RESTON, Va. - A retired Fairfax County police officer found himself on the other side of a crime earlier this week after he nabbed a burglar in his own home. The detective credits his 28 years of law enforcement training in helping him take the teenage suspect to the ground and holding him until police arrived.
Retired detective Bruce Wiley believes that the 17-year-old suspect he caught red-handed rummaging through his belongings is the same suspect who had stolen from his Reston home just a few days earlier.
He said he first noticed something wrong at his house last Saturday morning when he woke up and realized money, electronics and bottles of liquor were missing. It was clear to him that someone had broken in overnight while he and his wife slept.
A few days later on Wednesday at 3 a.m., already on high alert and prepared, Wiley woke up to a strange noise.
“I almost talked myself out of getting up and checking on it, but because of what had happened, I said, ‘Well, I got to check on it,’” he said. “So I got a flashlight and a baton that I had set out and I stepped out in the hallway … I couldn't see anything but then I heard another movement – there is someone there. As I step around the corner, there is a person in my front closet, actually had put on one of my wife's jackets and was going through our stuff. I came around the corner and there he was. I gave commands, yelled at him, ‘Get down. Do it now.’
“As he moved around, he dropped his hands down and I just moved in and I took action, took him down to the ground and put him down. My wife called the police.”
Wiley said in his nearly three decades of being part of law enforcement, he has never been a victim of a crime like this – in his own home no less.
“Having been involved in investigating burglaries, it was always just a part of doing my daily job,” he said. “But to be on the other side of it now and feel from the victim’s side is just unnerving to know that someone was in my house and I never knew it. I thought I was always on point.”
Wiley said he currently runs his own private security company where he trains officers how to respond in a situation that requires the use of force.
The 17-year-old suspect from Reston was released into the custody of his parents and is being charged with burglary.