Power to D.C. home cut before attempted break-in

Pepco spokeswoman Myra Oppel shows a meter that was tampered with and removed prior to a suspect kicking down the door of a home in Northwest D.C. (WTOP/Darci Marchese)

Darci Marchese, wtop.com

WASHINGTON – It was no ordinary attempted break-in in the Washington area. A thief apparently tried to outsmart a security system that wasn’t even turned on.

Power to a home in the 3600 block of 35th Street NW was cut after someone tampered with and completely removed the home’s electric meter, says Pepco spokeswoman Myra Oppel.

The meter was placed on the porch. Then, it appears, the same person tried to break-in by kicking down the home’s side door.

Homeowner Alan Cheuse was upstairs at the time of the attempted break-in, just after 9:30 Wednesday morning.

“I came running downstairs. The door, I had thought was blown open at the time, but obviously was kicked open by a burglar,” Cheuse says.

The suspect ran off and never entered the home, Cheuse says. He says he never even saw the suspect.

As far as the crime, Cheuse would only say, “Well, it’s the world we live in, isn’t it?”

He says any crime is “unusual in this neighborhood.”

Ironically, Cheuse says the security system wasn’t even turned on since he was home at the time. But, even if he wasn’t, Cheuse says his security system is designed to work on batteries for eight hours after it’s disconnected from a power source. So the thief wouldn’t have had success in avoiding security.

D.C. Police are investigating the crime as destruction of property. Nothing was apparently taken from the home and no one was hurt. The power to Cheuse’s home was quickly restored.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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