Burglars caught within minutes of home breakin
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Three men are behind bars on preliminary charges of breaking into a South Bend couple's house around 3:30 a.m. Saturday morning.
Police officers were able to catch all 3 men still inside the home thanks to some quick thinking by the couple who were home during the whole ordeal!
"It's creepy to wake up and hear people in your home," 57-year-old Marlene Schroeder said while sitting next to her 56-year-old husband Craig.
Marlene, a fourth grade teacher is speaking from experience, after what happened in the place she and her husband have called home for more than 15 years.
Their home is located in the 1300 block of Oak Ridge Drive, about a mile east of the University of Notre Dame.
"Our bedroom is beneath our living room, so I could hear people walking in the living room right around 3:30a.m.," Marlene said.
Within seconds she woke up her husband Craig who was sleeping. She said at first he couldn't fathom someone was actually in their home, but he quickly opened their bedroom door quietly and listened.
Marlene said, "he stepped outside the bedroom for a minute and heard voices and came back in, shut the door and locked it and said, 'call 911!"
She dialed 911 and spoke with a dispatcher who she said did a great job keeping calm while Craig kept his body pressed against their bedroom door in case the intruders tried to kick in the couple's bedroom door.
"They (the burglars) didn't seem to be making any effort to be particularly quiet, so we think maybe they thought the house was empty, I don't know," said Marlene.
"She was giving us a blow by blow, 'The police are on South Bend Avenue. Ok, now they are coming up your street.' At the time she said they were on our street, somebody was on the outside of the bedroom door kicking it trying to get in, so Craig was just standing there holding it so that no one could get in," she said.
They estimate within 2 to 3 minutes they saw flashing police lights through their bathroom window and heard police officers enter their home.
She said, "We heard the police dog barking right outside our bedroom door, we heard the police identifying themselves and saying to come out with your hands up!"
That's about the time they said they heard the 3 intruders scurrying out their sliding glass doors that lead to a deck that overlooks a 15 foot plus drop off. The intruder's footprints were still visible.
That is the location where police say the 3 men surrendered.
South Bend Police paperwork shows 30-year-old Mauricio Simental, 20-year-old Francisco Guzman, and 19-year-old Eduardo Garcia were all arrested on burglary charges. All three men are being held in the St. Joseph County jail on preliminary charges and at this point bond has not been set.
A police department spokesperson said formal charges and the bonds should be set sometime tomorrow.
The intruders gained entry inside the Schroeder's house by kicking in the front door which had a working deadbolt lock. Police advised homeowners can use a floor deadbolt as another preventative measure to keep intruders out. The Schroeder's plan on investing in a new door and both deadbolt locks.
Police say they found the trio's SUV parked near the Schroeder's home. The
Schroeder's say police asked them if several items inside the vehicle were from their home- which they were not. Police told them the 3 men admitted they had robbed another home earlier in the evening on Bowman Street.