CEDAR LAKE — A 20-year-old man accused of entering two homes as the residents slept early Sunday was arrested after he was seen driving in the area, an official said.

Robert McGurk, of Cedar Lake, was charged Monday with felony burglary, residential entry and attempted residential entry and misdemeanor theft, Lake Criminal Court records say. He is being held in Lake County Jail, according to police.

McGurk is accused of entering the homes in the 13400 and 13500 blocks of Cedar Street between 1 and 3 a.m. Sunday.

A homeowner in the 13400 block of Cedar told police he awoke about 1 a.m. and found a man inside his home. The homeowner confronted the man, fought with him and threw him out, Deputy Police Chief Carl Brittingham said.

Police learned the man had entered the home through an unlocked door.

About 3 a.m., police were again dispatched to the 13500 block of Cedar Street after an elderly resident reported she awoke to a man in her living room, Brittingham said. 

The woman confronted the man, who told her he wasn't there to hurt her and had entered the wrong house by mistake, police said. The man ran out the front door.

A Schererville K-9 helped track the man, but the trail ended near a home under construction, police said. 

Two other homeowners in the area turned over images of the suspect after he approached their homes and was caught on a doorbell ring camera, police said.

Brittingham was returning to the 13400 block of Cedar Street when he saw a man fitting the description of the suspect driving toward the area of the burglaries, he said. He stopped the vehicle and ultimately arrested McGurk, the driver.

McGurk was later identified in a photo lineup by the homeowner he fought with, police said.

Cedar Lake Police Chief David Coulson urged residents to always lock their doors for safety.

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Public safety reporter

Sarah covers crime, federal courts and breaking news for The Times. She joined the paper in 2004 after graduating from Purdue University Calumet.