Female burglar tries to go on shopping spree at Ballard home

SEATTLE -- Home burglaries in Ballard have more than doubled since last year. Early Wednesday morning, a home off 9th Avenue Northwest was targeted while the residents were asleep. In this case, a female burglar was caught on surveillance video.

While the woman was burglarizing the garage, one of the residents found himself in the same room as the burglar.

It was the familiar sound of the garage door that woke up one of the residents at about 3 a.m.

The resident, Reese, who asked that his last name not be used, said Wednesday night that his garage door was left open Tuesday night, leading to a crime of opportunity for the female burglar. Surveillance video caught her casing the house across the street before she casually walked right into Reese’s garage.

“She was wearing all black. She had a scarf around her face. She had a bag also, a shopping mall bag,” said Reese.

The woman was inside for seven minutes, gathering power tools and canvassing the family’s Subaru.

“We see the power tools in the rear of the garage ready to be taken and the car was rummaged through, the glove box, everything was open,” said Reese.

He added that that’s when she accidentally pushed the garage opener, trapping her inside while waking Reese up to investigate the noise. At one point he was just several feet away from the woman

“It’s pitch black because it’s nighttime. I can’t see in the car.  You can’t see around the car. I don’t  hear anything so I figure nothing is there,” said Reese.

Reese assumed his mother upstairs had shut the garage door and went back to bed.

“Not more than a minute later, I hear the garage door move again,” said Reese.

The woman is scared off by the close call, bolting with an empty shopping bag. All the power tools were left behind.

“She took an iPhone cord -- bravo,” said Reese.

His family knows it could have been much worse.

“The feeling is kind of creepy but for me it’s also extremely frustrating,” said Reese, frustrated that she got away after being so close.

“She probably went around and tried more homes last night and she is probably not going to stop until she’s caught,” said Reese.

It is rare to see a case involving a female burglar working alone. What is not rare is the number of home burglaries Ballard has been experiencing this year. By September, there were 61 forcible entry burglaries compared to 28 last year.