A burglar met his match after a teacher caught him creeping into a church school and detained him until help could arrive in Wildomar, church workers said Wednesday.
Philip Walker said he's been waiting a long time to catch the accused burglar.
Walker said the man has broken into Bundy Canyon Christian School many times, stealing thousands of dollars' worth of food, school supplies and other equipment.
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"He took two TV's, brand new vacuum cleaners in two of the classrooms and about two thousand dollars' worth of stuff," he said.
Philip is a teacher at the school. His parents own the property.
Walker said one time his brother-in-law actually confronted the suspected burglar during a previous break-in.
He tried to send him a strong message not to come back by firing a warning shot into the ground.
Walker said he knew he needed more protection so he bought a surveillance camera system that would alert him by phone if anything activated the cameras.
Around 4 a.m. Wednesday, he got an alert.
He quickly ran to the school and confronted the burglar who was in the process of stealing one of the surveillance cameras.
"I just told him to freeze. He thought I was a police officer, the way I said it," Walker said. "I didn't tell him I had a weapon or anything -- I just told him freeze get on the ground. He said, 'Yes, sir,' and got flat on the ground and didn't move."
Deputies from the Riverside County Sheriff's Department arrived a short time later and took the man into custody. He was identified as 58-year-old Rudolph McCreight. He was arrested on suspicion of commercial burglary, but he could face more charges if investigators find he's connected to the other break-ins at the same church school.
"Police said he'd be in jail for a while now," Walker said.