Police: Busy burglar allowed to go home after confessing to multiple crimes

Updated:

Wood was arrested Feb. 15 while attempting to break into this house.

SEATTLE - Police said that they caught a man burglarizing a home just one week after he confessed to 11 other break-ins.

Twenty-four-year-old Justin Matthew Wood was arrested Feb. 15 while attempting to break into a home on 48th Avenue Southwest, in West Seattle.

Police told KIRO 7 Eyewitness News reporter Amy Clancy that Wood had no prior felony convictions. He reportedly offered to show investigators 10 other homes he had targeted in exchange for not going to jail that night.

Detectives thought it a fair deal.

"He gave information to the detective that solved and closed 10 burglaries and the victims got some of their property back," Seattle police Detective Mark Jamieson said. "That's huge."

One week later, however, Wood was again arrested, allegedly while trying to break into a West Seattle home on 35th Avenue Southwest.

That time, according to documents, he confessed to 13 additional area burglaries, and ended up behind bars.

"This time the judge says, 'Fool me once, shame on you but not this time, you're going away,'" King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg said. "So, we have a half-a-million bail during which time we'll get the police investigations together and we'll file as many cases as we can."

According to Satterberg, a half-a-million-dollar bail is a huge amount for an alleged burglar, but there is an ongoing effort to stiffen penalties for serial burglars.

Satterberg also pointed out that one count of attempted residential burglary means about 45 days in jail. Twenty-four burglaries could land Wood in prison for 10 years.