It was a calm and quiet Monday afternoon in a neighborhood on the Northwest side of Meridian, when almost instantly it turned to chaotic. Captain Dean Harper with the Meridian Police says that 22 year old Michael Peden was attempting to break into a parked car when a neighbor noticed and called the vehicle's owner.
"He went out to check on his car and he found the individual breaking into his car. He confronted him, the suspect in the car pulled a gun on the homeowner and pointed it at him, they scuffled over the gun"
It was after that scuffle that Peden took off running, but the vehicle's owner wasn't going to let him get away and chased him, eventually catching and holding him, explaining his swollen eye in his mug shot, until Meridian Police arrived. Harper says that they've had a steady case load of auto burglaries, but the recent cooperation between citizens and police has led to more arrests.
"It's just that we have been more successful in catching them, the citizens have been more successful in catching them, and it's just working out good both ways."
It's of course your choice to take matters into your own hands when you see someone committing a crime on or to your property, but Captain Harper does not recommend taking evasive measures because you could wind up getting hurt.
"We cannot advocate people getting that involved and chasing down a suspect, but at the same time, people also realize that the police aren't always right around the corner. We can't be there as soon as you hang up from calling 911. In the spur of the moment, sometimes people will take matters into their own hands."
Peden remains in the Lauderdale County Detention Facility on $250,000 bond.