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Armed homeowner detains suspect
Prowler charged with entering autos
Shawn Smith

An entering auto suspect is behind bars thanks to an alert and armed homeowner.

At approximately 10 p.m. Monday, Effingham County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the 100 block of Reed Street in Meldrim on a report of a resident who had a prowler detained.

Deputies were on scene within minutes and determined that the suspect, Shawn Smith, 21, of Bloomingdale, broke into at least two vehicles in the area. According to the homeowner, he heard someone in his front yard.

The homeowner then told deputies he took his firearm outside to investigate. The homeowner located Smith inside his vehicle on his property.

ECSO deputies arrested Smith, who has been charged with two counts of entering an automobile, loitering and prowling, and criminal trespass. He was taken to the Effingham County Jail.

Sheriff’s office spokesman Detective David Ehsanipoor said deputies usually frown on taking such matters into one’s own hands.

“Ordinarily, we don’t condone a homeowner confronting a suspect,” he said. “We don’t encourage it. But he did what he thought he had to do.”