DELAWARE COUNTY, Ind. – Police say a homeowner caught a burglar in the act and chased him down. The homeowner just happened to be a Delaware County Sheriff’s deputy.
Wednesday afternoon, Deputy Mark Conaster went home for his lunch break. When he headed back to work, he realized he forgot his wallet so he turned around. When Conaster pulled into his home, he saw a van in his driveway and his front door busted.
“It angered me more so,” said Conaster.
He yelled inside for the intruder to get out and the intruder listened.
“He jumped over the porch railing and ran to the van like he was going to get in and escape. I was able to run around and pull the key out and throw it in the yard before he could do that,” said Conaster.
The deputy chased the burglar for as long as he could. When he called 911, Deputy Conaster not only gave a description and the direction, he told dispatchers the burglar’s name. Deputy Conaster’s brother supposedly was high school friends with 34-year-old Darrell McCallum.
“He called me by my name and said he didn’t steal anything. I mentioned you didn’t steal anything because I just caught you in the act,” said Conaster.
Within 15 minutes, a K-9 tracked down McCallum. Another deputy was finishing his last training day and this was his first call. Investigators said the deputy found McCallum hiding in the bed of a pickup truck that, ironically, belonged to a different police officer.
When interviewed, McCallum admitted to breaking into the home after he saw a man leave. McCallum told investigators he did it because he is addicted to heroin and was sick because he had not used yet today.
“These people are out there. There’s a drug epidemic in this country. I don’t think that’s an excuse to harm other people by any means,” said Deputy Conaster.
McCallum has a criminal history and has served time in prison for previous burglaries. Investigators believe he could be connected to approximately 20 home break-ins dating back to 2012.