Burglar Breaks Into House to Watch TV, Convinces Homeowner to Give Him a Ride
A Maine man broke into a home, had a bite to eat, and watched some TV. He later explained to the homeowner that his friend used to live there, so he made himself at home… and the unsuspecting victim believed it! The latter even gave the burglar a ride home as he figured it was the easiest way to get the strange man out of his house.
Derek Tarbox, 35, broke into a Waterboro home Sunday afternoon, took a shower, got dressed in the homeowner’s clothes, and was watching television when the homeowner arrived, the York County sheriff’s office said.
The homeowner, Michael Pradon, returned home with his 9-year-old daughter that day and saw Tarbox sitting on the couch watching TV and snuggling their dog.
Even though Pradon was shocked, he listened to Tarbox’s story about why he was there and found it very convincing. The suspect allegedly said his friend used to live there, and he thought it would be OK to make himself at home. In addition, the trespasser additionally helped himself to the homeowner’s meals and took a bath, based on News Center Maine.
Pradon even gave Tarbox a ride to a house in Hollis that the suspect said was his home, but actually belonged to Tarbox’s relatives.
“The (resident) thought the scenario was unusual, but plausible, so he agreed to drive the man to a house in Hollis,” York County Sheriff Bill King told the Portland Press-Herald. “He said he wanted to get the man out of his house, so he agreed to drive him ‘home.’”
When Pradon got back home, he noticed his bedroom had been ransacked, the back door had been forced open and some medication was missing, according to the Bangor Daily News. He quickly called authorities.
“This is highly unusual the way this unfolded and for the individual to have enough wits to try and almost befriend the victim – the homeowner in this case – and use a story in order to manipulate them,” said Maj. Paul Mitchell with York County Sheriff’s Office.
Tarbox was arrested the same day on multiple charges, including burglary, unauthorized use of property, leaving the scene of a property damage accident, failure to report an accident by quickest means and theft by unauthorized taking. He is being held on $8,000 bail.
When deputies and Maine State Police troopers found Tarbox he was reportedly still wearing Pradon’s clothes.
Deputies soon learned from Maine State Police that before walking to the caller’s home Tarbox had allegedly stolen a vehicle in Portland and then ran out of gas in Hollis.
He later stole another vehicle and drove it until he crashed it in the woods.
“What he did inside the house is unusual, to say the least. It’s not often you get somebody to shower and change into the homeowner’s clothes and then ask for a ride on top of that,” Mitchell said.
Tarbox’s lawyer says the man was just released from Spring Harbor Hospital, a psychiatric facility, and needs professional help.