Grandma in Cottonwood Heights foils man’s burglary attempt

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COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS, Utah -- An alleged thief in Cottonwood Heights was no match for a grandmother who caught him red handed, according to police.

Thursday afternoon, Candy Flitton was working in the garage with her husband when they noticed a man walking up and down their street.

“My husband was just sitting there working on his little car and finishing up, and he was asking him questions about it, silly questions that didn’t really make sense," Flitton said.

The grandmother of 11 started to sense something was off and continued to watch the man as he walked.

“I like to get involved and make sure things are right, make sure things are safe,” she said.

So, when he left the street, she decided to hop in her mini van and follow him.

“Typical,” said her husband, Gordon Flitton.

The drive didn’t last long. Just at the end of her street, Flitton noticed the man leaning against her friend’s home. She drove past him once, but as she came around a second time, she said he took off.

“He was running out of the garage with a bucket of tools,” Candy Flitton said.

But he didn’t make it far.

Candy Flitton said: “I just rolled down my window, and I just said, ‘You put those back right now.’ And he looked at me and said, ‘What?’ And I said, ‘Put them back. Put them back right now. I’m calling 911.’”

That’s all it took, according to Flitton.

“He hurried,” she said. “He picked them back up and ran back to the garage and then he took off.”

Cottonwood Heights Police arrested Ian Shaw, 32, just a few blocks away. He is now facing charges for burglary and drug possession.

“It looks like he’s pawned over, roughly, 125 items,” said Sgt. Corbett Ford.

According to Ford, records show Shaw has been stealing and pawning off items since May.

“He’s pawning these at pawn shops all over the valley, whether or not he’s victimizing people just in Cottonwood Heights, I would doubt that,” Ford said. “But we just don’t know.”

But police said it seems Shaw finally picked the wrong neighborhood, where a grandmother of 11 has made a habit out of making sure everyone is following the rules.

“I just feel like I need to be a part of making it right sometimes,” Candy Flitton said. “My family said, ‘Mom, you don’t need to do that.’ Yes, I do.”

3 comments

  • Bob

    How is this poor man going to support his drug help without a little help from the community? At age 32 shouldn’t he have a job or something?

  • Seth

    Its obvious he was stealing to support his habit. Addiction is a hard thing to overcome. I’m glad no one was hurt in this case and I’m glad the items were put back where the thief got them. Hopefully he’s sober now and can be a productive member of society.

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