Intruders cower before resident with fire poker

MEDFORD, Ore. — By Steve Johnson’s account, it was a sight that struck terror in the hearts of the two young would-be burglars.

When the 50-year-old Medford, Ore., man rounded a corner in his house clad only in his skivvies and armed with a fireplace tool cocked like a baseball bat, he says the two put their hands up to protect their faces and begged him to let them go.

In hindsight, he tells the Medford Mail Tribune it wasn’t one of his most intelligent decisions, especially if the intruders had been armed early Monday. But in his words, “at that moment, I think they were more afraid of the crazy man in his underwear with a fire poker.”

Johnson says he stepped back and let them flee. His wife called authorities.

Investigators say the two are suspected in a nearby garage burglary and a car theft.

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