A Wellington County employee got a rude awakening Tuesday morning.

Alarms sounded at the Ontario works building in downtown Guelph shortly after 5 a.m.

Chad Root, property services lead hand with the county, received a call about the alarms and went to check out the office on Woolwich Street.

When he arrived he found a door had been pried open and propped open with a chair.

Root spotted a man in the hallway carrying a number of items.

“He saw me, and as soon as he saw me he took off running and I followed him throughout the building. He threw the chair on the ground in front of me trying to stop me," he said.

Root says the man was carrying a box containing laptops and a DVD player.

The man dropped the box while attempting to flee before Root caught up to him and cornered him in a room.

"He tried to talk me into just letting him go and not pressing charges or anything whenever I had him cornered and he realized he couldn’t get anywhere, but I wasn't really big on that idea," Root said.

Root wasn’t carrying his cell phone at the time, so he told the suspect the only way to get out of the building was through the gymnasium where Root’s colleague was working.

That’s when they managed to phone police.

Officers arrived and took the man into custody where he was charged with break and enter, break and enter with tools, and with mischief.

Police say interrupting someone in the middle of a crime is rare, but are reminding people to be careful in this kind of situation.

“We're living in an age where most people usually have cellphones which is thankful in these situations and the suggestion is to always disengage and call 911 because it is a crime in progress," said Guelph Police constable Buzz Dean.

After the arrest police were able to link the 43-year-old suspect to another recent crime.

Police say the man was responsible for a theft from a Willow Road store on March 7.

With reporting by Allison Tanner.