A man accused of trying to burglarize a University Place house and row away from the scene Monday made it to shore, and was greeted by police when he did.
The 44-year-old Roy man, who was on bail on another burglary charge, was in jail again Monday night after he allegedly tried to burglarize a home in the 2400 block of Day Island Boulevard and then use a rowboat to flee.
A neighbor called the homeowner about 1:30 p.m. to ask whether the person he saw in her house was supposed to be there, said Police Chief Mike Blair, who gave this account:
The woman, who was away from home, said she didn’t know who the stranger was, and the neighbor went to investigate.
When he confronted the stranger the man fled in his vehicle, hitting the neighbor’s vehicle, the woman’s garage and fence, and almost going off into the water in the process.
After those collisions, the burglar sped down the residential street at 50 miles per hour – with the neighbor in pursuit – and then almost hit the homeowner head-on as she returned to check on her house.
The woman swerved, and the burglar hit the back end of her vehicle. His car was stuck at that point, and he ran away.
A few blocks away he found a small boat, which he used to row from the University Place peninsula where the house is to the Tacoma Outboard Association at Titlow Park.
A witness described the man’s nautical journey to police from the Day Island Bridge, and officers arrived about the same time as the boat.
The suspect docked, saw the officers, jumped into the water and swam to a nearby boathouse, where he was found and arrested, according to police.
He’s being investigated for attempted murder, hit and run, theft and burglary, and is to be arraigned Tuesday, Blair said.
The suspect is charged with second-degree burglary for another case, and has pleaded guilty to other burglaries.