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'This woman was not going to be a victim': 65-year-old bitten while fighting off thief

NOW: ’This woman was not going to be a victim’: 65-year-old bitten while fighting off thief

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WASHINGTON COUNTY, Wis. (CBS 58) -- A 65-year-old woman fought off a suspect who deputies say burglarized her home. 

It happened Wednesday in the Town of Erin near County Highway K and Waterford Road. 

The woman told deputies the suspect, a 27-year-old Milwaukee woman, was outside her home, asked for directions, and left. That's when the woman noticed her credit cards, money, and car keys were missing. The Sheriff's Office believes the thief was inside the home stealing her items, but ran outside when she heard the homeowner's dogs. They believe the woman asked for directions as a cover-up to her crime.

"After the individual left, she thought something just wasn't right. So then she noticed her purse which was inside the residence, that her credit cards were missing, some cash, and her key fob for her car," Washington County Sheriff Martin Schulteis said.

The homeowner decided to take measures into her own hands and grabbed another set of car keys to chase the suspect. The 65-year-old woman confronted the suspect nearby, and deputies say the homeowner was bitten. But not before she was able to get the suspect's wallet.

"It's very obvious that this woman was not going to be a victim," Sheriff Schulteis said. "Part of me is very proud that she did this. I'm very grateful that she wasn't hurt, but it is very dangerous."

The suspect ran away and was taken into custody in a neighbor's yard. When police searched the suspect, they found property belonging to the homeowner. Police say they also found drugs and paraphernalia in the suspect's wallet. 

The sheriff said he understands why the woman chased the thief, but he doesn't recommend it. 

"It's inherently dangerous for someone to confront somebody. Because you don't know the suspect's background, you don't know if they're armed. And in this case, the person had very dangerous fentanyl on her, Sheriff Schulteis said.

The suspect was taken to the hospital for drug withdrawal symptoms. Once she was at the hospital, deputies say she spit on a nurse and grabbed the fingers of another nurse to the point that the nurse felt her fingers were about to break. 

The woman is in custody at the Washington County Jail facing several charges. 

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