Neighbor pulls gun on 2 burglars in Concord

Two burglars in Concord got more than they bargained for, when a neighbor pulled a gun on them, and police pounced a minute later. 

"It was a loud bang and smash, so I came outside to see what was going on," said next-door neighbor Eric Billings, who saw an unfamiliar car and quickly snapped a picture of the Honda.

He called 911 and grabbed the .357 revolver he keeps for home protection. 

When the men returned to their car, they found Billings, armed and demanding they stop. 

"Oh dear, I was standing eight feet away, pointing a gun at the guy and he still drove away," said Billings. 

He described the driver as a young man, and his passenger older, their arms full of his next-door neighbor's stolen items. 

While training the gun on the men, Billings stayed on the phone with police dispatch, asking for guidance. 

His revolver was loaded but it was his intention to persuade, not fire. 

"I just thought that would be enough to get him out of the car and stay and wait for the police but he didn't," said Billings. 

What no one knew at that moment, was that detectives were around the corner, tailing the suspects, and close enough to hear Billings shouts.  

They closed in quickly on the fleeing pair. 

With a shattered door panel to replace but everyone safe, residents were happily surprised at the outcome. 

Allyson Silverberg was especially pleased, as she was the victim of the burlgary. 

"They went straight for the bedroom, after jewelry and money," Silverberg said. "They were only in my house a few minutes, four minutes I was told."

That was long enough to snatch her purse off the kitchen table, then grab her jewelry boxes off a closet shelf. 

Silverberg was out walking her dog when the men broke in, just before noon Wednesday.  

"It sound like a shotgun or something, it was so loud," said neighbor Sania Kayoumi, who lives across the street.  

What residents of the cul-de-sac heard was actually a large cinder-block crashing through Silverberg's glass front door, at the top of a long walkway.  

"I always thought who would want to come way up here, you have to walk up all the stairs," said Silverberg. 

She has no idea why her home was targeted, but is relieved she had stepped out.  

"I was told they rob houses where nobody is home but how do they know when somebody's home?, it's kind of scary," said SIlverberg. 

She says officers on the scene told her the pair was under surveillance, and suspected in 15-20 similar burglaries, in which doors were kicked in or shattered. 

"I saw all my jewelry and everything else in their car, " said Silverberg, relieved that her valuables were recovered. 

Concord and Walnut Creek police confirmed other homes were also hit Wednesday, but deferred questions to the Contra Costa Sheriff's Department , which had the men under surveillance and made the arrests. 

The Sheriff's Office did not respond to KTVU inquiries. 

On the close-knit court where it happened, Silverberg calls her gun-toting neighbor a "badass." 

For his part, Billings said this was certainly not an everyday occurance. 

"I've never pulled my gun out before," said Billings, "God no, never pointed a gun at anybody, that was a first!"