INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) – Burglars surprised two church ladies living just blocks away from each other over the weekend.
It happened near Garfield Park on Indy’s southeast side.
One of those women gave Eyewitness News a play-by-play about what went down after finding a man in her house.
The woman grabbed her gun, called 911 and waited for police. That made it a long night for the victim.
Judith Wurz said, “I didn’t sleep a lot last night.”
Wurz is just a few months away from her 74th birthday. She has never had a surprise like this past weekend.
When she headed to her enclosed front porch for the newspaper before going to church, she found someone who was not supposed to be in her house.
The suspect had somehow gotten into her locked porch. She heard noise but decided to investigate. So the intruders actions didn’t come to light until she went to get the paper as usual.
“Fortunately I didn’t open the door to see I flipped on the light and when I did that I saw somebody sitting in the chair,” said Wurz.
The burglar had already damaged her solar address outside.
Inside, the 73-year-old found her sentimental thermostat damaged too.
It belonged to her mother who passed away years ago. The thermostat was a replacement and almost an exact replica of the one Judith had growing up. She found the replacement in Michigan years ago and gave it to her mother for old time sakes.
So after spotting her intruder Judith did what she had to in order to protect herself and her home.
Her Shelby Street house is where she grew up with six siblings and the same house her father grew up in too.
Judith told Eyewitness News, “I went back and got my gun and called 911. When I flipped on the light he did not flinch or anything.”
IMPD officers arrived to her home in the 2600 block of Shelby. They arrested 40-year-old James Estep for residential entry and criminal mischief.
Based on Estep’s behavior Wurz suspects he may have been intoxicated or on some type of narcotic drug.
Later the same day, a 72-year-old woman called 911 on Napoleon Street.
After church she found a woman, who had physically assaulted her, burglarizing her home.
The victim believes the woman who fled got away in a car parked in front of her home which she didn’t recognize. She does recall that the car had a man in the driver’s seat.
As far as Judith is concerned, she suspects her attacker may be part of the large crowd of people who sometimes hang out nearby at Garfield Park.
“This area isn’t like it used to be. It has been bad for quite some time. There are a lot of homeless people around here. Some of them may be nice,” said Wurz, “If not for sentimental reasons I would have been gone.”
Since the burglar damaged the locks on her front doors, Wurz called on Southside Lock Service to make her home safe and secure again. Still she’s warning other seniors about protecting themselves.
“I would say keep a gun handy. I am a believer,” said Wurz. “I would really hate to use it.”
Since both of the attacks happened in the Garfield Park area, both victims hope to get the word out to neighbors to be on the lookout for suspicious cars and people.