HOMEWOOD, Ala. (WIAT) – Two burglaries on Friday afternoon ended in a somewhat bizarre manner.
Homewood Police received reports of three black males in a silver vehicle who had recently stolen a leaf blower out of a pick-up truck.
Later, police received reports that three black males burglarized a home on Raleigh Avenue.
A getaway car with the three burglary suspects inside took officers on a short high speed-speed chase from Homewood to Birmingham.
It ended quite abruptly.
The car crashed into a pole and quickly became engulfed in flames.
The smoke from the burning vehicle could be seen from many blocks away.
"A citizen called a vehicle description and a suspect description in, and one of our police officers was able to get behind the suspect vehicle," Sgt Andrew Didcoct said.
Two of the suspects attempted to get away on foot, but they were taken into custody shortly thereafter.
The third suspect was and saved by police.
"One of the suspects was actually pulled from the vehicle before it caught fire and placed under arrest by one of our officers," said Didcoct.
Wesley, the man who lives in the home burglarized by the suspects, says he was unaware of what happened until he arrived home at around 5 p.m.
"I had no clue, other than a friend that texted me that there were police officers in the yard, and he didn't think anything wrong was going on," Wesley explained.
According to both Wesley and officers familiar with the incident, the real hero is a neighbor who called 911 after seeing the men place a television in their car.
"Turned back on Raleigh Avenue and that's when I saw the car backed up into the front lawn of this house two doors down to me," Kimberly Stephens said.
Stephens says recent crimes and tragedies don't make her feel less comfortable about living in the Homewood area.
But, she says it makes her feel a need to be more vigilant.
"I'm a little bit unsettled. Does it make a person want to activate their alarm system? Yes," Stephens commented. "This would probably be the push to activate the alarm system."
All three of the suspects were taken to a local hospital for evaluation before being transported to the Homewood City Jail.
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