Tom Rooker was already on the phone with the 911 dispatcher Tuesday evening when two juveniles who had entered the family’s Brookridge Drive backyard in Fairway started pulling on gloves and face coverings. Rooker said he “waved at them” through the window before they could enter the house. That’s when police, already near by then, turned on lights and sirens as the would-be burglars fled on foot.
Both juveniles were taken into custody by Fairway police, one captured in a neighborhood backyard and another fleeing toward Shawnee Mission Parkway, Rooker said. Police from Fairway, Mission, Roeland Park and Westwood responded to the call.
Rooker said his wife, Kansas State Rep. Melissa Rooker, was out of town and he had just started to watch the Royals game Tuesday evening when one of the juveniles knocked on the door while the other waited at the end of the driveway. He did not answer the door, but then saw them go through the fence into the backyard. His early call to 911 gave police the time to get to the house. If the two suspects had not run when they saw him, Rooker said, police “would have caught them in the backyard.”
Both suspects ran down Brookridge Drive. A neighbor, Rooker said, later noticed an unfamiliar car parked in the neighborhood.
Fairway Police Chief Mike Fleming, who also responded to the call at the Rooker residence, said he “could count on one hand the number of residential burglaries” in Fairway this year. The attempted break-in appears to be random, Fleming said, with no indication the Rooker residence was targeted.
Rooker said the suspects were found to have knives and were carrying backpacks. It was not immediately known where the pair in custody live. They are being held in Johnson County.