German Twp. homeowner fights back against would-be burglar

Richard Winegardner’s German Twp. property has been burglarized four times just since May — but the latest would end differently than all the others.

Winegardner was taking a shower on Wednesday, when he heard a stranger in his house.

He said he immediately grabbed his phone to call 9-1-1 and his gun, which was in a gym bag.

In the 9-1-1 call requested by the Springfield-News Sun, Winegardner tries to juggle confronting the person in his house and giving the dispatcher needed information.

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“I’m being robbed right now!,” he yells.

Winegardner said he held the man at gunpoint for as long he could — which caught the stranger off-guard.

“(He) tried to talk me into believing he was a great guy and he wasn’t here to cause me any problems — which I found odd because he already broke into the house,” Winegardner told the News-Sun.

Moments later in the call there are several gunshots.

Winegardner said at that point, the man had run out the door and tried to drive off in a gray SUV.

He said he fired his gun five times at his car to try to shoot out a tire.

The SUV was found across from the Upper Valley Mall shortly after the attempted burglary with the back windshield shot out, as well as bullet holes in the interior and on the bumper.

The suspect, 38-year-old Jason Moak of Clark County, was found near the intersection of West First Street and Universal Drive and arrested.

Winegardner said he was familiar with the vehicle that Moak was driving — but he had never seen the man before he was in Winegardner’s house.

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Winegardner lives in a very secluded area and has outfitted his entire property with game cameras after several other break-ins this year.

“I saw the car I had seen previously many times on surveillance,” Winegardner said. “It was the same vehicle that had been here twice last week.”

According to court documents, Moak did admit to German Twp. Police after his arrest on Wednesday that he got into Winegardner’s house through a crawl space which led to a trap door in the house.

In past burglaries, a suspect entered the house in the same way.

Moak has not been charged with any other burglaries at Winegardner’s property as of Thursday.

A not guilty plea was entered for Moak on one count of burglary and his bond was set at $25,000.

As of Thursday evening, Moak remained in the Clark County Jail.

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