GULFPORT POLICE DEPARTMENT
MEDIA NEWS RELEASE
                                                                 
Lt. Robert Vincent
Public Information Officer
727-893-1030

03/26/2007

Residents Help Catch Burglar

Gulfport—Saturday morning, Danny Omelia (25, of South Pasadena) tried to break into a house on 10th Avenue in northwest Gulfport.  The resident was home at the time, and when he saw Omelia trying to come in the bathroom window, he confronted Omelia, who ran away down the alley.

An alert neighbor saw Omelia acting suspiciously, and he took it upon himself to intervene.  Craig Edwards, 37, a broker for Buccaneer Mortgage, followed on his bicycle as the burglar fled through the neighborhood.  Edwards caught Omelia and was able to detain him until police arrived.

When Omelia was taken into custody, police found that he had marijuana and cocaine in his possession.  He also had property that may have been taken in other burglaries; police are investigating that possibility. 

The victim and the suspect in this case do not know eachother, and the circumstances suggest that Omelia was simply looking for an opportunity rather than targeting a specific location.

Although the victim and the officers are very appreciative of Mr. Edwards’ assistance, police want to emphasize the danger involved.  A burglar could be armed and have more serious intentions than just taking property.  A safer approach for a witness would be to follow at a distance and call 911 from a cell phone.