Tacoma serial burglary suspect Michael Leair pleads not guilty; held on $500,000 bail

CAPTURE UPDATE:  A suspect accused of breaking into numerous homes all over Tacoma pleaded not guilty in Pierce County court and is being held on $500,000 bail.  Michael Leair was arrested on Nov. 27th after Washington’s Most Wanted viewers spotted him leaving a pawn shop in a vehicle and called in tips to Crime Stoppers of Tacoma/Pierce County describing the make, model and license plate number.   Gang unit detectives later spotted the vehicle on Portland Ave. and took Leair into custody. He has been charged with six counts of Residential Burglary in Pierce County and one in King County. “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,” said Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. Tacoma Police say Leair forced his way into houses between July 23rd and Sept. 22nd. "We do know that he is considered violent. In one of the burglaries, he was able to steal many guns," said Officer Loretta Cool.  Detectives says Leair is the suspect seen on surveillance video breaking into a retired couple’s home in East Tacoma on September 19th.  They were vacationing in Oregon when their alarm company notified them of a break-in. Surveillance video showed Leair running from their house with a pillow case full of her jewelry.  "I had a pearl necklace and bracelet and earrings that my husband gave me when we got married and then a lot of sentimental things that I`ve received over the years from my children and things like that," she said. Leair is Washington’s Most Wanted Capture #697.   FUGITIVE UPDATE November 3, 2015 -- A serial burglary suspect accused of breaking into homes all over Tacoma is on the run and police are asking for the public’s help to find him. A bench warrant was issued Tuesday for Michael Leair. He has been charged with six counts of Residential Burglary. Detectives say he forced his way into houses between July 23rd and Sept. 22nd. "We do know that he is considered violent. In one of the burglaries, he was able to steal many guns," said Tacoma Police Officer Loretta Cool. “We've charged Michael Leair for burglarizing homes all over Tacoma," adds Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. "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.”

Detectives says Leair is the suspect seen on surveillance video breaking into Donna and Ed’s home in East Tacoma on September 19th. I am not sharing their last name or address for their safety. The couple was vacationing in Oregon when their alarm company notified them of a break-in. Surveillance video showed Leair running from their house with a pillow case full of Donna’s jewelry.  "I had a pearl necklace and bracelet and earrings that my husband gave me when we got married and then a lot of sentimental things that I`ve received over the years from my children and things like that," she said. If you have any information that can help Tacoma Police find Leair, call Crime Stoppers of Tacoma-Pierce County at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) All calls are anonymous and there is a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to his arrest.

FUGITIVE WANTED IN TACOMA October 7, 2015 -- It’s a homeowner’s worst nightmare. Ed and Donna were on a trip to the Oregon coast last month when the East Tacoma couple's alarm company called about a break-in. Donna pulled up the video on her phone and the first thing she saw was the crook walking out of her front door with a pillow case full of her jewelry. "I had a pearl necklace and bracelet and earrings that my husband gave me when we got married. And then a lot of sentimental things that I've received over the years from my children and things like that,” she said. It’s not the first time thieves have broken in but it’s definitely the worst. Not only did he smash their back window and dig through their closet but he left a disgusting surprise behind on their porch. They say he defecated on their porch.

“For him to do something like that, it’s very degrading,” said Ed. Still the worst part for Donna was knowing he had been in her bedroom. “When we got back, I still slept in our motor home,” she said. They just want to feel safe so Donna is considering getting a gun and being trained to use it. Ed is adding several more cameras to the seven they have already and he’s getting ready to install bars on the windows. Tacoma Police Officer Loretta Cool says another option is to put a special laminate on the windows that prevents them from being broken from the outside. "From the inside, you can actually break the glass to escape if you had a fire in the home. Obviously, it looks much better than bars on the windows and it's safe for you to get out in case you had a medical emergency and had to get out of the house through a window,” she said. Until the suspect is caught, Ed and Donna are on extra alert. "It'd be nice to see him go to jail. I would love to go to court and testify against him,” she said. If you have any information that can help Tacoma Police find the burglar, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) All calls are anonymous and there is a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to his arrest.