Neighbor follows alleged burglar for nearly 30 miles
BENTON, LA (KSLA) - How far would you go to help a neighbor?
A Benton man is giving his neighbor a big thank you after he helped authorities catch an alleged burglar.
Monday started as a normal day for Jimmie Phillips.
But just after he left for work, someone kicked in the back door and stole guns from his home on Louisiana Highway 162.
"When somebody break in your house, it's like you have been violated," Phillips said.
Luckily, neighbor Larry Bell noticed a suspicious car and man and started to watch.
The man ducked behind his car when Bell's niece came by to drop off her kids.
"After he ducked down behind the car, I knew it was on," Bell said, explaining how he then jumped into his truck.
"He turned off on (LA) 157. I got behind him and I just chased him."
Bell said they hit speeds of about 114 mph.
"My old Dodge truck started just shaking."
But Bell was undaunted.
"I knew I had to go ahead and run through it. So I ran through it up to 117 mph. And she laid down and done the job for me."
Phillips remembers then getting a call from Bell.
"When I received the call, he said, 'Somebody just broke in your house. But don't worry about it. I'm on them and I'm not gonna let them get away and I'm calling the police'."
Bell followed the alleged burglar for nearly 30 miles - all the way to the Webster Parish town of Cotton Valley.
He kept Bossier Parish dispatchers apprised of where he was the whole time.
Bossier sheriff's deputies later arrested 53-year-old Edgar Charles Brooks, of Springhill, on one count each of aggravated burglary and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
He also stands accused of violating his parole.
And deputies reportedly recovered several guns from the car.
As for Phillips, he says his neighbor's actions went above and beyond.
"For a neighbor to put himself in harm's way to try to protect something that belongs to somebody else, it's not just a friend or neighbor anymore, it's definitely a hero."
Bell explained: "I take real highly of my neighbor, not just him. If there is anything I can do, I always do."
Now Brooks remains in Bossier Maximum-Security Facility at Plain Dealing. His bond has been set at $65,000.
And Bell has a warning.
"If you come here looking for trouble, you're gonna find it. We are not gonna run from it."
Bossier Parish authorities say they tell people all the time to look out for each other and be vigilant.
They don't recommend that you approach a suspicious person.
But, in this case, it was noted that Bell stayed a safe distance behind the car he was following.
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