SUDBURY -- It is not something that police recommend, confronting a suspect during a crime in progress, but a North Bay homeowner was able to hold a would-be thief until officers arrived.

Louis Chatelaine was woken up shortly after 2 a.m. Wednesday by someone breaking into his locked shed. He confronted the man while another resident called police to the home on King Street.

Surveillance cameras caught the incident on video and Chatelaine provided footage to CTV News.

The video shows a physical scuffle between the two men and ended with the suspect being held on the ground by Chatelaine until officers arrived. Several times in the video you can hear the suspect calling for help while he is being held down.

"Thanks to my Arlo camera, I was able to catch a thief breaking into my garage and shed," said Chatelaine.

Chatelaine was injured in the encounter as a result.  

As a result, police have accused a 29-year-old North Bay man several offences including:

  • Trespassing at night
  • Break and enter with intent
  • Assault
  • Possession of break-in tools
  • Possession of suspected crystal methamphetamine

The accused was held in custody pending a bail hearing. 

Recently several residents around the city have been voicing concerns about the perceived increase in crime. 

John Schultz, community safety coordinator for North Bay Police Service, said protecting your home or property brings up several issues.

"Some people don’t think you can do anything while other people believe you can do anything you want on your property. The real answer is somewhere in the middle. You can protect yourself but if you use force, it has to be only as much force as is necessary," said Schultz.

He said a person that confronts another will have to explain their actions to police and may have to explain their actions to a court of law if excessive force is used.

"You and the people in your home should have this discussion. What would you do if someone broke into your home? How do you protect yourself or your children," said Schultz.

He said there is a risk when confronting someone during a burglary.

"If there is a property related break-in, the worst they can do is take some property, and is that worth getting hurt over? Property can be replaced," said Schultz. "Remember, you don’t know what the person's intentions are or if they have a weapon. Have they been drinking or under the influence of drugs? You know what your abilities are, but you don’t know what the abilities of the would-be thief are."

He said police have training and several options when it comes using force, however, police are held accountable for their behaviour.

If you see something happening you are concerned about, North Bay Police recommend:

  • Call 911
  • First, provide your address and name, in case something interrupts the call
  • Next, report that there is a crime in progress - Is someone in your house, trying to get in your house, in an outbuilding or are you seeing something occur in a neighbour’s home?
  • The communications professional will ask you questions to relay to officers responding to the call. It is an emotional time, but you need to listen and answer as accurately as possible.
  • Give as much detail as you can provide

Schultz recommends everyone have a crime prevention plan and that home security may make your home or property less of a target.

"Include discussions on alarms, cameras, and good locking devices, but everyone in the home should also know to call 911 and what they can expect from that point on," said Schultz. 

North Bay police are deploying a new Community Response Unit staffed with four officers in January to take a more proactive approach to crime.


Vulgar language has been removed from the audio of the video.