Friday, April 22, 2005

'And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof '

Stupid burglar trick of the week:

RENO, Nev. — A burglar was busted because he made such a clatter and got stuck - in the chimney of a Lake Tahoe home. A neighbor on the lake's north shore in Kings Beach, Calif., telephoned the sheriff about 10 p.m. Wednesday when he heard screams coming from next door where the residents were away on vacation.

Sheriff's deputies and a fire rescue team found Jose Francisco Martinez, 19, wedged halfway down the chimney. He apparently had been stuck there for about two hours, Placer County Sheriff's Sgt. Brian Whigam said Thursday.

"We've had bears stuck in chimneys before but we haven't had people," Whigam told The Associated Press.

....Investigators determined Martinez was aware the residents were out of town. He attempted to enter the house through doors and windows unsuccessfully, Whigam said.

He apparently found a ladder and climbed on the roof, where he attached a cable and lowered his 5-foot-4, 115-pound frame down the chimney before he became stuck and started to yell for help, Whigam said.

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