Homeowner scuffles with attempted burglary suspect

ELKHART COUNTY, Ind. -- Residents of the Jefferson Trails neighborhood say a man who has been lurking in their neighborhood took it a step further and tried to break into a shed.

Blake Bechtel and his wife have lived in Jefferson Trails for many years. Tuesday night they say the neighborhood lurker tried to break into their shed in their back yard.

"I proceeded to come out around the side of the house and see someone trying to break into our shed and I approached him," said Bechtel.

After Bechtel confronted the suspect, he says things turned violent.

"He tried running off and I tackled him to the ground and an altercation ensued," said Bechtel.

After he tackled the alleged burglar, Bechtel was struck in the face and got a black eye.

Bechtel says he just wanted to protect his family.

"I know for me as a husband and a father the first thing through my mind is oh my god, there is somebody out here I don't know trying to intrude in our home. My wife and our kids live here. I worry about their safety," said Bechtel.

Police haven't caught the man and there isn't a good description of him.

Bechtel says he just wants residents to be aware.

"We don't want the crime and we don't want the problems in this area. We want people to know this is a safe neighborhood," said Bechtel.

If you have any information, contact the Elkhart County Sheriff's Office.

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