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North Austin homeowner helps police catch burglar linked to multiple break-ins

A North Austin homeowner helped police catch a burglar linked to several break-ins in the Riverside Drive area.

On December 21, Michael Gnagy said a strange man walked through his garage door into his kitchen.

Police have identified the suspect as Timmy Lee Hodges.

The attempted burglary happened during the middle of the day, but Gnagy works from home and heard Hodges open his door and confronted him.

"I'm standing about right here and I see a gentleman that's not one of my friends, not really invited into my home. He kind of pops out and says, 'I'm the neighborhood watch, someone was in your yard,'" Gnagy said.

Gnagy said Hodges told him he didn't mean any harm, then walked out the same way he came in, through his garage door.

"It was a little bizarre but I handled it really well," Gnagy said.

After Hodges walked out Gnagy called 9-1-1. Austin police showed up in minutes. According to the arrest affidavit, after a foot chase, police arrested Hodges in the 9800 block of Oak Hollow Dr.

Gnagy has several security cameras, one pointed right at the front door. It captured Hodges' first attempt to get in the house.

"He walked right up to the window and tried to see if it was unlocked right in front of the camera. You can make out the t-shirt he's wearing, jacket, whole nine yards so it's pretty bold," Gnagy said.

According to the police report, Hodges, a convicted felon, had a handgun and a backpack with a laptop inside.

Officers traced the laptop back to a man whose apartment was robbed in the Riverside area. Police now believe Hodges is linked to three burglaries in that neighborhood -- all apartment complexes.

The report indicates Hodges entered all four residences through unlocked windows and doors.

"It makes me feel stronger in my position that he should be behind bars," Gnagy said.

Hodges made off with a laptop and television from one of the apartments.

When police asked Gnagy if anything was taken out of his garage he only had once concern.

"I was counting the chickens, I was like okay did he take anything, and I counted one, two, three, nope they're all here," Gnagy said.

The Riverside Drive neighborhood where Hodges broke into three apartments has had its fair share of crime. According to Krimelabb.com, in 2015 nearly 300 burglaries were reported in that zip code.

Hodges is being held at the Travis County Jail on multiple charges, including burglary, evading and felon in possession of a firearm.

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