80-year-old rancher shoots out tires on intruder’s getaway vehicle

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LAMAR COUNTY, Texas (KXII) - A Lamar County man came home to two burglars inside his home Tuesday.

80-year-old Eldon Foster is a rancher. He's also a veteran and an avid hunter. So when he got a call from a neighbor that some strangers had broken into his Ragtown home off FM 197 Tuesday morning, he knew just what to do.

"I just try to take care of business until the sheriff gets here," said Foster.

He and his son locked and loaded, and chased Jesse Keene, 24, and Samantha Varner, 25, out of his home.

"I had a shotgun, and my son had a pistol," said Foster. "We tried to stop them and they wouldn't, so we popped their back tires."

The intruders drove about a half mile down the road and abandoned their car not far from Foster's home.

Foster and his son followed the suspects until they got out, ran into the woods, prompting an all-day manhunt.

"There was an extensive search of the area. Deputies, detectives. . . they looked throughout the area," said Lamar County Sheriff Scott Cass.

Deputies say they found Keene and Varner inside another home late Tuesday night, where they had showered, fallen asleep, and set aside hunting equipment they found in the house that they were planning to steal.

Foster, not surprised, says they did the same thing at his home, except they stole canned goods and sodas, and few other small items.

"This must have been during the rain at night, and then they spent the night here, and stayed in the bed, and ate the food, and took a shower and bathed," Foster told News 12.

Foster joked the burglars treated his home as a free bed and breakfast.

"I didn't get their credit card, and I didn't get a ticket, so I guess, maybe I'll collect later," Foster said jokingly.

Keene and Varner were arrested on warrants charging them with Burglary of a Residence. Investigators say they were able to identify them before their arrest based on evidence left in the car they abandoned before fleeing into the woods.

They remain in the Lamar County jail on $50,000 bonds each.