Surveillance system helps catch burglar who fell through ceiling

Posted at 3:19 PM, Nov 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-21 19:49:33-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Burglary may seem like an ordinary crime, but it is how the suspect was caught that has police and the homeowner scratching their heads.

On Wednesday, police say 27-year-old Justin Mangrum broke into a home on Took Road in Antioch at around 3 p.m. but was caught after he fell through the kitchen ceiling. The homeowner, who wanted to remain unidentified citing safety reasons, said he was alerted by his home surveillance system that someone was at the door. Cameras captured the suspect driving up to the front door and eventually around the house and alerted him.

"I was able to detect motion 20 feet from the house before he pulled up," the homeowner told NewsChannel 5. "He basically kicked the door in and that's when my camera went offline."

Since he was able to witness someone breaking in, the homeowner called police who arrived a few minutes later. During that time, Mangrum allegedly collected the electronics from the house including laptops and monitors. Officers surrounded the home as they reportedly yelled for Mangrum to get out.

However, Mangrum allegedly crawled into the air vent and slipped through the air duct to hide from police.

"Obviously he was nervous and tried to avoid police and thought that they won't look in the air vent," the homeowner said. "The air duct came off the wall and landed on top of the attic ceiling and penetrated through that ceiling."

The suspect fell on the kitchen floor where he had to be taken away in a stretcher after police were able to get in. He was treated for his injuries and was charged with aggravated burglary and vandalism charges.

The homeowner said this is a good example why it is imperative to have a good surveillance system. He plans to work from home where he knows he will always be prepared.

"My gun will be by my side and if I have to defend myself and my family, I will do it but rather would not get into that situation. This guy was lucky because I wasn't home," he said.

Heather Brown, the passenger in the car when Mangrum pulled up, was also charged with Aggravated Burglary in Concert.