Man holds burglar at gunpoint in bathrobe

by Kyle Odegard, Albany Democrat-Herald  |  published on March 28, 2013

Justin Dean Russell

An Lacomb-area resident armed with a shotgun caught a burglar in his shop early Friday morning and held the suspect at gunpoint until deputies arrived.

Jim Brazel, 82, said the culprit, who was hiding behind a tractor, came within a half-second of dying.

“This man doesn’t realize how lucky he is to be alive today,” Brazel said. “My finger was half-pressed against the trigger. That close.”

Justin Dean Russell, 36, of Albany, was arrested on a charge of second-degree burglary. His initial bail was set at $6,000, and he was scheduled for a court appearance on Monday.

Brazel said his wife Miriam woke him up in the middle of the night. She heard something out in the shop of their Green Mountain Drive residence.

Since more than $1,000 in equipment was taken from the shop in a burglary just three weeks prior, Brazel wasn’t fooling around.

He put on a robe, grabbed his shotgun and headed outside with his wife.

Inside the shop, Brazel had a tractor’s front end hoisted up. It was rocking back and forth, and he knew something was wrong.

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