Fredericksburg burglary-in-progress stopped by neighbors

FREDERICKSBURG, Va. (WJLA) – Wilma and Bob Jarrett love spreading neighborly love.

"This is a neighborhood, we try to keep a lookout for each other," they said.

And when they spot something suspicious, like a possible burglary-in-progress, they stop it.

"It was unbelievable, really, that he just walked over there in the broad daylight," said Wilma.

You could say that this mailbox is to thank for putting this would-be Grinch behind bars. The Jarretts were looking out their window to see if their mailbox flag was down, when something across the street caught their eye.

“I saw a person just in the process of entering the window of my neighbor's garage," described Bob. "It took him hardly any time to get in. He just raised the window."

Wilma quickly dialed the homeowner to see if she was inside, and when she didn’t pick up, she called another neighbor for help. And while they were talking, the owner drove back up to the house.

"Of course my husband ran up and stopped her from going in the house," Wilma explained.

Within minutes of eying trouble and dialing 911, police swarmed the home on Horseshoe Circle, and a K-9 sniffed out the suspect, who was allegedly hiding out in the basement.

Franklin Hess, age 20, is now in Rappahannock Regional Jail. He is accused of breaking and entering along with grand larceny.

Though the Jarretts feel sorry he’s spending the holidays locked up, they are glad that their quick check for the mailman saved Christmas for their neighbors across the street.