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WDAY: The News Leader

Published November 26, 2012, 06:04 PM

Community reacts to Chaffee home invasion and assault

Chaffee, ND (WDAY TV) - The news of an alarming armed robbery is shaking the small, quiet town of Chaffee.

Chaffee, ND (WDAY TV) - The news of an alarming armed robbery is shaking the small, quiet town of Chaffee.

Four men are accused of breaking into a home overnight and assaulting a grandmother and her daughter, while her grandchildren were upstairs.

We talked to a number of people around town who all say the same thing: it's scary, but an incident like this happening is "nothing new," and that they're not surprised about anything anymore.

But dispatch records show within the past year, deputies have only stopped by the residence twice: Once for a welfare check, and once for a domestic.

Rick Schroeder, Chaffee: "We're starting to see more people coming out from the big city, and you know, they bring that stuff with them."

Rick and Lavonne Schroeder would know. They've seen a lot since they bought the Chaffee café in the 80s.

Lavonne Schroeder, Chaffee: "You just don't know what's going to go on anymore, seems like."

And this news is a little more disturbing than the usual morning-coffee gossip.

Rick Schroeder: "Oh yeah, small town, things travel fast."

Lavonne Schroeder: "Just wondering where, and why."

Four men are accused of breaking 54-year-old Linda Schempp's home, displaying weapons, and then assaulting her and her 21-year-old daughter Kimberly. The women knew two of the suspects, who got away with cash and other valuables.

The Cass County Sheriff's Office says these men are responsible: 34-year-old Michael Mario, 21-year-old Levi Melby, and 18-year-old Zach Senger. They're all from the F-M area.

The men are arrested for armed robbery, terrorizing, and burglary. It's Mario and Senger that are accused of assault. Melby faces additional drug-related charges.

Now, this isn't the first time there's been trouble in town. But both Lavonee and Rick hope it'll be the last.

Rick Schroeder: "Mostly, everyone in town's like a big family right now. We look out for each other.”

What's frightening is that an 8-month-old and 5-year-old were upstairs during the break-in. They did not have contact with the intruders.

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