Sanger Man Accused of Burglary and Sexual Assault

June 30, 2009 6:28:50 PM PDT
A home break-in in the middle of the night has led to the arrest of a suspected child molester and authorities have relatives of the victim to thank for capturing the suspect. Authorities say the burglary and assault happened early Tuesday morning, in a quiet neighborhood near Wonder Valley Ranch. "I'm shocked. You don't expect that to happen around here. That's not what we moved up here for," said neighbor Roger Landucci.Investigators say 32 year old Michael Lovriem broke into a home on Live Oak Drive early Tuesday morning and molested two young children while the family slept. "During the assault, one of the older brothers woke up and had seen Lovriem kneeling over one of the children. He basically alerted everyone else in the family and Lovriem tried to run out of the house," said Fresno County Sheriff's Dept. Spokesperson Chris Curtice.

Deputies say the victims' brother and father chased and caught Lovriem in front of a neighbor's house, where they held him until deputies arrived. "They did the right thing. Granted, we don't want someone to put themselves in harm's way. However, if it was my daughter or my son, I'd chase them down. I think most parents would do that," said Curtice.

Neighbors describe Lovriem as developmentally disabled and say he had been seen wandering around the neighborhood, even peeking into vacant homes. Still, they never thought he'd be capable of such a disturbing crime.

"He is lucky. He is lucky he got out of there the way he did. Because if it would have been someone else, he'd been down ... If someone breaks into my home, I couldn't guarantee their life," said Landucci.

Michael Lovriem is facing felony charges of burglary and sexual assault but the investigation continues, and deputies say more charges may follow.

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