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Call to friend leads to arrest in Reile's Acres burglary case

Matthew McCroskey

Matthew McCroskey got the ride he wanted, albeit with a different driver.

Authorities arrested the 24-year-old Fargo man on Saturday morning with an assist from the friend he called to come pick him up as he hid in a garage from police.

According to court files: Cass County sheriff's deputies responded at 3 a.m. to a reported burglary attempt in Reile's Acres, a town of about 300 people two miles west of Fargo's airport.

A homeowner saw a man she described as being in his early 20s and dressed in dark clothes who was shining a flashlight at her back door. After she called 911, she saw the suspect try to enter her garage. Then she turned on the lights in the front, and the man fled.

Deputies searched for the suspect without success before receiving a second report of a burglary attempt at about 4:20 a.m. when another homeowner heard a back screen door open and saw a man fitting a similar description shine a flashlight out back.

As the deputies started to search again and called for a canine unit, Deputy Greg Smith pulled over to talk with the driver of a slow-moving vehicle in the area.

The driver, Michael Cheney, told Smith that his friend, who Cheney said was McCroskey, had called him on a cell phone and asked him to come get him, according to court records.

While Smith and Cheney were talking, McCroskey called and told Cheney he was in the northwest corner of the city near a silver Honda. Soon after, Cheney got a text message from McCroskey telling him to leave due to all the cops in the area, the report from Smith states.

Two other officers were already following up on the tip, searching the area near a silver Honda. They found the suspect under a truck inside a garage.

McCroskey later told a deputy that he was in the city because he mistook it for the site of a party and said the door to the garage he was found in was already open.

He was charged Monday with two felonies, criminal trespass and attempt to commit burglary. He was being held Tuesday afternoon at the Cass County Jail on $25,000 bail.