PA man holds burglar at bay; Suspect is person of interest in other crimes

Published 10:09 am Monday, August 7, 2017

Officers are hailing a Port Arthur man who held a burglar at bay until police arrived as a hero.

The burglar, police said, is linked to other burglaries in the city.

Allen Turner had just driven onto his street about 10:30 p.m. Thursday night when he saw a strange vehicle parked in his driveway and his front door open. He cut the ignition off and let his truck coast into the driveway before hopping out and racing inside.

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He ran to his bedroom where the door was open and found a man sorting through his belongings.

“He kept saying ‘I’m sorry man. I’m sorry man,’” Turner, a U.S. Army veteran who served in Vietnam and was a part of a military police battalion, said. “He had already gone through my stuff. Had my guns (rifle’s) on the bed, ammo on the bed. Went through my change container.”

The suspect then grabbed one of Turner’s rifles that was on the bed and pointed it at Turner. The two men exchanged words then the suspect pushed Turner backwards towards the foot of his bed.

“I knew it wasn’t loaded,” he said. “He pushed me back and ran out. I grabbed my .22 pistol and chased him outside.”

Allen Turner, left, talks with Port Arthur Police Officer Mike Hebert about the Thursday night burglary of his home on Friday. Turner left his rifles and other items just as the burglar had left them.
Mary Meaux/The News

The suspect, later identified as Javier Solis, 28, of Port Arthur, got into the car he had parked in Turner’s driveway as Turner pointed his own pistol at the suspect and demanded him to get out, walk to the back of the car and get on his knees.

“I told him the best thing he could do is to get out of that car,” he said. “I put my revolver in my left hand and reached for my cell with my other hand to call 911.”

The front door to Allen Turners Port Arthur home was damaged when a burglar used a long screwdriver to pry the door open on Thursday night.
Mary Meaux/The News

Port Arthur Police Officer Mike Hebert said Solis is a suspect in home burglary in another area of town and that he was going to feature that particular incident on Crime Stoppers.

A video of the July 25 home burglary that occurred in broad daylight showed the suspect walking out of the home with large, flat screen TV’s.

“There is no doubt he (Solis) is responsible for other burglaries,” Hebert said.

The area has seen a crime spree in burglaries over the past three to four weeks.

Police believe Solis has been committing burglaries in the Pear Ridge and Griffing Park areas of town as well as in other areas.

A similar burglary occurred in Griffing Park in the home of a woman in her 90s on June 29. Video surveillance showed men, identified as James Holloway Jr. and Imanol Ramirez, armed and burglarizing the house. The homeowner was not there at the time.

Hebert said there are active warrants for Holloway and Ramirez who are believed to have left town.

Then, two weeks later on July 26, the woman’s house was hit again. The suspect, identified as Ariel Gomez, was caught on video and has been arrested.

Hebert said the department has been contacted by Lake Charles police troopers in reference to Gomez possibly being involved in burglaries there.

“Solis is very, very lucky to be alive. When you break into someone’s home at 10:30 at night, that’s gutsy,” he said.

Javier Solis

Solis, as well as the other recent burglary suspects, all have one thing in common — a criminal record.

“It’s the revolving door of the justice system,” he said. “They are all repeat offenders.”

Turner realizes that Thursday night’s scene could have turned out much differently if there had been more than one burglar in the home when he rushed in. This thought came to him in the wee hours of the morning after the adrenaline rush wore off, he said.

Anyone with information about the whereabouts of Holloway or Ramirez is asked to call the Port Arthur Police Department at 983-8600 or Crime Stoppers of Southeast Texas at 833-TIPS.