WAKE FOREST — If Helen Bertelli is looking for nominees for the Good Neighbor Award, she might have found them in her next-door neighbors who are credited with helping stop a burglary of Bertelli’s home .
“We are in the car (away from home) and our next-door neighbors saw a guy break into our house,” Bertelli wrote in an e-mail to The Wake Weekly this afternoon. “They called the police and the police came — they literally caught the guy carrying our big screen TV out of our garage to put into his Kia.”
Wake Forest Police Spokesman Bill Crabtree confirmed that officers arrested Gerald Ringlbauer, 6509 Whitier St., Wake Forest after catching him removing property from the Bertellis’ residence.
“At approximately 2:15 p.m. the police department received a phone call about someone breaking into a house on the 900 block of Shasta Daisy Drive,” Crabtree wrote in a press release. “Officers responded quickly and apprehended Ringlbauer without incident.”
Police Chief Jeff Leonard applauded the neighbor’s actions. “We rely on our citizens to be the eyes and ears of the department and encourage them to call us anytime they see something suspicious,” Leonard said. “This case is another example of someone taking that responsibility seriously. It also shows how we can all work together to protect our community.”
“Police told us there have been other break-ins recently, Bertelli said. “I guess the message is that if folks are [away], make sure to tell your neighbors so someone can keep an eye on your house.”
Anyone witnessing or experiencing suspicious activity is urged to contact the Wake Forest Police Department at 919-554-6150. Callers may remain anonymous.