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Crime & Justice

Costa Mesa homeowner pepper sprayed by burglar, shoots at him with his handgun

A pepper spray demonstration.
A pepper spray demonstration.

Tip to burglars: Don’t bring pepper spray to a gunfight.

A burglar in Costa Mesa learned this earlier in the week after blasting a homeowner in the face with his pepper spray canister. The homeowner, presumably blinded, nonetheless managed to retrieve his handgun and squeeze off a few rounds in the general direction of the intruder, Costa Mesa police said in a press release.

He missed, but the burglar fled for his life.

The incident took place around 2:40 a.m. Monday morning, police said, when “an unknown suspect pried open the front door to a home in the 2400 block of Elden Street.” The homeowner, awoken by the noise, discovered the intruder in his bedroom -- right before getting pepper sprayed. (Apparently burglars are known to do this.)

But he somehow managed to grab his gun -- perhaps he keeps it by the bed? -- and fired at the burglar.

“The suspect was last seen running eastbound down the driveway,” police said.

Nothing in the home was taken.

Police have no description of the burglar, probably because his intended victim had been blinded. Anyone with information on the case is asked to call Det. Rob Hanson of the Costa Mesa Police Department at (714) 754-5162.