Couple: Burglar cried, called mom, then gave up after cops came - Boston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25 | MyFoxBoston

Detroit couple: Burglar cried, called mom, then gave up after cops came

Posted: Updated:

By Amy Lange
Fox 2 News


DETROIT (WJBK) -- An elderly couple was ambushed and held captive in their own home.  The suspect had a short standoff with Detroit Police.  They described for us a terrifying incident.

Mary Johnson Lawrence is a spry 87 years old married to her 85-year-old husband Charlie for 20 years.

Wednesday night, she honked her horn as she pulled into her driveway on Mendota as she always does to let Charlie know she's home from church.  He greeted her at the door as he always does, but she wasn't alone.

"I opened the door for her and she came in and he was right behind her," said Charlie Lawrence.  "(He) said, 'Get on the floor.  Get on the floor.'  (He) made her get on the floor."

The man wore a mask, said someone had sent him from the east side, waved a .357 Magnum in the air and asked their names.  They told him.  He led them down the stairs and wanted their ATM cards, but they don't have any.

Leaving Charlie in the basement, the gunman forced Mary up the stairs into her room where he wanted her jewelry.

"He took my pillowcase off the pillow and put the jewelry in there, and he asked me, 'Do you have any more?'  I said no," Mary Lawrence explained.

He dumped all the dresser drawers out just to make sure.  Back downstairs, he realized police were outside.  Turns out the neighbor across the street had been taking out his trash, saw the gunman run up on Mary and called 911.  Police knocked on the door.

"He said, 'Don't say anything, don't say anything and just keep your head down,'"  said Mary Lawrence.  "He said, 'Go tell them everything's all right in here.'  He said, 'Know that I'm here and I'll shoot you.'"

"'I'll shoot you in the head,' he said."

So she went to the door, said she was okay, but shook her head.  She wasn't.

The gunman went upstairs, removed the air conditioner, said he was going out the window, but saw the police were everywhere.  That's when the gunman realized he was done, removed his mask, helped Charlie up the basement stairs and then the gunman called his mother.

"(Mary) was on the phone with his mother," said Charlie Lawrence.

"She wanted to talk to me, said what could I do for her son," his wife explained.

"He started crying," her husband added.

He cried and cried, told Mary he was going away for life and asked for her forgiveness.

"We were sitting there talking and he said, 'I'm so sorry.  Can you forgive me?'  And that's when I told him, I said, 'As a Christian, I have to forgive you.  But, you know, it's a terrible thing you're doing.'"

Mary told him to turn himself in, which eventually he did.  After close to three hours she and Charlie were free.  Mary's blood pressure was through the roof, but they were okay thanks to an alert neighbor, who doesn't want accolades.  He just did the right thing.

"When you see something happen you call because just one telephone call doesn't hurt anyone," said Mary Lawrence.  "It saved our lives."

Police found the gun hidden under the skirt of a doll in Mary's dining room.

  • Amy LangeMore from Amy LangeMore>>

  • Former SMART employee's lawsuit battle drags on after 10 years

    Former SMART employee's lawsuit battle drags on after 10 years

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 11:49 PM EDT2014-08-28 03:49:24 GMT
    The case was originally about workplace discrimination. Now it's dragged on for more than a decade despite the case appearing to be one that the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation can't win.
    The case was originally about workplace discrimination. Now it's dragged on for more than a decade despite the case appearing to be one that the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation can't win.
  • Family's home hit hard by storms for second time

    Family's home hit hard by storms for second time

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 8:51 PM EDT2014-08-28 00:51:07 GMT
    For Ericka Page, first came the flood, then the gas line break and Tuesday, the massive tree limb that broke off with part of it landing on her house.
    For Ericka Page, first came the flood, then the gas line break and Tuesday, the massive tree limb that broke off with part of it landing on her house.
  • Police investigate connection of Southfield suicide and Detroit homicide

    Police investigate connection of Southfield suicide and Detroit homicide

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 6:26 PM EDT2014-08-27 22:26:24 GMT
    Police have identified a man's body with a gunshot wound to the chest found under an overpass at 9 Mile and Southfield Tuesday afternoon.At about the time Michael Young, 56, was found, Detroit Police were called to his home - on Westmoreland for a welfare check."The Woman had not been seen since Saturday," said Detroit Police Officer Adam Madera. "We received a 911 call for the well being check and Southfield Police Department showed up all at the same time."Inside police found the body of 56...
    Police have identified a man's body with a gunshot wound to the chest found under an overpass at 9 Mile and Southfield Tuesday afternoon.At about the time Michael Young, 56, was found, Detroit Police were called to his home - on Westmoreland for a welfare check."The Woman had not been seen since Saturday," said Detroit Police Officer Adam Madera. "We received a 911 call for the well being check and Southfield Police Department showed up all at the same time."Inside police found the body of 56...
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Livonia man identified from deadly I-275 car, semi truck crash

    Livonia man identified from deadly I-275 car, semi truck crash

    Friday, August 29 2014 4:49 PM EDT2014-08-29 20:49:34 GMT
    The driver on the wrong side of the highway on I-275 who slammed into a semi truck in Monroe County Wednesday night has been identified.
    The driver on the wrong side of the highway on I-275 who slammed into a semi truck in Monroe County Wednesday night has been identified.
  • All you need to know: Arts, Beats and Eats 2014

    All you need to know: Arts, Beats and Eats 2014

    Friday, August 29 2014 10:44 AM EDT2014-08-29 14:44:11 GMT
    Celebrating its 17th year and returning to the bustling streets of Royal Oak from Aug. 29 - Sept. 1, Ford Arts, Beats Eats presented by FirstMerit Bank will entertain thousands of visitors from across the region with its outstanding music line-up, stellar arts programming, mouthwatering selection of food, and a number of new attractions this Labor Day weekend.
    Celebrating its 17th year and returning to the bustling streets of Royal Oak from Aug. 29 - Sept. 1, Ford Arts, Beats Eats presented by FirstMerit Bank will entertain thousands of visitors from across the region with its outstanding music line-up, stellar arts programming, mouthwatering selection of food, and a number of new attractions this Labor Day weekend.
  • All You Need to Know: Fifth Third Bank Michigan State Fair

    All You Need to Know: Fifth Third Bank Michigan State Fair

    Friday, August 29 2014 9:56 AM EDT2014-08-29 13:56:12 GMT
    The Michigan State Fair is kicking off in Novi with carnival rides, circus shows and farm animals. Located off Grand River, the fair opens Friday Aug. 29 to Labor Day Sept. 1 from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
    The Michigan State Fair is kicking off in Novi with carnival rides, circus shows and farm animals. Located off Grand River, the fair opens Friday Aug. 29 to Labor Day Sept. 1 from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Powered by WorldNow

25 FOX Drive
Dedham, MA 02026

Phone (781) 467-2525

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices