Homeowners subdue intruder

MASON CITY, Iowa – After moving into their new Mason City home, one family get’s quite the surprise from an intruder.

You would probably call police if you found an intruder in your home, but what do you do if the same person returns again in the same night?

One Mason City intruder found out the hard way.

It was a night Erik Pehrson won’t soon forget and it’s not because last night was supposed to be his family’s first in their new home.

“She thought maybe I knew the guy or something was going on and so she came to the back door and there’s this guy just standing in my garage,” said Pehrson.

Erik and his wife were startled to find an intruder in their home so the called the police.

Eventually dispatch would instruct the two to let the man go to avoid any conflict.

A little over an hour later, sure enough, the intruder returns and this time he got more than he bargained for.

“He asked if everything was alright. I said yeah, come inside and grab a beer. As soon as he came inside for a beer, I just grabbed him and we started wrestling,” said Pehrson.

The two would wrestle down the street before Pehrson finally subdued the intruder.

Police would soon arrive and have to stun 26-year-old, Joshua Schaer with a Taser to help calm him down.

“They go knocking on doors and make up bogus excuses. ‘Hey I’m looking for a lost dog or I lost my bike have you seen it?’ Actually what they’re doing is casing the place to see if anybody’s home and then they will try to break in,” said Capt. Mike McKelvey with the Mason City Police Department.

Mason City Police say they do not encourage, or expect anyone to be able to subdue a suspect in their home. That’s why they offer these tips to make sure your family is safe from intruders.

“What they did in this case by calling the police immediately, giving descriptions, direction of travel, that’s going to be your best bet. If you don’t feel comfortable confronting the suspect or trying to hold him down, obviously we don’t want you guys to get injured out there,” said McKelvey.

Other tips include having better lighting throughout the home, not leaving valuables in plain sight, trimming hedges around windows and not letting others know about new expensive purchases.

Capt. McKelvey says there have been a string of burglaries in the area this summer.

Schaer was found with a number of keys, but police say they have no reason to believe he is linked to them all.

Schaer has been arrested on theft or burglary charges on a number of occasions in Mason City.

This is not the first time Pehrson has dealt with break-ins. As an employee of the PR Connections in Mason City, they’ve experienced several break-ins over the past year.

There is a $1,000 reward for any information leading to the capture of those responsible for the break-ins.

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