Man caught on camera trying to break into Tulare home while family is inside

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Erica Munoz thought she was safe when having a conversation with a stranger outside her Tulare home Sunday. (KFSN)

Erica Munoz thought she was safe when having a conversation with a stranger outside her Tulare home Sunday. The man wouldn't stop ringing her doorbell and she was trying to convince him to leave.

"Normally my door is always locked, always. Unfortunately that time it wasn't, it was a mistake," said Erica Munoz, Tulare.

From her surveillance system Munoz caught the man opening her front door. She dashed to the front of the house where her son was asleep on a couch.

"I could see him physically entering, shutting the door behind him, and all I could think of is my kid doesn't even know he's there, he's going to get my son. I ran out and that's when I panicked."

Munoz chased the man outside, but he would return again at night. Detectives later identified the intruder as 35-year-old Martin Tovar-- who was arrested Wednesday in an unrelated case for possession of an assault weapon.

"Lucky for me he didn't attack me, because it could have turned out totally different, I could not be here right now."

Tovar told officers he intended to steal the family's truck and claimed he was listening to voices inside his head. He is now also facing a burglary charge.

"It was broad daylight, he had the nerve in broad daylight to come and take my stuff," said Munoz.

Munoz said since then, she's signed up for self-defense classes, intends to communicate more with her neighbors, and never make the same mistake again.

"Just take that extra second and make sure it's locked, turn around and make sure."

Tovar is being held at the Tulare County Jail and in addition to the two felony charges he's facing detectives have also filed an emergency protective order for the victim's family.

Related Topics:
newsburglarybreak-intulare countycaught on cameraTulare
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