marine chases burglars Irish walking stick chicago electric company

Proving that you can take a man out of the Marines, but you can’t take the Marines out of the man, an 81-year-old Marine chased burglars out of his Chicago area house by beating them with his grandfather’s Irish walking stick.

Dan and Barbara Donovan weren’t suspicious when a man knocked on their door saying he was from the electric company and needed access to the inside of their home.

The man had a red vest and tools, so it appeared to be an official visit.

While he might have thought they picked an easy target with this older couple, he would soon be running from their house in fear. 

Chicago Area Burglars Dress Use Electric Company Ruse

“We had received a letter from the electric company the day before,” Barbara said. “So when he said he was with the electric company, we let him in.”

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But, the man was not with the electric company.

He was there to distract the Donovans while his cohorts raided their valuables. The couple took him to their electric circuit panel in the basement.

This seemed normal at first, but their suspicions began to rise when the man kept asking them to come closer so he could show them the panel.

Barbara then heard footsteps above them. 

“I yelled, ‘Danny! Somebody’s in our bedroom!” Barbara said.

The couple ran up the stairs quickly followed by the burglar masquerading as an electric company worker.

They found two other men rummaging through their home. The thieves had gained entry when they’d left the door unlocked and were distracted in the basement. 

Marine Chases Burglars With Irish Walking Stick

Danny knew he ad to defend his home and his wife.

From his military training, he learned to be resourceful. The elderly Marine quickly grabbed a family heirloom, his grandpa’s Irish shillelagh – a walking stick – and began swinging. 

Then the brave Marine chased the burglars right out of his Chicago area home.

Donovan said: 

“I was trying to find some type of persuasive weapon. So I picked up the Irish shillelagh and that turned out to be the equalizer because I managed to chase them out of the house.”

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From The Chicago Tribune

One of the men was carrying what Donovan recognized to be a pillowcase from bedroom. Shouting and swinging the shillelagh, Dan Donovan said he struck the man in the back of the head with the end of the walking stick, but he didn’t drop the pillowcase. He followed his partners in crime outside, but Donovan continued his pursuit. Barefoot, he approached the SUV they had parked in his driveway and began hitting it with the walking stick.

“I managed to get a good swing at the windshield and the rear window,” he said. “I think I cracked them both.”

In the meantime, Barbara Donovan said she was on the phone to police, who arrived shortly after the intruders fled the scene.

Gene Simmons Takes Notice of Marine’s Bravery

Even Gene Simmons of the band Kiss took notice of the story and tweeted about the resourceful Marine. 

The Donovans aren’t sure what was stolen other than the pillowcases that were being used as getaway bags.

The burglars removed the drawers in the bedroom to comb through them, but the elderly couple doesn’t appear to be missing anything. 

Semper Fi, Dan Donovan!

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