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Beer can alarm alerts tenant to burglar in Fargo

FARGO - An apartment tenant who set beer cans in front of his door to alert him to intruders ended up tussling with an alleged burglar early today in south Fargo, police said.

Police were called at 1:24 a.m. to the 2500 block of 15th Street South for a report of two elderly, naked men attacking each other.

Officers arrived to find the men - one in his underwear and the other fully clothed - fighting between an efficiency apartment unit and the hallway, Sgt. Bill Ahlfeldt said.

An investigation found that the suspect had entered the tenant's apartment while he was sleeping, he said.

"The renter of the apartment had set up a stepstool with empty beer cans on it and set that in front of the door so that if anybody were to open the door it would knock all the beer cans off and that would wake him up, which it did, so I guess it worked," Ahlfeldt said.

"He called it his burglar alarm. He said that he doesn't really lock his doors, so he just does that instead," he said.

The fight began when the tenant turned the light on and found the suspect in a closet next to the front door, Ahlfeldt said.

Both men sustained cuts and bruises, but neither received medical treatment, he said.

Dan Gable, 61, who lives on the floor below in the same building, was arrested on suspicion of burglary and taken to the Cass County Jail.

Gable appeared to be under the influence of alcohol, and it's possible he believed he was entering his own apartment, Ahlfeldt said. It didn't appear he was trying to steal anything, he said.