A Muncie mother is being dubbed a hero by her neighbors, for holding off a burglar who was stealing from the entire area.
“I heard a crashing sound, it startled me,” said Muncie resident Rhonda Coleman.
Coleman woke up to someone, in her house, trying to steal whatever he could grab. Thomas Miller was hiding behind the family Christmas tree.
“I can not see him, I am trying to make out details, but I can not make out details because he is hiding behind my tree,” said Coleman. “That is when he says, ‘yeah it is me, Josh.’ I knew then that this is not my son.”
Coleman was hoping to get her phone and call for help, but Thomas Miller had taken it. Rhonda’s instinct took over. She hurried behind a curtain to grab her shotgun, but in the moment, she grabbed the wrong weapon.
“I have a shotgun, and I have a bb gun,” said Coleman. “But when I reached back to get the gun, I pulled out the bb gun, so I am looking at the gun and he is standing by the tree watching me.”
Even though the bb gun was not her first choice, it fooled Miller.
“He jumped back and says, ‘you have got a gun.’ I said, ‘yeah, I have got a gun,” said Coleman.
After that Miller made a run for it, but he did not get very far. Since Rhonda could not use her phone to call the cops, she kept the gun on Miller and led him outside and across the yard to her next door neighbor’s house, who just happened to be her son’s.
“At that point I was just screaming for help, hoping anybody could hear me,” said Coleman.
Coleman used her son’s phone to call police.
“They search him and find more of our belongings on his person,” said Coleman.
Thomas Miller had taken Rhonda’s phone, and an Ipod. Miller went through the Coleman’s Christmas cards looking for money. He even started to rip the wrapping off un-opened Christmas presents.
“He is behind bars and I am so happy about that,” said Coleman.
Rhonda Coleman was not sure why she went after someone trying to take from her, but as glad as she is Miller has been locked up, she is not sure she would do it again.
“I just do not think you can plan for those things,” said Coleman. “Clearly what I thought would happen, did not happen. I hope I never have to do it again.”
Several of the people who live on Mulberry Street say someone has been stealing from them. Items have been taken out of cars and other homes. It may have been Miller, and he might have been still at work in this neighborhood, if not for the actions of Rhonda Coleman.
Instead, he is in the Delaware County Jail.