Illinois Marine Veteran and His Antique Walking Stick: Burglars Beware!

 In Domestic

Niles, Illinois: An Illinois Marine Veteran used his antique Irish walking stick (called a shillelagh) to chase away three burglars out of his home. And give one of them a serious headache.

Dan and Barbara Donovan

A man wearing a reflective vest and mask came to their door and said he was from the utility company and needed to check their fuse box due to a recent fire in the area. Since they had just received a letter from the company previously stating that there would be utility work in their area, they let him in.

The Chicago Tribune reported,

“We had received a letter from the electric company the day before,” Donovan said, explaining that the letter indicated work would be taking place in their area and would include power outages. “So when he said he was with the electric company, we let him in.”

What the couple didn’t immediately realize was that the man wasn’t a utility worker — and he wasn’t alone. As he led the couple into the basement of their home, two additional people sneaked inside through the now unlocked door.

Downstairs, Barbara Donovan began to feel suspicious about the man who was looking over her electric circuit panel.

“I kept backing up and he kept saying, ‘Come over by me,’” Barbara said. “He said, ‘If you’re home alone, you won’t know what to do,’ and kept telling me to come closer to him. I thought that was kind of weird.”

Suddenly, Barbara heard the squeak of floorboards above her head.

“I yelled, ‘Danny! Somebody’s in our bedroom!” she said.

Her warning triggered the instincts of Dan, an Illinois Marine Veteran, and he looked for a weapon. His grandfather had given him an antique Irish walking stick, so he grabbed that and started hitting the burglars. He stated that he smacked one of the burglars in the back of the head and chased them out of the house. He also took a good swing at the windshield of the getaway vehicle and thinks he might have cracked it.

They are uncertain of what the burglars might have taken from their bedroom, as the dresser drawers had been rummaged through and a pillowcase stolen.

Dan and Barbara say they learned their lesson and won’t be letting strangers in the house anymore. But the Illinois Marine Veteran said he hoped the three burglars would find a new occupation.

“Hopefully they got nothing more than a headache and hopefully they pursue another occupation.” Dan Donovan

Improvise, adapt, overcome, Sir. Well done!

Featured photo: screenshot of photo by Jennifer Johnson at Pioneer Press


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  • Bill

    I’m a third generation Irish American and know of that stick I think it will come in handy as Christmas gifts ?

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