reinbolt said Johnson was charged with criminal trespass in that case.

“Anyone entering a home by stealth and without permission should bear in mind that residents might rely on more than a phone call to 911 to protect their home,” said Reinbolt. “Luckily, Mr. Johnson is still with us to answer the charge.

“Like many residents, I wish we still lived in a world where you could leave your doors unlocked. Unfortunately, that is not the case; we encourage everyone to lock up their homes during the nighttime hours.”

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