Marion deputies catch alleged home invaders in act

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MARION COUNTY, Fla. - Some quick-thinking Marion County deputies are being credited for stopping a home invasion before it could happen.

Deputies said it was luck and some night vision goggles that helped them make the bust.

It all played out in the Marion Oaks neighborhood, as they were on patrol for car burglars.

While they were there, they said they spotted the two suspected home invaders trying to get into this home while the residents were still inside.

“He was getting ready to do a home invasion. He had the ski mask, bandana and the shot gun,” said Lt. Al Ramirez with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.

Ramirez said deputies were able to use night vision goggles to spot the body heat of Johnel Andino and Harry Texidor casing the neighborhood.

Deputies said they saw the two men acting suspiciously, so they followed the two men on foot and the goggles helped them spot the men breaking into a home.

“It was a blessing (the deputies) were in the area,” said Miguel Rodriguez, who lives in the home with his brother, Pedro Sanchez.

Rodriguez said the blessing turned into a curse when deputies arrested them on charges of misdemeanor marijuana possession.

"Instead of doing an investigation on the actual criminals, they're here trying to point fingers at me," he said.

Officers showed Eyewitness News the sawed off shot gun they took from the duo.

“Somebody could have gotten shot,” Ramirez said.

Deputies said they plan to continue to use the night vision goggles to prevent more crimes from happening.