Intruder claims he took a shower

A would-be thief apparently tried to outsmart police officers by claiming he was taking a shower at the invitation of his alleged victim, but further investigation showed he was all wet.

The suspect initially entered the garage of a multi-unit building on the 1900 block of Hayes Street at around 10:45 a.m. on Aug. 15, officials said, but a tenant in that building chased him off. He then entered the building next door, at which point the first tenant called police.

“They [the caller] saw him in the garage, he left, but he breaks into the other place. The cops following up on the original call had witnesses see him go into the other place. He comes to the door wet after taking a shower,” Robbery Lt. Tom Buckley said.

The man told police he was in the unit as a guest of the resident, whose first name he had apparently picked up from a piece of mail in the house, according to Sgt. Al Melendez, of Park Station.

While he was not among the responding officers, Buckley said it appears the man was wearing only a towel when he answered the door.

“It was a ruse,” Buckley said, but the responding officers didn't fall for it. One officer, who went to the back of the building, apparently saw the suspect looking out the rear window before he answered the door.

The officers called the unit’s resident, who said there should not be anybody in the unit. They then arrested the alleged burglar, taking him to Park Station.

Just how the suspect got into the house is still a mystery. “I think he was adept. I don’t believe doors were left open but there may have been a window open and he may have gotten in that way,” Buckley said.

The suspect was booked and faces criminal charges of burglary.

“In his personal property we believe there were some items taken, which indicated to us he had every intention of permanently depriving the owner of that property,” Buckley said.

amartin@examiner.com

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