Beaumont pastor draws pistol on 2 burglars - 12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas

Beaumont pastor draws pistol on 2 burglars

Two Beaumont teenagers are in police custody after a pastor held them at gunpoint until authorities arrived on scene.

Pastor James McAbee, who runs the Lighthouse Worship Center, which is in the 800 block of W. Cardinal Drive, says he had just finished up his service Sunday when he spotted two teenagers breaking into his church's youth center around 2 p.m.

"I was in my car and heading home on Highway 69," he said. "I saw them break the window, and I said 'forget this.' I turned around; I knew I had to protect my church."

Instead of waiting for police to arrive on scene, McAbee, who has a concealed handgun license, decided to take matters into his own hands.

"I went in with my own pistol and held them at gunpoint," he said.

McAbee says the two burglars, who are both brother (age 15 and 17), tried negotiating with him, but the negotiations soon turned into violent threats.

"I had them down on their knees with their hands in the air," he said. "One of them reached in their pocket and told me that he had a gun. I said 'sir, if you pull the gun, I'm going to have to shoot you.'"

Luckily the teen was unarmed, and police were able to make the arrests without any problems

As for the youth center, it's being renovated ,which is why McAbee believes that the two teens were trying to steal the church's power tools.

He's now planning to implement new security measures to prevent future burglaries.

"I'm glad no one was at the church," he said. "They told me they're going to come back and make me pay for this."

McAbee says over the last seven months, several people have broken into the youth center, which is locked at night because it's undergoing renovations.  He added that they have even found drug paraphernalia in the center.

The center will eventually house 100 kids.

Investigators say their names will not be released until they are arraigned on Monday morning.


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