An armed homeowner interrupted an apparent burglary attempt in a pole barn outside a home in northwest Indiana early Friday, and after a struggle, the suspect ran away, but was captured several hours later.
About 12:40 a.m., LaPorte County Sheriff’s deputies were called to a home in the 7500 West block of County Road 900 South in unincorporated Clinton Township for a report of an attempted burglary.
The 52-year-old homeowner told police someone with a flashlight was outside near a vehicle. He got a rifle and saw the suspect go into a pole barn, the sheriff’s office said.
He “found the suspect inside and a physical confrontation followed,” a statement from the sheriff’s office said. “During the physical confrontation the suspect produced a handgun which the homeowner was able to wrestle away. When the homeowner attempted to use his phone to call 911, the suspect fled the barn. The homeowner did fire his rifle once in the air as the suspect fled.”
The homeowner suffered cuts and scratches to his arms, and police believe the suspect was also injured.
Officers from several jurisdictions responded, set up a perimeter and searched for the suspect, including K-9 teams from Porter and LaPorte counties. The dogs tracked the suspect for about two miles before losing the trail, police said.
However, several hours later about 9:30 a.m.,resident who lived about a mile north of the initial incident called police to report a person matching the description of the suspect. Deputies responded and spotted the suspect in a field near the 6600 South block of CR 800 West.
“The suspect attempted to flee but was tackled and taken into custody,” police said.
The suspect was identified as 26-year-old man, who was being held in the LaPorte County Jail. Charges are pending, police said.
Westville and South Central schools were notified of the manhunt, and Westville schools were put into a soft lockdown Friday morning.