LSA sophomore Andrew Tignanelli never thought twice about leaving his wallet on his desk. It never occurred to him to lock his room door if he wanted to leave for a few minutes, because assumed his second floor room in the Beta Theta Pi fraternity house on State Street was secure.

On Thursday night, he learned his lesson.

Upon returning to his room after, he found the wallet gone.

As Tignanelli and several of his fraternity brothers searched for the missing wallet, they saw a middle-aged man in shabby pants and a down coat pass by in the hall.

When he was questioned, the man claimed to be looking for the bathroom.

Tignanelli and his housemates quickly grew suspicious. They accused the intruder of stealing Tignanelli’s wallet, and when the man refused to prove he didn’t have it, they stripped off his coat.

In his coat pocket, they found Tignanelli’s wallet, but not his money.

Tignanelli and his housemates pinned the man down and pulled the man’s own wallet from his pants.

In the man’s wallet they found what Tignanelli said was the $182 that was missing from his own wallet.

Tignanelli’s housemates called the Ann Arbor Police Department after they found the missing wallet.

Police arrived within minutes.

The intruder resisted arrest and was tasered into submission by the police, Tignanelli said.

Tignanelli said he thought the man was browsing the floor looking for more to steal when he and his housemates saw him.

“I never thought anyone would come into a house where they knew forty guys lived, try to steal things and then have the audacity to come back for more,” he said.

The man matched suspect descriptions for other recent home invasions in the area, AAPD crime analyst Charlotte DeMatteo said.

The man had snuck into the Beta Theta Pi house through a fire escape the fraternity kept cracked open for easy access in and out of the second floor, Tignanelli said.

The theft was one of 14 reported home invasions in neighborhoods surrounding campus since Jan. 28.

Eight of the 14 break-ins were student houses. In six of the student cases, the entry was unforced – meaning thieves had simply walked in through unlocked doors or windows.

After the Beta Theta Pi brothers apprehended the intruder at their house, the spike in home invasion reports slowed, said AAPD Sgt. Richard Kinsey.

Kinsey said he thinks the suspect in the Beta Theta Pi case is likely responsible for several of the recent break-ins in the area.

The AAPD often encounters repeat offenders for home invasion crimes.

“There’s a subculture of criminals who prey on student housing areas,” he said. “They prey on the fact that students don’t keep their doors locked.”

The Beta Theta Pi house which also had a laptop taken from a third floor room last semester, will keep its fire escape door closed now, Tignanelli said.

They are also working on replacing their front door, which has had a broken lock for more than a semester.

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