GIG HARBOR, Wash. - A Gig Harbor homeowner came home to find a man in his garage who appeared to be preparing to steal his car after helping himself to a meal and a cocktail.
Deputies from the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department’s Peninsula Detachment were called to a home on Goldman Drive Northwest at 6:14 p.m. Wednesday where a homeowner had chased off a burglar.
The homeowner said he arrived home to find that all the lights were off and that his house had been ransacked. When he smelled exhaust coming from the garage, he went inside and found a stranger.
When the man asked the burglar who he was, the intruder responded with “Who the hell are you?”
When the homeowner said he lived there, the burglar ran out of the garage and through the neighborhood.
When the victim returned home, he discovered that a sliding glass door had been pried open and a Smith & Wesson handgun with two loaded magazines had been stolen.
He also saw that the burglar had cooked some soup on the stove and was apparently was in the middle of eating and drinking the homeowner's whiskey when he arrived and interrupted the burglar.
Responding deputies said the burglar appeared to have started the victim’s classic car, where deputies found the burglar’s jacket and backpack, as well as the vehicle’s title, which the burglar had found in the house.
Deputies, Gig Harbor police and the Washington State Patrol set up a perimeter as a K-9 unit search wooded areas around the neighborhood.
After about seven minutes, K-9 Zepp found the suspect, who was lying on top of the loaded stolen handgun, hiding in heavy brush. Deputies found the other stolen loaded magazine nearby.
The suspect told deputies he had was just sleeping there, did not have a gun and that he was “really high.” Deputies say they found a bag of methamphetamine and a pipe on the suspect.
After the man was taken into custody, the homeowner identified him as the burglar who had been inside his home.
The 32-year-old man was booked into the Pierce County Jail for investigation of burglary, mischief, theft and unlawful possession of a firearm and drug charges.
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