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Deputies: Homeowner Shoots at Burglars

By Natalie Potts
By npotts@wbbbjtv.com

MCNAIRY COUNTY, Tenn. - Sheriff's deputies are investigating an aggravated burglary they said happened Friday afternoon.

Deputies said they arrested Steven Hicks and his wife, Sharon, for felony aggravated burglary, after homeowner Ryan Sisk spotted the two with Johnathan Beckham and Joe Little ransacking his home.

"This lets me know that there is no security anymore even at your own home and it's changed me," said Sisk. "It's definitely changed us."

Deputies said the thieves broke in through the back door, emptied the safe that stored 11 loaded guns, and took jewelry. Family members said the burglary has shaken their sense of small town security.

"It's very nerve racking. It's very emotional, " said Rhonda Sisk, Ryan's mother. "It's just like you've been violated terribly and there is nothing you can do about it."

Sisk told WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News that his family has lost items that cannot be replaced such as pictures, special jewelry, and wedding bands.

"Money can't replace stuff like that," said Ryan Sisk.

He said he did not want the thieves to get away, so he chased them outside with his own gun in hand. Officials said Sisk confronted the thieves then shot out the suspect's tire.

"I looked down my side at that person I could have shot that person, but I chose not to," said Sisk. "I shot the car."

McNairy County Sheriff Guy Buck told WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News that the suspect's car was able to get away.

"They were able to drive a mile from there on a flat tire, where they ran the vehicle up into the woods," said Sheriff Buck.

Sheriff Buck said both Steven and Sharon Hicks took off into the woods on foot. Deputies chased the suspects for hours through brush, rain and cold temperatures.

The couple then made their way to Donald Finley's driveway. Finley, who happens to be Sisk's uncle, answered the couple's cry for help.

"They said they got into it with one of their friends, and they put them out of the car, just put them out."

He let them in, but not without showing the couple that he was armed and ready for anything.

"I have too much compassion or too naive or something for my own good I guess," said Finley.

Finley's wife, Sherry, said she wanted to help the couple at first because they were freezing cold, damp from the rain and sounded like they had been down on their luck. After she spent more time with the two she said she grew more suspicious.

"If my husband didn't have the gun, I think they would have held us both because they knew the cops were coming," said Sherry Finley. "The more they talked about their story, the more I got suspicious. I'm thinking to myself, 'How is this going to end and we've got to get them out of our house because I think something is wrong?'"

Deputies arrested both Sharon and Steven Hicks at the Finley residence after an anonymous tip.

"It's kind of ironic. I just think if that didn't happen they probably would have never caught them," said Rhonda Sisk. "It happened the way it did for a reason."

Both Steven and Sharon Hicks have been charged with aggravated burglary. Deputies are still looking for the other two suspects - Johnathan Beckham and Joe Little. Officials said they believe both Beckham and Little are armed and dangerous.

If you have seen them, or have any information that could help, call the McNairy County Sheriff's Department at (731) 645-1004.