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'I went after him'

West Linn resident Bill Gellos came home to a burglary in progress


STROSCHEINIt started with a quick run to Burgerville.

Bill Gellos and his friend, Trent Blakeslee, weren't in the mood to cook dinner Saturday night and decided to run out to the popular food chain instead. Because Burgerville was just a five-minute drive away from Gellos' home on the 5400 block of Hood Street, he decided not to lock the front door on his way out.

When Gellos and Blakesee returned about fifteen minutes later, Gellos noticed a Mercedes Benz Coupe parked in his driveway. He'd never seen the car, but figured a friend had stopped by unannounced. Even when he saw a man leaving out the back door, he wasn't suspicious.

But then the man took off running, and Gellos realized he was an intruder making off with a handful of stolen items.

Instinct took over, and Gellos tackled the man to the ground. He held the man in a headlock while Blakeslee called the police.

"In hindsight, people ask, 'What if he had a knife or gun?' I didn't even think about that," Gellos said. "That didn't even register — instinct kicked in and I went after him."

According to West Linn Police Sgt. Neil Hennelly, police arrived within three minutes of the first call. For Gellos, those three minutes felt like much longer.

"It seemed like a long time because he was struggling," Gellos said. "Trent was (giving details) to the police and I was like, 'Hang up the phone and help me.'

"It must have seemed like hours," Hennelly said. "We always warn people not to confront bad guys, but this is a situation where adrenaline took over."

In the end, police arrested Ezekiel Kirk Stroschein, 35, on suspicion of burglary, theft, unauthorized use of a vehicle and possession of methamphetamine. Stroschein was lodged in the Clackamas county jail.

Stroschein arrived at the crime scene in a Mercedes Benz Coupe recently reported stolen in Portland, according to police.

The items stolen from Gellos' home included two Rolex watches, a Mac laptop and a box of coins, according to Gellos.

For Hennelly, the incident served as a reminder for residents to always keep their doors locked.

"Make sure your house is locked," Hennelly said. "That's always a good idea."



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