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Man Comes Face To Face With Cat Burglar In His Own Home

MAPLEWOOD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- The search is on for a cat burglar in a quiet New Jersey community.

Police said he has struck four times in the last two weeks, and one resident confronted him in his own home.

On Wednesday, that victim spoke to CBS2's Andrea Grymes.

"First thing I thought of ... he's in my house, so I grabbed him," the victim said.

The man told CBS2's Grymes he prefers to remain anonymous, but the suspect definitely knows who he is. The brave homeowner came face to face with the alleged cat burglar, catching him in the act.

"Sure enough, he was hiding on my screen porch," the man said.

Cat burglar Maplewood NJ
Police in Maplewood, New Jersey, are looking for a cat burglar who has hit four homes this summer. (Photo: CBS2)

Police believe the suspect is behind four break-ins this month in the quiet, Golf Island area of Maplewood.

Last Saturday, alone, police think he started at a home on Salter Place and got in through an unlocked door. Once inside, he stole a laptop and iPod.

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Investigators believe he then made his way down the block to Maple Avenue, getting into that other homeowner's house through an open window at around 1:15 a.m.

The victim said his daughter noticed something unusual.

"She very calmly came in, woke me up and said I think there's someone in the house," he said.

So he went downstairs, half asleep, and turned on the lights. That's when he said he saw the suspect and grabbed him without thinking.

"He said, 'Please let me out. Please let me go. I apologize. I want to get out of here,' and I was trying to hold onto him as best I could," the homeowner said.

Meanwhile, his wife and daughter upstairs had called police, but he couldn't hold on to the suspect long enough.

He told CBS2's Grymes he ended up pushing the suspect down the back stairs, and he got away before police came, escaping with some cash and a bank card.

"The way I look at it, it could've been a lot worse. Both in loss of life and limb and also of physical property," the homeowner said.

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Despite what happened, he said he still feels safe in the neighborhood.

Police said they are adding extra patrols in hopes of catching the suspect.

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