RAINIER, Ore. – Bob Fullerton has a surprise under his pillow for the next time someone tries to burglarize his home near Rainier, Oregon.
And after eight break-ins in about the last 10 months, he’s fairly confident the small semi-automatic rifle tucked in his bed will be put to use.
“If I pull up in my driveway and see people carrying stuff out of my house, I’m gettin’ out and shooting,” Fullerton told KATU News. “That’s all there is to it. I’m done.”
The last burglary took place on Christmas Eve. Thieves took a small safe containing an urn that held his wife’s ashes. Overall, he claims the burglars have taken over $50,000 worth of property from his home.
Rainier is located across the Columbia River from Longview, Washington. A bridge connects the communities. So far, no suspects have been arrested for the burglaries.
Fullerton said he’s had his gun collection stolen, along with cash, jewelry, car parts, tools, even scrap metal in his yard. He said he feels like a prisoner in his own home and is afraid to leave the property for very long lest the suspects strike again while he is away.
Fullerton hasn’t made breaking in easy. He’s installed deadbolts with thick metal door plates, secondary locks, an alarm system, metal grate window covers and more. All to no avail.
On Christmas Eve, thieves used a pry bar to force open a sliding door and took the safe holding his wife’s ashes – along with $10,000 worth of other possessions, Fullerton says. They even left the pry bar behind.
Fullerton says he has a good idea who the suspects are but he was not specific. He thinks meth addiction is behind the rash of burglaries that have hit his home and those of his neighbors.
He displayed at least four weapons he has at the ready for the next time someone tries to break in while he is at home.
“Everybody knows what happens if anybody around here catches you burglarizing,” Fullerton warned. “They disappear.”
Columbia County Sheriff’s Office Deputies said suspects have to be caught in the act or with stolen property to be considered as suspects in the burglaries. They ask that anyone with any tips contact them.