Robber to Pelham homeowner: Sorry

PELHAM – When happening upon someone burglarizing your house, the last thing you expect is an apology.

That is exactly what a Pelham man got when he arrived home Friday afternoon to find someone attempting to steal items from his house, including video games, electronics and jewelry.

Pelham police Sgt. Anne Perriello said the homeowner, who police are not identifying, had left his house for about 15 minutes and when he returned around 12:45 p.m., he observed a male suspect exiting the rear of his residence with the items.

When the homeowner confronted the suspect and asked him what he was doing, police said the suspect began apologizing. Perriello said the homeowner instructed the suspect to return all of the items to the house, which the suspect did.

“I suppose that means he had some sort of conscience that made him feel that he should return the items,” Perriello said.

She added that the size of the homeowner, who was much larger than the suspect, might have also had something to do with the suspect’s cooperative nature.

As the suspect eventually fled the scene, the homeowner contacted police.

Police were not able to find the suspect, who fled on foot heading west on Dutton Road. Police are looking for a white male, 6 feet tall, mid to late 20s, medium build, wearing a baseball cap, jogging pants and a T-shirt.

“We’re still on the lookout,” Perriello said Saturday. “The case is still open and active.”

Perriello said the whole situation struck her as unusual.

“It was odd that there was not a physical confrontation or that he didn’t immediately take off,” she said.

Perriello said the suspect told the homeowner that he had fallen on hard times and was several months behind on his child-support payments.

Perriello said the suspect did not make off with any items from the house. Upon the homeowner’s request, the suspect did write down what he said was his name and a Social Security number.

Perriello said police are in the process of checking out the name and the Social Security number, but said it’s already been determined that they don’t match up. Perriello said the suspect did not appear to be armed.

The suspect forced his way into the house through the backdoor slider, she said.

Perriello said the homeowner did try to call 911 when he first realized someone was in the house, but dialed 411 by accident.

Although the homeowner was unharmed, Perriello said anyone in this situation should be sure to contact police before attempting to confront a burglar.

“Safety is the number 1 thing,” she said.

“You can always replace things.”

Police are asking anyone with information to contact them at 635-2411. Perriello said they have received a few leads, which they are in the process of pursuing.