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Uneasy sleep after couple’s home burglary ordeal

Kathryn and Allen Streby came home Monday night about 9:45 and found an unfamiliar pickup truck in their driveway. They also noticed several rooms were lit up in their ranch-style house near North Webster.

“When we had left, all the lights were out,” said Kathryn, 69.

The retired couple sat in their car for a short time, not sure what to do.

“Well, we were just a little stunned,” she said.

They called their son and told him about the strange truck. Then, they saw a person in the house, said Allen, 74.

After a while, a stranger with short, dark hair and sideburns came out of the house, carrying a long gun. He walked toward the Strebys’ car with the muzzle pointed at them.

“Back out!” the man hollered.

“I was in the process of backing when he said that,” Kathryn said. “I backed out and headed west, and as we done that, he shot at the car.”

They didn’t realize it at the time, but the round struck one of the car’s rear hubcaps, Allen said.

“I really don’t know why he fired the gun,” Kathryn said. “There was no reason.”

The couple drove about three or four houses down from their place on Kosciusko County Road East 500 North and stopped. Soon afterward, their son, Craig Streby, arrived there in his car.

Craig, 40, said his mother told him the intruder had a gun and was heading east. Craig said he could see the truck’s taillights in the distance, so he started driving that way.

On the phone with a 911 dispatcher, Craig followed the truck and updated authorities on its location. After about a mile, the truck, which had not been going unusually fast, sped up and made an abrupt left turn, he said.

“I think he realized somebody was following him,” Craig said.

Shortly after that, Craig pulled over, and police vehicles began following the truck, he said.

During a pursuit, the truck ran over spikes placed on the road, but kept going. Eventually, the man got out near County Roads 150 North and 650 East and ran into some woods, according to the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department.

Police established a perimeter, and an officer with a police dog caught the man, identified as Aubert Clevenger, 30, of Pierceton. Bitten during the arrest, Clevenger was treated at Kosciusko Community Hospital in Warsaw before he was booked into the Kosciusko County Jail, the sheriff’s department said.

Clevenger was being held without bail Tuesday night as prosecutors considered what charges may be filed against him. Detectives are investigating whether he was involved in another home burglary in the area, the sheriff’s department said.

When the Strebys returned to their house late Monday, they discovered that a couple of rooms had been ransacked, but the only thing missing, as far as Kathryn could tell, was a pearl bracelet.

That was good news, though the night’s ordeal made falling asleep difficult.

“It’s just unsettling,” she said, “but I know we’ll be able to cope with it.”

aingersoll@jg.net

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