• Juvenile burglar now charged as adult

    By: Deborah Horne


    SEATTLE - "They grabbed what they could grabbed some of the boxes and took it with them out to our den," said Marsha Thomas, describing the day she returned to find her home had been broken into. It was last New Year's Eve; her mother had died one week earlier.

    "They figure that the person was in here and out of here in probably less than 10 or 15 minutes and did thousands of dollars' worth of damage and costs," said Thomas.

    The King County prosecutor says the culprit is 18-year-old Juan Purganan a convicted serial burglar who was a juvenile when he was first arrested. In the last 12 months, when he was just 17, he was convicted of four burglaries. Now the prosecutor is charging him as an adult and calling him a danger to the community.

    We went to Purganan's Beacon Hill home. His mother didn't want to be identified. But she said her son, once an athlete at Rainier Beach High School, feels remorse.

    "I just want to apologize for my kid's action," she said. "He does feel sorry."

    Thomas said the burglar stole her sense of security, but still, she feels compassion for him.

    "As much as it was frustrating for us to lose what we've lost, I feel bad for what this kid has lost in his life," she said.

    Purganan didn't serve much time for the four burglaries -- just 30 days in juvenile detention.

    But next week he will be arraigned in a +fifth burglary -- this time as an adult.


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