Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Ghost Burglar Bernard Welch Caught Off Guard

It was late fall of 1970 and Bernard Welch was still burglarizing houses in the Rochester, N.Y. area.  He broke into a large, turn-of-the-century home with stained glass panels, beveled glass mirrors and mahogany stained built-ins and wide trim and baseboards.  Welch moved quietly through the darkened home from his entry point in the kitchen toward the darkened living room.  Thinking he heard a car outside, he turned off his penlight and slipped it into his pocket.  Silently crossing the wooden floor, he heard a creaking sound from behind, like someone had followed him in from the kitchen. 

As he turned around to look toward the noise, the headlights of an approaching car washed across the room, shining into his eyes.  Always alert, his right hand was already drawing the .380 automatic pistol (the type issued to James Bond in the new movie Skyfall).  He turned and glimpsed a figure headed toward him, a man in dark clothing who appeared to be about Welch's size.  Crouched and armed and without uttering a word, Welch fired twice, plugging two rounds into the upper torso of the man sneaking up on him.  The gunfire seemed to have no effect, and Welch's ears were ringing as the car headlights turned away.  Welch realized the other guy had been silhouetted by the lights just like he was. 

Only then did Welch notice the coat closet door with its full length mirror punctured by two chest-high bullet holes in the now cracked glass.  Welch had shot at his own reflection.  Realizing that the noise from the shots could attract attention, he decided to cut this burglary short and quietly eased out the kitchen door and headed back to his car.

It didn't take long for the investigating officers to figure out what had transpired in front of that mirror.  The police report stated they informed the home owner he was lucky to be out when while an obviously aggressive and dangerous burglar was traipsing through his home.  
                                                                                                               
                                                                                                 ― Jack Burch

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