Mayville police catch man they say was stalking ex-girlfriend

MAYVILLE -- Police arrested a 27-year-old Mayville man after they found him inside a woman's home on Friday night. Sean Neitzel has been charged with one count of burglary of a building or dwelling, and one count of disorderly conduct.

The 32-year-old woman, whom, according to the criminal complaint, is the ex-girlfriend of Neitzel, reported to police that since the middle of December last year, someone has been prowling around her residence and entering her home while she was gone. The criminal complaint in the case states that the woman informed police that she had seen footprints outside one of her windows, her boots were moved from her back deck onto a concrete slab, the mirror on her truck was pushed towards the hood, her underwear went missing from her drawer, her birth control pills were missing from her bedroom, the TV remote was missing from the living room, and her daughter's iPod was missing.

Police stepped up enforcement in the area and continued to locate footprints coming to and from the residence. “At one point, we even set up a small outdoor surveillance camera in an effort to identify the suspect. However, the suspect apparently spotted the camera and stole it,” Mayville Police Chief Christopher MacNeill says. “When we have someone stalking a female and entering her home, it becomes a priority for law enforcement. Every officer was involved in this case," MacNeill said.

At about 11 p.m. on Friday, January 27th, an officer patrolling the area observed a vehicle parked on a street behind the woman’s home. An officer traced footprints from the vehicle to the house.

According to police, the officer made contact with an upstairs tenant who says they had heard noises coming from below. The officer realized the suspect was still in the residence and quickly requested back up. The woman was not in the home at the time, but according to the criminal complaint, there was a loaded .22 handgun in her nightstand drawer, and she informed police that the suspect did have access to weapons at his residence. The woman went to the Mayville Police Department where she gave keys to her residence to Chief MacNeill, who responded to the scene and provided backup.

The man was found inside the woman's home, and was arrested without incident, and taken to jail on charges of burglary and stalking -- both felonies. Police interviewed Neitzel and obtained a confession. According to the criminal complaint, Neitzel told police he used a card to get into the woman's home, and told police he and the woman broke up in November, and "heartache got the best of him."

“I am very proud of the diligent work of the detective and all the officers in bringing this closure to the victim and the community," MacNeill said.

If convicted of the burglary charge, Neitzel faces a fine of not more than $25,000 and 12 years and six months of imprisonment, or both. If convicted on the disorderly conduct charge, Neitzel faces a fine of not more than $1,000 and 90 days of imprisonment, or both.