Cooper City woman returns fire after confronting would-be burglars

Woman who exchanged fire with culprits employed by US Customs

By Peter Burke - Local10.com Managing Editor, Saira Anwer - Reporter, Roy Ramos - Reporter

COOPER CITY, Fla. - A Cooper City woman retaliated Thursday after confronting a pair of would-be burglars, returning fire after one of them shot at her.

Broward Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Joy Oglesby said the incident took place early in the morning in the 5200 block of Southwest 89th Way.

Oglesby said the woman, an employee with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, heard two people breaking into a car outside her home, so she went outside and confronted them. Oglesby said a chase ensued and one of the suspects shot at her, but she was armed and returned fire.

"She uttered something to them, there was a brief foot pursuit and one of the suspects actually shot at her. She then returned fire," Oglesby said.

One suspect was taken into custody. Deputies are searching for the cohort.

"It's very fortunate that she was prepared and that no one was injured," Oglesby said.

Efren Companioni, who lives next door to the victim, said his surveillance cameras captured one of the thieves trying to break into his white car.

But something appeared to frighten the would-be thief and he ran away.

"It is extremely alarming because there has never been a problem of that magnitude ever, because it is always very quiet," Companioni said. 

Companioni said his wife was awakened by four shots before authorities arrived to the neighborhood.

"Don't try it here," he warned any crooks thinking of coming back. "You are going to be in for a big surprise." 

School officials said Pioneer Middle School allowed students into the school building early as officers were searching for the culprits.

Cooper City High School Principal Wendy Doll said in an email that students at her school were also allowed on campus early. She said students and employees were moved to their class or the cafeteria.

Doll said the BSO notified the school that it could resume normal operations by 7:30 a.m.

"At no time were any students or staff at risk," Doll said.

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