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Strangers caught by couple inside New London building

NEW LONDON, WI (WTAQ) - A couple from Oshkosh says they caught two strangers inside the building they own in New London.

Not only did Jason and Charlotte Moore catch the two men, but kept them around long enough for the police to show up and arrest them.

The Moores knew they had work to do when they bought the old New London apartment building for their 12 person family to live in.

“We need all the space we can get,” Jason Moore tells FOX 11.

The couple bought the place in December. Since then, the effort to rehab it had become increasingly difficult as copper and electrical wire had been stripped from it.

On Thursday morning, the couple came to check out their future home after its alarm was triggered three times.

“I had a gut feeling that someone was in the house,” said Charlotte Moore. 

“I was listening for noises to see if I could hear anything,” said Jason Moore.

Jason Moore did hear something, looked up and found a man. Moore, wanting evidence, had his phone ready to take a picture in case anyone was inside and tried to run away.

“I asked him if he knew who was the owner or whose building this was,” said Moore. “I was trying to stall him for time so we could get the cops here to get him.”

“When I saw the other person, I panicked,” said Charlotte Moore. “I couldn't dial 911 quick enough.”

“I asked him if there was anybody else in the building with him and he said his friend was in the building with him, so I told him to get his friend and told him to go outside,” said Jason Moore.

“I grabbed him by the arm and told him, you're staying here,” said Charlotte Moore. “You're waiting. We literally convinced them to stick around long enough for the police to show up.”

Police might have showed up at just the right time. They found a knife on one of the men.

“The whole time I had no idea he had a knife,” said Charlotte Moore. “In the photos we were able to snap, you can see that he's got his hands on that knife when I'm grabbing him.”

New London's Police Chief told FOX 11 the department has dealt with these two men in the past.

27-year-old Jason Diem and 24-year-old Scott Sales are now in jail, each with four burglary-related charges.

According to court documents, Sales told police the two would steal copper and wiring to support their drug habits.

The Moores had the copper and electrical damage assessed between $50,000 and $100,000. They say another cost is the extra time it will now take them to fix up and move into their home.

Police were able to reach the building quickly because they were at a nearby house that also reported things missing. Diem and Sales are also charged in that incident.

Diem is on a probation hold.

Sales is being held on a $5,000 signature bond.