81-year-old uses antique walking stick to beat thieves

NILES, IllONIS (AP) – An 81-year-old former Marine from suburban Chicago used his grandfather’s antique Irish walking stick to chase off three burglars and deliver one a thump in the head for his trouble.

Dan and Barbara Donovan told the Pioneer Press newspaper group that a man in a reflective vest and mask knocked on their door in Niles on November 4 and said he was a utility worker who needed to check their fuse box due to a recent fire in the area.

Barbara Donovan said while they were in the basement with the man, who was looking at their electric circuit panel, she heard squeaking floorboards upstairs and realised something wasn’t right. She bounded up the steps, followed by her husband and the so-called utility worker. When the couple reached the main floor, they found two other men inside, one holding a pillowcase from their bedroom.

Dan Donovan began trying to chase the three men from their house, and that’s when he grabbed his grandfather’s shillelagh – an antique Irish walking stick propped in the corner of the couple’s dining room.

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

Dan Donovan holds the antique shillelagh used to chase burglars from his home. PHOTO: AP