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Homeowner armed with shotgun foils burglary in Exeter, police say

By Ryan Hughes, Reporter, RHughes@wfmz.com
Published On: Apr 01 2013 04:57:45 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 01 2013 05:02:56 PM CDT

A burglar looking to break in to a home in Berks County never made it past the front door.

EXETER TWP., Pa. -

A burglar looking to break in to a home in Berks County never made it past the front door. Instead, he found himself staring down the barrel of a shotgun, said police.

A piece of plywood covered the front door of the home in Exeter Township after the burglary attempt was foiled by the homeowner in dramatic fashion.

"That's amazing, because it's pretty quiet here," said Wayne Campbell,

That was not the case just before 3 a.m. Easter Sunday. A man and his wife awoke to a man knocking on the front door of their home in the 500 block of Church Lane Road, said police.

"That knocking continued and persisted and became banging on the door, and eventually their door was kicked in," said Ofc. David Bentz, Exeter Twp. Police Dept.

What was on the other side of that door gave Alexander Diaz-Cruz the surprise of his life.

"The homeowner grabbed a shotgun and, while his wife was on the phone with 911, he held that man at bay with a shotgun," said Bentz.

"Good for him that he stopped him from coming in," said Campbell. "They come in your house, you defend yourself and your family."

When police arrived, they found Diaz-Cruz, 24, on the floor, and he was immediately taken into custody.

"It's amazing because my bedroom is right there, and I didn't hear any activity. You think you would have heard the police sirens or something," said Campbell.

Diaz-Cruz was reportedly intoxicated, and police believe he may have been knocking at the wrong home.

According to police, the homeowners did everything right by calling 911 and telling officers they were armed with a shotgun.

"It's not a good thing for a police officer to have to deal with, but we certainly want people to protect their home, and they have the right to do that," said Bentz.

Diaz-Cruz was charged with burglary, criminal trespassing and criminal mischief. The case remains under investigation.