World War II veteran scares burglar off with cane

An 84-year-old World War II veteran grabbed his cane and yelled at a man who broke into his Salem apartment early Thursday morning, startling the bungling burglar so much that he ran away, according to Salem police.

Leo Gagnon, of 2 Colonial Terrace, was sitting in his apartment just after midnight when a man wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt pulled an air conditioning unit out of Gagnon’s window and climbed inside, according to police.

A neighbor saw the burglar removing the air conditioning unit and asked him what he was doing, according to the report. The burglar replied, “I’m a relative and no one is answering the buzzer,’’ before entering the apartment.

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The neighbor called police.

Gagnon told police that he watched the burglar enter his room and ruffle through a discarded pair of pants looking for a wallet. Gagnon then grabbed his cane and yelled at the burglar, who ran out the apartment’s back door, according to the report.

The burglar was not caught, but Gagnon told police he does not believe the anything was stolen, according to the report.

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