Early last week, pharmacist Steve Kirkland was working late into the night when he heard loud noises coming from the front of his drug store in St. George, Utah.
“I took my headphones out and could hear something moving around. I thought, ‘Is there somebody in here?’” Kirkland told local news affiliate ABC4. “Then I heard another crack and realized someone was trying to get in the door.”
Kirkland did what any reasonable law-abiding gun owner would do, retrieve his pistol and call 911. He then went to investigate the situation.
What he found was three men bearing crowbars breaking through the front door. They got as far as the safe before he confronted them.
“I was pointing this gun at this dude’s head, and I’m on this 911 call. I’m thinking, ‘How do you guys not see me? Every light in this place is on,’” Kirkland said.
Yelling loudly scared the three men off, explained Kirkland. Thankfully, for the perps’ sake, there was no need to discharge his sidearm.
By cautiously following them out the door as they fled the scene, Kirkland was able to give police a description of the men along with the vehicle’s make and model. A fourth individual was behind the wheel, according to police.
St. George police officer Tiffany Atkin contacted other departments in the area to alert them of the incident.
“We also sent officers to other pharmacies in the area because if they’re going to hit one, chances are they’re gonna hit multiple,” Atkin said. “It has happened before with people coming from out of state, so we’re prepared and we’re serious about protecting our businesses and our citizens.”
The four suspects were apprehended by authorities around 6:30 a.m. and booked at the Purgatory Correctional Facility.
All were California residents, three from Anaheim and one from Compton, and each is now being charged with a third-degree felony for burglary and criminal mischief and a misdemeanor for possession of burglary tools.
One of the men is also facing a misdemeanor drug charge and another had a warrant for his arrest in another state.
“We have a business owner who obviously carries and is responsible with that and now safe,” Atkin said. “Our suspects are in custody safely and our officers all went home safe, so overall it was a good day.”