Police: Exeter Twp. couple turns tables on intruder

Would-be burglar faces shotgun

Posted: 8:00 PM EDT Apr 01, 2013   Updated: 7:11 AM EDT Apr 02, 2013

A Berks County couple turned the tables on a would-be burglar. Police said the man broke into their home on Easter morning only to find himself staring at a shotgun.

Sunday at a home in the 500 block of Church Lane in Exeter Township, it was anything but quiet.

"It was terrifying, especially when he started banging on the windows," said Nicole Zellers, "Who does that at 3 in the morning, banging on your door, banging on your windows?"

Zellers and her husband Marty Zellers were awake and sprang into action.

"I said go up and get the gun, the shotgun," said Nicole Zellers. "He said, 'You call 9-1-1.'"

Zellers said when she was on the phone, the dispatcher told them not to go outside.

"No sooner did she say, 'Get away from the window,' the guy was coming through the door," said Zellers.

Zellers pointed to where they were in the kitchen. And her boarded-up door shows where the man came in.

"He was laying right there. My husband picked the shotgun up at that point and he had it in his face. The second he picked his head up he was looking at a shotgun," said Zellers.

Exeter Township police said the man is Alexander Diaz-Cruz.

"My husband said, 'Get your hands on the ground. Keep your face down. Keep your face down. Don't talk. Stay that way until the cops get here,'" said Zellers.

Police said when they got to the home they found Diaz-Cruz on the floor and took him into custody.

"It's not a good thing for a police officer to have to deal with, but we certainly want people to protect their home," said Officer David Bentz, "And they have the right to do that."

Marty Zellers didn't go on camera because this isn't something he wants to brag about. He said he knew the man was not a threat.

"He was in the house, believe or not he was begging so much for his life that we really didn't feel threatened like we needed to shoot him," said Nicole Zellers. "So, thank God we didn't because my husband would have had to live with that for the rest of his life."