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Florida sheriff says homeowners should shoot burglars to ‘save taxpayers money’

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PACE, Fla. (WKRG) — A Florida man was arrested Wednesday after a burglary spree in Pace, Florida.

Brandon Harris, 32, is accused of breaking into multiple homes and backyards after authorities said he ran from Santa Rosa County deputies Wednesday afternoon.

Santa Rosa County Sheriff Bob Johnson said the man broke into at least four homes in the Santa Villa neighborhood off Highway 90. Harris had active warrants and did not want to be caught, authorities added. 

“He’s jumping fences and breaking into houses as he goes,” Johnson said. “We finally cornered him inside a home he broke into on Tom Sawyer (Road), and we corner him in a bedroom.”

In a video released by the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office, Harris can be seen barricading himself inside a bedroom.

Deputies busted into the bedroom as Harris jumped out of the window and continued running. He was later caught.

Deputies said he had active warrants for violation of probation, aggravated assault and more. Harris was charged with several counts of burglary and attempted larceny — with seven charges in total. 

Johnson said one homeowner shot at Harris during the burglary spree but missed. Johnson encouraged homeowners to use lethal force during break-ins to “save taxpayers money.” 

“We don’t know what homeowner — which homeowner — shot at him. I guess they think they did something wrong, which they did not,” Johnson said.

“If somebody’s breaking into your house, you’re more than welcome to shoot them in Santa Rosa County, and we prefer that you do actually. Whoever that was, you’re not in trouble. Come see us. We have a gun safety class we put on every other Saturday. If you take that, you’ll shoot a lot better, and hopefully, you’ll save taxpayers money.” 

Harris was held in the Santa Rosa County jail without bond on his active warrants. His bond on the new charges is set at more than $150,000.

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