Burglars who cut through wall of business confronted by armed man


CENTRALIA, Wash. - Police said one of two men who cut through the wall of a Centralia business was confronted by a man armed with a handgun.

 Officers responded to a report of an interrupted burglary in the 200 block of North Tower Avenue Wednesday in which a relative of the business owner interrupted two men who were trying to steal jewelry from jewelry cases inside the showroom.

 Police said the family member had been asleep inside the business in an upstairs room that was connected to the business when he was awakened by noises coming from the showroom and went downstairs.

 The relative confronted a man who was wearing a blue hooded sweatshirt and a dark stocking mask and ordered him to stop.

 The family member fired a shot as the burglar crawled back through the opening in the wall that he had cut through to get into the business.

 It is not known if the burglar was struck by a bullet.

 Police said the burglars got into an empty neighboring business, and once inside, broke through the wall that separates the two businesses.

 Investigators found a witness who said he noticed two men running from the area of the business.

 The witness told police one man was wearing a ski-type mask over his head and face and a second man, described as white and 20-30 years old, was wearing a similar ski mask, but it was pulled up, exposing his face.

 Both men ran back to two vehicles that were parked about a block away with female drivers waiting inside. When the men reached the cars, they got in and fled heading north. 

 The vehicles were described as a newer-model red Mercedes CLK with tinted windows that did not have a front license plate. The witness was only able to get a partial rear license number.

 The second vehicle was described as newer sliver Toyota Scion FRS two-door coupe with tinted windows.  The witness said the Toyota did not have license plates.

 Anyone who sees the vehicles is asked to call 911.