Would-be home burglars narrowly escape police in foot pursuit

July 1, 2011

By Tim Pfarr

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Two would-be home burglars narrowly escaped Newcastle Police officers in a foot pursuit in the 8100 block of 126th Place Southeast just before noon June 2.

The suspects — a white man and a black man — broke into an occupied home from the backyard, but fled without stealing anything when they realized somebody was home, King County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. John Urquhart said.

A neighbor spotted the men entering the yard and called police. Newcastle Police Chief Melinda Irvine said the men took off running from the home before realizing officers were responding to the area.

Police chased the men on foot as they scaled backyard fences through the neighborhood, but police were unable to apprehend them. A police helicopter also responded to the area.

The men appeared to have driven to the area in a red car, although police would not release more details about the vehicle, because the investigation is ongoing. The homeowner — a woman — was upstairs asleep when she heard the men break in. She announced herself, causing the men to flee, Urquhart said.

The incident comes in the wake of a string of home burglaries that took place across the city this spring, including two burglaries the same day just blocks from the site of the chase.

Residents reported the other June 2 burglaries to be in the 12500 block of Southeast 75th Place and in the 7900 block of 129th Place Southeast, respectively. In the first burglary, the suspect entered through the back door, stealing nearly $30,000 worth of property, including a .45-caliber pistol and a $19,800 wedding ring.

In the second burglary, the suspect broke a rear window to enter the house, stealing a house key, a bottle of tequila and prescription painkillers. That house was armed with an alarm, and the upper floor was armed with a motion detector. However, the suspect entered through an unarmed window and did not go to the upper floor.

Irvine said there are as many as five home “burglaries of interest” in the city that could be linked to the men.

She said residents should dial 911 if they see any suspicious activities.

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