Edinburg PD: Robber slain at site of repeated break-ins
EDINBURG, Mar 12, 2013 (The Monitor - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
A restaurant owner fatally shot a man who police say appeared to have climbed through the roof of the establishment early Tuesday morning.
About 4 a.m. Tuesday, Gilbert Medina broke into the Pumpjack Mexican Restaurant, 711 W. Monte Cristo Road, said Lt. Oscar Trevino, an Edinburg police spokesman.
The restaurant had been broken into three times before in recent weeks, having cash and TV's stolen, Trevino said.
Since the thefts had previously taken place on weekends, police investigators had been preparing a surveillance operation for this coming weekend to catch burglars in the act, Trevino said.
In the previous cases, thieves had broken in through the roof, which appears to have been the entry route in Tuesday's botched theft, as well; a metal ladder was found on the back of the building.
Police refused to identify the restaurant owner, but Trevino said he spent the night inside the establishment in order to protect his business. When Medina broke in, the owner confronted Medina and fired at least three gunshots, Trevino said.
The owner told police that Medina had a sharp object in his hands during the confrontation, a claim that police were working to corroborate.
No criminal charges have been filed in the case and officers continue to investigate to see whether the gunfire was justified. Police will turn over the case to the Hidalgo County District Attorney for review, Trevino said.
Texas' so-called "castle law" was extended to a person's home to their workplace in 2007, allowing employees who reasonably believe they need to use deadly force against intruders who break into their establishment and may attack them.
One neighbor missed his serving of huevos rancheros at the Pumpjack -- a place walks across the road to visit every day.
"I was asleep when it happened," said Anatalio Pina, an 81-year-old retired carpenter. "I didn't hear anything."
Ildefonso Ortiz covers courts, law enforcement and general assignments for The Monitor. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, (956) 683-4437 or on Twitter, @ildefonsoortiz.
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