Resident holds pitchfork-wielding burglary suspect at gunpoint, sheriff's office say

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WEST SALEM, Ohio (WJW)– A man was arrested after the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office says he tried to break into homes and garages with a pitchfork.

Michael Hooser, 37, was charged with aggravated burglary, theft, aggravated trespass, breaking and entering, possession of drugs, carrying concealed weapons and criminal mischief. He also had outstanding warrants with the sheriff’s office and West Salem police.

A deputy was called to North Elyria Road in West Salem Saturday morning. When he arrived, he found the homeowner detaining Hooser at gunpoint. The victim said he caught the suspect running through the backyard after breaking into his garage and barn.

The deputy searched Hooser and found a loaded firearm in his pocket, along with methamphetamine and a stolen wallet, the police report said. Authorities also found knives and flashlights in Hooser’s possession, along with a duffel bag containing a cell phone and small tools, according to the report. The items were taken from three victims at two locations.

One woman said she heard a loud noise and discovered the suspect holding a pitchfork outside her house. She said the man broke the storm door and was stabbing the pitchfork into the door to try to get inside. Her husband tracked the man by following footprints in the snow. While nothing was taken from their home and no one was injured, the woman was severely shaken by the incident.

Another neighbor also reported damage to his garage door.

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