Man Swaps Furniture While Neighbors Are Out, Gets Arrested
A Washington couple came home from a weekend trip to find that their furniture had been swapped out for furniture they didn't recognize.
The couple also found a collection of empty beer bottles and pizza boxes inside their apartment, reports The News Tribune. The receipt inside the pizza box included the name and information of one of the culprits. A traffic ticket also left behind included both the name and the address of the second alleged furniture swapper.
Conveniently enough for police, the address listed on the traffic ticket was right next door.
Neighbor Thought Furniture Was 'Abandoned': Police
The couple's neighbor told police that he entered the couple's apartment after finding the door open. Having heard from another neighbor that the couple might be moving, he told police that he thought that the couple had abandoned their furniture. He was also drunk at the time.
Soon, the neighbor and his friend began moving the couple's living room set into the neighbor's apartment. Police believe that despite the neighbor's claim that the front door was open, he and his associate entered the neighboring apartment through a crawl space, as the neighbor's brother had done previously when different tenants were living in the neighboring unit.
Along with an inflatable couch, lamps, tables and a TV stand, police also found military equipment, a papasan chair, an ironing board, and a box of women's shoes, among the items purloined from the couple's house.
The man and his associate were both arrested and charged with residential burglary. Burglary is generally considered the unlawful entry into a structure, such as a home or business, with the intent to commit a crime inside, usually the crime of theft or larceny.
Under Washington law, residential burglary is considered a Class B felony. Class B felonies are punishable by up to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $20,000. Both men have pleaded not guilty.