PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A family in Northwest Portland’s Cedar Mill community started their Thanksgiving by catching a suspected burglar.
One of the people living at the home in the 12800 block of NW Creekview Drive heard his car alarm going off around 6:30 a.m. on Thursday, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. He went to check it out and found a man inside of his car, so he confronted the intruder while another his wife called 911.
Investigators learned the suspect had entered several vehicles and had also been inside the family’s home and garage. While inside of the home, the suspect had used their restroom and helped himself to food the family had planned to eat for Thanksgiving breakfast. The suspect also stuffed various items he pilfered from the home and vehicles into his pockets, deputies said.
Dana Huntington said the thief, after having helped himself to the contents of his fridge, then stole his car keys. Huntington found the man rummaging through his car after the alarm went off.
“I made him empty his pockets on the ground and all of the stuff in the backpack and in his pockets were tools and things from inside my garage,” said Huntington. “When he was emptying his pockets, he handed me keys of mine I knew were inside a cupboard inside my house. So that was even more unnerving — you have been inside my house when all my kids and my wife and I were asleep upstairs.”
Huntington said the burglar went through the cupboards and made himself right at home, eating rolls and other parts of their Thanksgiving meals. He even drank ciders and took soda from the fridge.
“He at a whole 2-foot-long Hillshire Farms sausage in one stint — just left the wrapper. So he then was grabbing food, he had a whole gallon of cider he had drank half of.”
On top of all that, the man also used one of the restrooms in the house — and didn’t flush — and also used a cooler in the family’s van as a toilet, Huntington said.
Deputies arrested 22-year-old Antonio R. Bernal of Battle Ground, Washington. He was booked into the Washington County Jail on charges of first-degree burglary, two counts of unlawful entry into a vehicle and second-degree theft. Huntington said Bernal had other items on him belonging to other neighbors at the time. Investigators said he’s been linked to one additional case.
While the experience isn’t one anyone would ask for on Thanksgiving, Huntington is thankful for one thing.
“I was just glad to have that closure because it would have been more unnerving to not know, to find everything in disarray and to not find the person, to not know what happened,” he said.
His neighbors have taken to calling it the case of the “turkey burglar.”
Anyone with more information is asked to call deputies at 503.629.0111.