Man fights back as intruder leaps out at him during break-in

A WODONGA resident has fought off a home intruder after disturbing the offender inside his home.

Timothy Cheetham said the man –  now wanted by detectives – sprung up and surprised him about 8.30pm on Monday.

“I wasn’t really thinking what to do, except grab him and tell him to get out,” he said.

Mr Cheetham had been alone at his Ardern Place property and was preparing to go to bed when the intruder struck.

He didn’t hear the offender come in but saw something move in his peripheral vision.

“So I got up to investigate and I thought it might have been an animal or something come in, although the doors to my knowledge were shut,” he said.  

“The offender sprung up and surprised me in the dining room.

“We had a small struggle, it only lasted look, probably 10 seconds or so.

“Then the offender fled the scene out through the back of my house.”

The 61-year-old managed to get a look at the hooded burglar, who was skinny, about 178 centimetres tall, and wearing dark pants at the time.

He was last seen running through Susan Campbell Reserve at the back of the home.

Detective Leading Senior Constable Ian Deverell said it was thought the wanted man, described as a “young male”, had gained access through the green belt.

“I don’t think it’s a targeted offence in that area,” he said.

“It seems a random aggravated burglary was committed.

“I don’t know what the intent was of the offender, however he quickly escaped the premises when he realised he was cornered by the owner.”

​Detective Leading Senior Constable Deverell said there were no reports of other incidents in the area and nothing to suggest the man was armed. 

“Any time a person's home and has someone enter the premises, it gives an uneasy feeling to the community,” he said. 

“I believe on this occasion it was heartless and was concerning for police that someone’s out in the community committing this type of crime.

“Especially when they believe or may have known somebody was at home at the time.”

Mr Cheetham was left shaken and slept with the lights on on Monday night. 

He will consider upgrading the security at his home. 

Anyone with information can call (02) 6049 2600 or 1800 333 000.