Cops: Gun owners bust thief

Two brothers each armed with .45-caliber guns busted a thief who had broken into one of their vehicles early yesterday morning and held him at gunpoint until police arrived, said Upper Darby Superintendent Michael Chitwood.

Police identified the thief, whose neck tattoos illustrate his affinity for the Rolling Stones and Philly's LOVE statue, as Ernest Lawton, 24, of Briarcliff Road near Radbourne.

Ernest Lawton

Around 2:30 a.m., a man who lives on Briarcliff Road and has his car alarm synchronized with an alarm on his keychain, was awoken when the remote device went off, police said. He looked outside his window and saw someone breaking into his 2009 GMC Yukon.

That's when the man went to stir his brother, who was staying the night at his house. Both men grabbed their .45s, "armed for war" and went outside to confront Lawton, Chitwood said.

"They tell him to freeze, get him out of the car, seat him on the curb and call 911," Chitwood said. "Police arrived and locked him up."

Chitwood said both brothers had a license to carry a concealed weapon.

"Thank God he didn't try and resist and thank God they didn't shoot him because they would have blown him up with .45s," Chitwood said. "I'm going to hire these two guys!"

Chitwood did not identify the men beyond their ages, which are 29 and 34, but he was impressed that they kept Lawton, the Rolling Stones fan, under their thumbs until police arrived.