Neighbors thwart burglary

It was a neighborhood watch performed perfectly.

An observant Enumclaw resident called 911 Thursday morning, concerned about a vehicle rolling along Willowgate streets that just didn’t seem to fit the surroundings. Perhaps a minute later, while still on the phone with a 911 dispatcher, the alert citizen watched as four teenagers broke into a neighboring home.

Soon, the four were resting inside a city jail cell.

“It was good work on the part of the neighbors,” said Lt. Eric Sortland of the Enumclaw Police Department, praising those with the gumption to make a call. Citizens don’t have to wait until a crime is committed to notify authorities, he said; it’s worth making a call simply when things “just don’t look right.”

Thursday’s situation unraveled at approximately 10 a.m. in the Willowgate neighborhood on the city’s west side, just north of Griffin Avenue. Sortland said four juveniles of high school age forced their way into the home through a rear window. Because the alert neighbor was already on the phone with 911, Enumclaw police officers were quickly on the scene.

Two of the teens were apprehended as soon as they walked out of the home and a third was later found hiding in the house. The fourth suspect bolted from the house and ran through the neighborhood, scaling fences as he went. Residents were quickly aware of what was transpiring and 911 received repeated calls giving the suspect’s exact location. He was apprehended minutes later in an adjacent neighborhood.

When captured, the final suspect was found to have a camera in his pocket that had been taken from the home.

Because one neighbor took the initiative to call 911 simply due to a suspicious vehicle, the entire attempted burglary was wrapped up in about 30 minutes, Sortland said.

None of the suspects have a local address, Sortland said.

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