76-Year-Old Woman Chases Burglar from Home at Gunpoint

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ARARAT TOWNSHIP -- State police say a 76-year-old woman in Susquehanna County was able to chase off an intruder who broke into her home early Monday morning.

Investigators say the man took off after the woman pulled a shot gun on him.

State police say it was inside a house east of Harford that a 76-year-old woman stood her ground and chased off an intruder.

Troopers say Carole Motsko of Ararat Township heard noises downstairs around 1:30 Monday morning.

She called 911, grabbed her shotgun and confronted the man at the bottom of the stairs, yelling a warning at him.

Police say the man took off from Motsko's home with only her purse.

At Arlo's Tavern nearby, Motsko's actions were the talk of the night.

“This woman was in her house in the middle of the night by herself and thank goodness she had a gun and she threatened him, then he ran, I mean, he took her purse,” said Marianne Korty.

“I think she did the right thing. She has every right to protect what is hers and she did the right thing,” said Kelly Ford.

“I would have done the same thing,” said Michelle Calafut.  “Exactly the same thing. I have guns in my house. I would have done the same thing.”

Motsko did not want to talk on camera but says she has a shotgun for this exact reason - to protect herself and her home.

She says anyone breaking into her home should expect to have her gun pulled on them.

“Nobody has the right to break into or steal somebody else's property so she was protecting what's hers,” said Ford.

“Oh absolutely, absolutely. Well, they better be careful because a lot of women are brave,” said Korty.

State police in Susquehanna County say Motsko fired no shots from her gun.

Troopers say they are investigating the break-in.


  • Jen

    Anyone else wonder about the effectiveness of the home security system isince someone got in? (ADT sign on lawn) It seems questionable, unless she had it deactivated.

  • ThaKilla

    I hope an pray on a nightly basis someone breaks in my house. I’ve been looking for an excuse to shoot my new 9mm semi auto assault rifle. Just haven’t found the time yet….


    One of her relatives needs to check in on her and help her have her defense worked out for the next time it happens . Has to be someone in the area that knew she was alone at night. Some scum bag sighting out places to rob. Maybe have her a semi auto that she can handle with out getting blasted on her butt if she has to use it. I hope they catch the punk who thinks he has grit robbing an ole lady.

    Folks need to keep their homes and property protected from the brazen scum bags that have no respect for them selves, let alone for an elderly person.

  • Yvonne Lisa

    I just heard about this as a friend of mine came to my door. I couldn’t see who it was, but I wasn’t opening it till I did.. Or I was going for my gun first.. These IDIOTS AN I MEAN IDIOTS better realize almost every person in this area of Susquehanna Co owns either shotguns or handguns or both… They are gonna end up dead.. HaHa it was you Kenneth Ayers at my door, man in the comments.

  • CleanUpNEPA

    So happy to see this…this is why I am pro gun. She defended herself and what was hers. Just the sound of racking the shotgun can be a huge deterrent to potential robbers…they’re good to have for home defense.

  • 2ndAmendment

    Good for her! If there were more people like this, robberies and home invasions would be nearly unheard of.

  • harvey

    two more words for anyone in a similar situation might have had the intruder for the police; DON’T MOVE! GRANNY DID THE RIGHT THING/
    ben franklin said it all”who steals my purse, steals trash.”

  • Jon

    I wonder how many people are thinking this:

    Happy this was the outcome. Could you imagine if the guys were a little smarter? They could have disarmed her and then had the gun to do what they wanted with. That’s why we need more gun control. If she didn’t have a gun then there would be no risk of the men capturing the gun and using it on other people.

    I’m sure there are people who think that the above situation makes sense. These are the same people who want and can afford armed guards at there doors. Its sad that some people would support the removal of guns from anyone. This will make a great story for the armed citizen in the NRA magazine.

    • Rob

      You are an idiot! She shouldn’t have had a gun cause they might have used it on her. I suppose it would be better if they slit her throat with a knife, because she may not have been able to defend herself against a likely much younger attacker otherwise. Maybe you should check into the average State Police response time for Susquehanna, alot can happen while she’s waiting for help. Most of them a good cops too!

    • Stan

      Gun control is for pansies. Every farmer in my area has a gun and ready to use it…think about that before breaking into a rural house. Also, if you take guns away from all the law abiding citizens the only left with the guns would be the criminals… how then would you protect yourself? Sometimes you make peace through superior firepower. The unarmed an defenseless would be the first target of a crazed maniac.

  • JimmyDean

    Where’s all the anti gun activists now??? Give responsible people weapons and this is how they are used to protect yourself and what you work for!! Very happy of the outcome for this women!!

  • Adam

    I am very impressed by this woman’s actions. She showed restraint, but was ready to take action when needed. This is responsible gun ownership.

  • MarinesJoeIV

    I wouldn’t blame her if she shot, I would to defend my home and family. Crooks will get more brazen every time. I hope justice is dealt sooner then later on pathetic crooks. Glad the woman is ok and hope the next homeowner has a way to defend themselves.

  • Capt Bogart

    Getting to be common in Susquehanna County. A revolving door with drugs attached, I bet. When will law enforcement and the Judicial System clean up Susquehanna County.

    • Terri

      Where do you live? Mayberry? There is another story about break-ins in Luzerne County. Sorry, it can happen anywhere.

  • Dirt Dogg

    I’m glad she showed restraint. To take a life over the theft of a purse would be a hard thing to live with.

  • Linda Chesnick

    Good for her—-shoot and then ask questions!! Shouldn’t be too hard to find the perpetrators–if there were no vehicles involved it must have been someone who lives close by possibly

  • Kenneth Ayers

    Good for her….. this should make people think twice before doing crap like that… way to go keep your shotgun ready. :)

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