Burglary victim steals burglars' van

A Bellview, Washington guy was in his basement when he heard burglars break in upstairs. He called 911, then sneaked outside. He saw the burglar's van parked in front of his house with the engine running, so he hopped in and drove it away, leaving the burglars without a getaway vehicle.
The burglars took off on foot, leaving a pile of televisions, a laptop and a jewelry box by the door. A witness who was visiting a home across the street saw them. According to the detectives' report, "the males looked back ... and appeared startled."

"I wish I could have seen the look on their faces," Rosario told The Seattle Times.

Burglary victim steals burglars' van (Via Arbroath)


  1. Fortunately there wasn’t a getaway driving waiting in the van to shoot the guy in the face. Amateurs.

  2. It’s easy to foil thieves when they are stupid. I had an expensive electric bass guitar (rickenbacker) stolen out of my car when I was at home at night. Luckily the person who stole it took it to the closest used musical instrument store which I had already visited and explained my situation to the proprietor. The guy from the shop calls me back and says someone came in with my bass trying to sell it. So I drove over there and got the cops (the station is like 100 feet away). They got arrested and I got my bass back. That’s the luckiest thing that has ever happened to me

  3. @6 : “parked in front of his house with the engine running”, and probably at 3 in the morning ? Not very likely.

    Also, good one.

  4. Long ago a couple guys I lived with came home real late with a gumball machine. “What’s that for?” Says I.
    “For the money!”
    “It would have more money in it if it wasn’t full of gumballs.” Sure enough, no money. Just gum.

  5. Heh! Way to go, Patrick!

    @7 You left your Rick’ in the car overnight? Dude…

    @8 More likely 3 in the afternoon. Wife at work. Kid at daycare.

  6. @ #9 Troofseeker: That’s awesome.

    @ #4 MDH: And now it’s likely to be returned to whoever it belongs too if it was stolen.

  7. Excellent! Bellevue is only 10 miles or so from me. That reminds me… I need to plug the alarm system back in.

    @7 : I doubt it was at 3 in the morning. From the article, “His wife, Jamie, was at work, and his 2-year-old son, Thomas, was at day care.”

  8. It would have been even better if he could have disabled the van somehow or put THE CLUB on the steering wheel lol…

    i just imagine them loading up the van then it not going anywhere….

  9. Great story. He’ll have something to share over beers for years to come. Something else fun would have been to throw their keys down the storm drain.

    I also love that a laid off dude still had his kid in daycare.

  10. “Something else fun would have been to throw their keys down the storm drain.”

    Assuming they had the keys in the first place.

  11. @#7: When our house was broken into in the mid 1980s, the theives MOVED my Rickenbacker 4001 bass from resting on the TV to my Acoustic 360, so they could steal our JVC VCR. They also made off with a small jar of pennies, my Mom’s saint medals that were blessed by the Pope, and a Disc camera (remember those?) with pics of my grandmother’s 90th (I think) birthday party. They left the alcohol and shotguns by the penny jar, however… Considering the murder/crime rate here in New Orleans now, I think they’d be stealing the guns if we got broken into again…

  12. My own break-in story took place in Oklahoma, where the thief or thieves must have literally ran through the house–they ignored the big stuff and opened drawers and cabinets, literally looking through underwear drawers and under the bed–and went right past my wife’s laptop, easily worth $1000 at the time, with the rainbow apple on the lid. Not exactly Ocean’s 11.

  13. one night whilst snoozing comfortably, i heard someone breaking in to the garage underneath my apt. i jumped out of bed, and without thinking, grabbed my 3-1/2 foot long (sharp and shiny!) hand-and-a-half “bastard” sword, and headed out the door and down the stairs. the burgler must have heard me comin down the stairs, and was just coming out the garage door as i came a running, buck-ass nekkid, around the corner swingin the broadsword. his eyes grew big as saucers, as the blade just missed his head, and took a big chunk out of the door trim. the next thing i know im chasing this kid ( prolly about 16-17) thru the neighborhood shouting about how i’m gonna chop him up and use him as ‘chum’, among other choice epithets. eventually i realized that there was quite a breeze a-blowin on my lower torso and hauled-ass back home, trying to somehow keep the sword hidden. fortunately it was 3 in the morning and not many were out at the time. believe it or not, it took me a while to get back to sleep.


    9 out of 10, but full marks if you’d run through the streets after him yelling “There can be only one!”

  15. I’m not denying that you did very well indeed. Just add it to your epithet list for next time, that’s all I’m saying.

    Although, the pop-culture irony may be lost on the terrified street urchin.

    For clarity of communication, the carving into Chum stuff is probably going to be the ticket.

  16. 1988 – Austin Texas – EAST 51st street, across from the now not-Airport, in a crummy duplex, busy street, with airplanes flying over at roof level, .. constantly, NOT a great neighborhood.

    I get home from crummy job, walk in through the back, cannot find my dog. Ladybird (half lab, half pit, all wonderful) (R.I.P.) She was in the front room, laying down, growling.

    Came through the doorway, and saw a young man standing in the corner, on the couch, crying, and had peed himself, and was missing the back of his pants.

    Every time he moved, at all, Bird would growl.

    million things race through your mind at a time like this. all I could come up with was:

    “It’s a BETAMAX, not even a real VHS, the tee-vee sucks, and I have no money. I’ll let you go, but you tell EVERYONE you know what the address is, and it is a BETAMAX”

    He ran, i mean, like the wind. never saw him again, never had that duplex broken into again.

    I miss Bird, she was a great dog.

  17. @17: re “laid off guy still had his kid in daycare” — kids that age are bad with transitions. Assuming he goes back to work in under a month, it’ll just confuse the poor kid to take him away from his friends for a couple of weeks.

  18. Did you hear about his conversation with the 911 agent? He tells her that he’s taking their getaway car and she says something like “stop! you can be charged for stealing!”.
    I’m like WTF?? Whose freaking side are you on anyways?? Maybe he should have gone back and apologized to the crooks and begged them not to put a bullet in his face?
    Anyways, I don’t believe that counts as “theft” as he isn’t really taking the vehicle for himself – but rather confiscating it to prevent a crime.

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