Tacoma police looking for man suspected of a string of home burglaries

TACOMA -- Police in Pierce County are trying to track down a repeat burglar who is believed armed and could be dangerous. They say they’ve used fingerprints and palm prints to link Michael Shawn Leair to at least six home burglaries since July.

Michael Leair is still on the loose, which is why Jesse is worried about showing his face on camera. Jesse says Leair broke into his Tacoma home in July.

“Apparently he came in over the back fence, forced his way right through a bedroom window. Had enough time to actually break into two safes.”

Jesse says more than a dozen guns were stolen, some of them antiques that had been passed down from his grandfather. He did get surveillance video of Leair. But in some ways, that’s made him more uneasy.

“Having a face to go with it by seeing them on camera. You drive to work every day thinking does that person resemble them, does this person?”

Ed and Donna can relate. They say Leair broke into their home in September. He’s seen on video leaving their home with a pillowcase full of jewelry.

“I had a pearl necklace and bracelet and earrings that my husband gave me when we got married,” says Donna.

Tacoma police are hoping the public can help them track down Leair.

“He is a prolific burglar, someone that we have been able to tie into numerous burglaries all over the city, not just one neighborhood,” says officer Loretta Cool.

Pierce County prosecutor Mark Lindquist has issued a bench warrant for Leair.

“We’ve charged Michael Leair for burglarizing homes all over Tacoma. We are working hard with law enforcement to stop repeat burglars. He is part of the 10 percent who are causing 90 percent of the thefts. If the public can help police apprehend him, future victims will be spared.”

Jesse hopes he is caught soon, so other homeowners don’t have to feel the way he does.

“Not only are the firearms a scary thought. But the fact there’s less and less fear I’m sure, as he gets better at his trade, so to speak.”

If you recognize Michael Shawn Leair, you are asked to call Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound at 1-800-222-TIPS.