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Grandmother holds burglar at gunpoint until police arrive

By Casey Lund, Good Morning Northwest Reporter, caseyl@kxly.com
Published On: Apr 03 2013 06:10:35 AM CDT
Updated On: Apr 03 2013 06:41:35 PM CDT
Sean Denny
SPOKANE, Wash. -

A grandmother of ten fired a warning shot and then held a would-be burglar at gunpoint in her home until police arrived and arrested him.

The burglar was first seen smashing windows just after midnight at a business in the 2700 block of North Pittsburgh. A neighbor saw him, called police and then chased after him. 

As police began tracking him with K-9s, just 15 minutes later that burglar -- Sean Denny -- showed up at a home in the 2000 block of East Dalton.

The homeowner, Sandy Mize, is no stranger to people stealing from her home. Her home was burglarized in 2010 and luckily for that individual she wasn't home at the time. She was home overnight Wednesday when Denny broke into her home.

Mize declined to do an interview, describing herself as shy, but this grandmother of 10 is definitely not timid or scared.

"I think it's great," neighbor Vicki Plastino said. "She's wonderful. More power to ya woman."

Plastino is proud to know Mize and said that what she did when Denny broke into her home sends a clear message.

"I just think it is great. Don't mess with us old folk," she said.

"Props to her," James Bryant said. "She had to do what she had to do, so, if they would have done something to my house, I would have done the same thing."

Bryant, his fiancé and son live next door to where this incident actually started just after midnight on North Pittsburgh.

"We hear this big k-sshhh and I looked out my window and I saw a guy at the corner of the building and I am like I am going to go check this out," he said.

Bryant did just that, then ran back home and had his fiancé call 9-1-1.

"[The] boyfriend of the witness went out and apparently chased the guy off, gave a pretty good description," Spokane Police Lieutenant Dean Sprague said.

A K-9 began tracking Denny but before police could find him he had broken into Mize's home.

"Lady called saying that somebody had forced their way into her house, she had grabbed a firearm that she kept for her own personal protection, fired one round, ended up hitting the wall and then she held him at gunpoint in her living while the police responded," Sprague said.

Denny made a last ditch effort to escape out the back door but was greeted by that K-9 team that was out looking for him.

"He is receiving treatment from a minor injury from that," Sprague said of Denny's run-in with the K-9.

Authorities said that Mize's actions couldn't have been more appropriate, and they recognized her efforts for a job well done by giving her a Spokane Junior Police Badge.

Denny is being held on a $25,000 bond.

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