Rooftop Burglar Strikes Again

WASHINGTON -- The rooftop burglar has struck again-- and this time was seconds away from being caught. 

Someone entered a residence in the 1700 block of Corcoran through a skylight Friday evening, police said.

20 burglaries have been reported in the same two-block since December; all the homes hit have been in the 1700 blocks of Corcoran and Q Streets. 

A neighborhood all too familiar with this thief's M.O., residents called 9-1-1as soon as they saw something suspicious.

"Residents did a great job," said Diane Groomes, of D.C. Police. "They called us about spotting a guy going through a roof, and as you know, we've been having rooftop burglaries here. Officers responded and we missed him by seconds."

Police were also tipped off by the homeowner, whose surveillance equipment alerted him at work that there was a problem.  A motion sensor triggered an email alert, and within moments, the homeowner was watching a man break into his house.

"I saw I had an email in my inbox, I opened the video, and I saw a guy's legs dangling from the ceiling," he told News 4.

Police arrived just seconds too late to catch the crook in the act. Officers and police dogs fanned out across the area, hoping to catch the suspect hiding in the area.

"We had units that got down here within minutes and secured the area.  We looked for him, but unfortunately, it looks like he got away," DC Police Commander Matt Klein said.

The burglar made off with an estimated $8,000 in electronics Friday alone, and police believe the burglaries will likely continue until the suspect is caught. 

The victim in Friday's burglary says he's heard the suspect always leaves behind a calling card-- and tonight was no different.  He found a cigar in his home. 

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