SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KSPR) - There's been an increase in crime in one Springfield neighborhood. It's the types of crimes that have people talking.
The Rountree Neighborhood is typically known as one of the safer parts of Springfield. People say the increase in crime started with car break ins and quickly escalated.
"Honestly we never had to worry about security systems or anything like that until recently," says Lagen Chase.
For the past four years Chase says he felt safe in his neighborhood. That changed Sunday.
"My fiancé walks out front and she says there is somebody in my car," he says.
Chase walked outside to find his garage door open.
"It was open about half way here just enough to where you could see her bumper," he explains.
Once inside he got the shock of his life.
"I walked up to the male completely nude in there and on a different planet," he says.
Chase found 40 year-old Dale Cater inside his fiancé’s car.
Chase says, "As soon as he was made aware that he was caught and he was going to jail that's when he got violent and he swung up over and hit me in the face, knocked me into my shelving."
Police show up within minutes. Cater begs for clothes before being arrested.
"He grabs our bag of old Halloween clothes and puts on a jail bird outfit. So they walk him out in pins and stripes and nothing below the belly," says Chase.
Chase never expected this to happen in the Rountree Neighborhood.
"It's definitely an eye opener. You see things differently and the neighborhood you that you've built with other people doesn't seem quite as safe as it used to," he says. I don't know if it has anything to do with the homeless rate rising. I don't know because it seems like we're seeing more of that here lately. I'm still scratching my head about it. I'm just glad everybody's safe."
He has now taken steps to keep his family safe.
"I don't think anybody can be one hundred percent prepared for anything like this but that being said we went ahead and got an alarm system last night. I'm gun protected now. He could have taken anything of value and most of those things can be replaced but what he really took is our peace of mind and feeling safe in our own house. That's a feeling I wouldn't want think that I would want anybody, whether I know them or not, to go through," explains Chase.
Dale Cater faces a felony burglary charge and misdemeanor charges of assault and property damage.
He's in jail held on a $15,000 bond.