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Roommates fend off would-be robber



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OREM -- Four roommates took on an intruder who broke into their Orem home early Sunday morning.

According to Orem police, the suspect entered the home near 950 West 400 South around 7:00, armed with a gun. Police said he was looking to steal some high-ticket items.

"He was trying to steal some electronics, some televisions -- video game systems were actually found in his car," said Sgt. Craig Martinez with the Orem Police Department.

When the suspect went into one of the bedrooms, he woke up the man inside, and they got into a struggle.

"The other roommates heard the commotion and came to help, and they were able to get the gun away from the suspect," Martinez said.

During the fight, one of the residents stabbed the suspect several times.

He was taken to the Utah Valley Regional Medical Center in serious condition. He was treated for a punctured lung and wounds to the head, chest and back.

One of the roommates suffered minor stab wounds but was expected to be OK.

Neighbors said the house is in a quiet area, so the incident was a shock. One man told KSL he would defend himself the same way if it happened to him.

"Somebody breaking into my house? Yeah, I definitely would have put the beat down on him too," said neighbor Austin Stokes.

The roommates, all males ages 20 to 25, had been renting the house for a few months. Police wouldn't say if they were college students or if they knew the intruder.

Investigators said they don't usually recommend taking justice into your own hands, but in this case, it worked out.

"We don't recommend it, however, you've got to do what you can to defend your home," said Martinez. "I mean, this is a pretty serious incident where someone is coming into your house while you're sleeping armed with a gun."

Police said the intruder is expected to survive. They would not release his name until Monday.

E-mail: ngonzales@ksl.com

Nicole Gonzales

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