A 36-year-old suspected burglar is in custody after police say an Iowa City resident found him standing in his kitchen with a backpack.
Officers were called to 605 Westgate St. at 10:03 a.m. Thursday about a “fight in progress,” police reported. As officers arrived, they learned it was actually a burglary and found the suspect – later identified as Robert Denail Jones – on the ground being restrained by several men, police reported.
During their investigation, officers learned that the resident arrived home and noticed a back door to his garage was standing open. Once inside, he found a man with a backpack standing in his kitchen, police reported.
When the man tried to flee, the resident grabbed him in an attempt to keep him there for police. The encounter turned into a fight that ended up in the garage, where neighbors noticed and stepped in to help subdue the alleged burglar, according to police.
The homeowner was taken by ambulance to Mercy Iowa City, where he was treated for a non-life threatening facial injury. Jones also was taken by ambulance to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics for a health evaluation.
Jones is accused of first-degree burglary, assault causing serious injury while committing a felony and possession of burglar’s tools.
In December 2005, Jones was convicted of attempted third-degree burglary in connection with a July 2005 arrest on suspicion of first-degree burglary in Iowa City. He was sentenced at that time to two years in prison.
Jones’ criminal history also includes arrests for operating while intoxicated, disorderly conduct, trespassing and alcohol violations.