Prowler Held Without Bail After Tunneling Into Man's Backyard


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Props to the home owner!

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TAMPA - Robert Cash Jr. said he felt like somebody was targeting his Palma Ceia home.

About two weeks ago, he found a claw hammer covered with a rag in a backyard flower bed. Last week, he saw the gate to his wooden privacy fence in the 4100 block of West San Luis Street had been opened. He secured it with a new lock.

"It was obvious something was about to happen," recalled Cash, 40. "You don't know what to think."

About 2:50 a.m. Saturday, everything gelled. Tampa police said Cash surprised a man who had tunneled under a neighbor's fence carrying a blowtorch and shimmied onto Cash's property.

Cash said he greeted the intruder with a .357 Magnum after being awakened by the family dog, a 4-year-old male Chihuahua named Odie.

"You just don't take chances," Cash said. "This guy was hell-bent on breaking into my house."

Cash's wife called 911 while Cash kept the man at bay. Cash said he fired once at the man after he did not obey Cash's commands to stay still; the bullet went into the fence.

"He said, 'Oh, I'm just trying to cut through,'" Cash said. "I fired a little to the left of him."

Police identified the prowler as Mark Edward Mazur, 56, of Tampa. He is charged with felony burglary, felony possession of burglary tools, misdemeanor assault and violating his probation. He was held without bail today at Orient Road Jail.

Public records show Mazur lives at 4110 W. El Prado Blvd., roughly five blocks from the Cash family.

Cash, a telecommunications consultant, said he has a burglar alarm but had deactivated it that night to avoid a false alarm during inclement weather. Fortunately, "the Odie alarm was on," he said.

The six-pound dog was a birthday gift years ago for his 8-year-old daughter, Elliot. She and her sister, Avary, 6, have rewarded the dog with treats for awakening their dad, Cash said.

Reporter Valerie Kalfrin can be reached at (813) 259-7800 or [email protected].

This is one of those defensive uses of a firearm that did not result in anyone dying, but which will not make it into the defensive use statistics (or lack thereof) of antis, who only cite the relatively low number of justifiable homicides as reasons to put restrictions on the carrying of concealed weapons.

Nevertheless, bravo to the homeowner. Good guys 1, criminals 0.
Very strange that an intruder would work this hard to get into a specific house. There must have been something he particularly wanted in that house. As a side note I would be surprised if a 357 went into the fence, unless it was awfully thick wood. Glad no one was on the other side. I am also glad the homeowner stopped the intruder.
"Cash said he greeted the intruder with a .357 Magnum after being awakened by the family dog"

why it pays to have a dog.. and pays to have a firearm ready to "greet" people who deserve it.

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