Homeowner shoots suspected shingle thief

January 10, 2011 10:15:04 AM PST
Police have identified a robbery suspect shot by a homeowner overnight and construction is back underway at the home where shingles were stolen. It was a dramatic robbery that ended with a suspect, 23-year-old Arthur Amaya, being shot in the hip by homeowner Raul Rivera.

Rivera's son-in-law is helping to build the house and says Sunday night his father-in-law got a call from neighbors saying someone was stealing from the home, which is currently under construction.

Rivera arrived on the scene and confronted two men, firing shots at their truck, which police say was loaded with shingles. Rivera followed the truck, firing again, hitting Amaya in the hip.

Amaya was not seriously hurt. He was arrested and charged with misdemeanor theft. He was treated and released from Memorial Hermann Hospital. He is being held in the Harris County Jail.

A second suspect fled the scene.

The family of the homeowner says he was only trying to protect his property.

"What can I say? It was amazing how the cop got there so fast, within a couple of minutes," said Victor Gonzalez, Rivera's son-in-law. "The suspect was still in the car when the cop got there. He was just telling my dad-in-law, 'Don't shoot me, don't shoot me.' He's like, 'I'm not trying to shoot you. I'm trying to stop you to get my stuff back. I'm trying to recover my property. I'm not trying to kill you, you know, because I'm not trying to hurt nobody.' But the suspect didn't listen."

All the stolen property has been returned. The homeowner is not being charged. The DA declined to file charges against him.

Investigators are looking at the possibility this case may be linked to any other thefts from construction sites.