Armed homeowner detains break-in suspect

LAKE STEVENS — A Lake Stevens man detained a registered sex offender at gunpoint early Wednesday morning after finding him hidden in his garage.

The homeowner and his wife were alerted by an alarm, according to court records.

When a Snohomish County deputy sheriff arrived, the homeowner was standing at the entrance of the garage and pointing a .22-caliber rifle at the suspect who was sitting against a wall.

The alarm woke the couple up around 4 a.m. The homeowner went out to the garage and noticed his roll-up garage door was up a few inches, court papers said. He locked everything, but the garage alarm went off again.

At that point, he grabbed his rifle and opened the garage door.

That’s when the homeowner found the suspect huddled on the concrete floor behind a large log splitter. He yelled commands at the man not to move.

The homeowner’s wife called 911 around 4:10 a.m., a deputy wrote in a police report to establish probable cause for an arrest.

The deputy arrived at the home off Rhodora Heights Road eight minutes later to find the homeowner, who was dressed in pants but no shirt, keeping the burglary suspect at bay.

The suspect, 21, told the deputy he was homeless and was not trying to steal anything. He claimed he only was there to stay warm and he thought he had been in the garage for about an hour.

The deputy wrote in a police report that the suspect didn’t have much of an answer about why he chose to enter a secluded residential garage up a long driveway on top of a hill. The suspect said it was too far to walk to Frontier Village and sit in an open business for warmth.

The suspect was convicted of child molestation as a juvenile in 2006. The registered sex offender lists his mother’s address in Everett. He told police he actually is homeless.

He was booked into the Snohomish County Jail for investigation of burglary on Wednesday morning.

Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446, stevick@heraldnet.com

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