VASSALBORO — Tammy Gidney’s family has its television back, a little wobbly and a little scratched, but she feared it would turn out much worse as she watched her husband fight with the burglar trying to steal it from their home during the wee hours Wednesday.

“He’s pretty lucky the guy didn’t have a weapon,” Gidney said. “If he did, he didn’t pull it on him. But he wasn’t thinking about that. He saw the guy had his television and he wanted it back.”

Sgt. Jeff Beach of the Maine State Police said officers were called to the Gidney’s Oak Grove Road home around 3 a.m. Wednesday after someone broke in and attempted to flee with the victim’s property.

Tammy Gidney’s husband, James Gidney, 43, confronted the burglar outside the home, Beach said. After a scuffle the burglar got into the car, described as a newer model hatchback, perhaps a Subaru, Beach said. A woman was driving the car.

Police in surrounding areas were asked to look out for the car but it wasn’t located, Beach said. There were no injuries.

“There was some physical evidence recovered at the scene and the investigation is ongoing,” Beach said.

The burglar was described as a black man, about 5 feet 9 inches tall, and weighed about 210 pounds, Beach said. He was wearing dark clothes.

Tammy Gidney said four people, including 18- and 15-year-old family members, were asleep in the house at the time of the break-in. Her 10-year-old son was sleeping at his dad’s house, Gidney said. She said the living room is only a few feet from her bedroom and the door was open.

“The guy was obviously good at what he does,” Gidney said of the burglar. “He had to un-hook the back side of the TV and we didn’t hear a thing until the screen door closed.”

When James Gidney went into the living room he noticed the back door was open. He turned on an outside light just in time to see the burglar jumping off the deck with the television.

“The guy actually scaled the pool fence with the TV in one arm,” Tammy Gidney said.

She heard her husband yelling at the burglar to give the television back, and she called 911 as her husband chased the burglar down the driveway.

Darkness hid the burglar’s car parked next door until the driver pushed the button to open the hatch, which turned on the car’s interior lights, she said.

“My husband had him by the throat up against the car. (The burglar) kept reaching in his back pocket and saying, ‘I’m going to get you.'”

Eventually, the burglar told James Gidney he could take the television back.

“He took the TV out of the car and came in the house,” Tammy Gidney said.

“They got away.”

She said her home has never been burglarized before.

“We’ve always had a dog, but we had to put down our German shepherd about three weeks ago,” Gidney said. “It’s unfortunate because the dog would have had the guy in a few seconds.”

Gidney said she has always known her husband was strong, but even she was taken aback by how he reacted to the burglar. She was very thankful to see him return without being hurt.

“He’s not a huge guy, but I guess when something like that happens adrenaline takes over and you do more than you thought you could do,” Gidney said.

Beach asked that anyone with information about the burglary call Trooper Samuel Tlumac at 624-7076.

Craig Crosby — 621-5642

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