Memphis homeowner holds accused burglar at gunpoint until police arrive

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Memphis woman is behind bars after police say she broke into someone’s home and rifled through the kitchen.

Investigators say 44-year-old Karen Joyner was caught by the homeowner, who held her at gunpoint until officers arrived.

That homeowner is 50-year-old Erick Jones. He says he walked into his dark kitchen around 6:30 a.m. Thursday only to find a large figure by the refrigerator. Police say it was Joyner, who is described by authorities to be 250 pounds. 

“It was a shock and a threat as well to see any silhouette that size,” Jones said.

Unable to immediately tell who he was dealing with, Jones says he acted on instinct and reached for his gun.

“I drew down on her, to be honest with you. I drew down on her,” Jones said, “Through the grace of God, and me hearing a woman’s voice, she’s still alive today.”

Now, she’s in jail and charged with aggravated burglary. Jones says Joyner tried to steal a number of items she had gathered from the kitchen, such as $5 worth of canned goods and $30 worth of silverware. 

“Things that she could also sell,” Jones said.

Jones believes Joyner got into his home on South Lauderdale the night before, after he accidentally left the back door open. He suspects she slept in an upstairs room, where he later found the bed had been used.

“I didn’t hear her or any signs. My wife was in the house,” Jones said.

Jones says he’s seen Joyner before, often sitting under a tree near his home.

“She sat under the tree for a couple of days and watched me, watched us work, do things around the house,” he said, “She knew who was in the house and what have you.”

Jones thinks Joyner may be homeless.

“I wish the best for her. I don’t have any ill will towards her. I just wish she wouldn’t have done that,” he said, “I wish she would have came to me, asked me what she needed. If she would have said ‘Hey, I need something to eat’ or ‘I need a place to stay,’ it wouldn’t have been no problem.”

“If I could help her live in a shelter, I would have gotten her in a shelter. I would have done that,” Jones said, “By no means does she need to sneak around in my house like that and make me feel uncomfortable.”

Joyner is due in court June 1. 

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