FAIRVIEW PARK, OH (WOIO) - A serial burglar was breaking into homes in Fairview Park and Lakewood in the middle of the night this week. But the thief picked the wrong house in the end, landing him in handcuffs and in the hospital.
His victims are still in shock and say they have lost their sense of security in their own homes.
The incidents took place in a quiet neighborhood cul-de-sac just off Lorain Road in Fairview Park.
A few days ago, Susan Wilgus got a call from her husband around 8 a.m.
"He asked me if I had taken any money out of his wallet, and I said 'No,' and he said, 'Did you take my cellphone?' And I said no. He said 'It's missing,'" Wilgus said.
Her husband started checking the doors in their house and asked her if she locked the back door.
"I said, 'It should've been locked, I didn't lock it but it should be locked.' He said, 'Well, it's not locked.' I said 'Well you better start looking around the house.' Then all of a sudden her said 'Oh my God, the TV is gone,'" Wilgus said.
It was a simple mistake.
They found out the thief also got away with $200, an iPad and a cell phone.
"You feel like you're violated. Not only did he go on the first floor, he had the nerve to go up to the second floor. That's where we sleep," she said.
Police say the burglar tried to get into some more houses on the same street, but he was unsuccessful. A day later, that same man broke into a house in Lakewood early in the morning. An off-duty Metro Parks ranger lived there and shot him in the shoulder.
"I'm glad that he's been caught. Hopefully justice will be served and we'll get our belongings back," Wilgus said.
Wilgus says she'll be double-checking her doors are locked every night. But now she says she might have to take some extra steps too, like keeping the windows closed.
"When the weather is nice we like to have a little fresh air in the house. Well, we might not be able to do that anymore," she said.
Fairview Police say they found some of the Wilgus' stolen items in the car of the suspect after he was shot at the Lakewood home.
The suspect has not been identified and he is still in the hospital.