Port Angeles homeowner says burglar may have robbed home before

By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — Bill Feeley let himself into his Deer Park Road home, turned a corner and bumped into an intruder.

And he thinks the man who broke into his home last Tuesday may have been a repeat visitor.

“He seemed like he knew what he was doing,” said Feeley, 66, who came home Tuesday morning at about 11 to find a stranger rummaging through his belongings.

Feeley said Friday that his home along Deer Park Road had been broken into a couple of years ago and about $2,500 worth of $2 bills — meant as a graduation present for his granddaughter — and silver coins had been stolen.

Feeley said the burglar was never caught.

Last week, Feeley said he was coming home to review some paperwork and went into his house through a back door when he heard noises from the back bedroom.

“I went back there and bumped right into this guy,” Feeley said.

“It scared the bejesus out of me.”

The scare wasn't enough, however, to stop Feeley from grabbing the man and sharing words “not suitable for print.”

“And that's when the conversation got colorful,” Feeley said.

Man broke free

Feeley tried to keep hold of the man as he struggled, but the man broke free and ran toward the front door, which Feeley thinks the man had opened ahead of time as an escape route.

“I wish I would have hit him,” Feeley said.

The man also seemed to know his way around the area surrounding the property, Feeley said.

“The way the guy ran off into the woods, he knew exactly where he was going,” he added.

Feeley's call to 9-1-1 emergency dispatchers after the man fled into the Deer Park-area woods led to an unsuccessful 2-hour search that involved Clallam County sheriff's deputies, U.S. Border Patrol agents and a Port Angeles police officer and police dog.

The search did not turn up the burglar, however, and sheriff's deputies were still investigating the case as of Saturday morning.

“There's nothing leading us to identifying the suspect as of yet,” said Sgt. Randy Pieper with the Clallam County Sheriff's Office.

Feeley described the man to law enforcement as white, between 25 and 27 years old, standing between 5-foot-8 and 5-foot-10 and weighing a stocky 160 pounds.

The man also had a streak-like tattoo on his neck, dark brown or black hair and was wearing a blue windbreaker and blue jeans, Feeley said.

Not hurt

Feeley said he was not hurt in the scuffle, except for a dime-sized bruise on his inner arm.

“Mostly what's hurt is my pride,” he said, adding that the man likely got away with $10 from Feeley's bedroom.

The man appeared to use a step ladder to get into the bedroom and enter through a widow, which Feeley said likely was unlocked.

“It's my mistake,” he added.

It's a mistake, however, that Feeley said he does not plan to repeat as he will now be regularly locking his doors and windows, and likely having a security system installed.

“And yes, I'm packing my gun now,” said Feeley, who described his pistol as a “little” Ruger .380.

Feeley shares the home with his wife, Fran, who was not home during the burglary, and his two dogs: a German shepherd/collie mix named Chado and a Labrador/hound mix named Coco.

Both dogs were in an fenced outdoor kennel when the burglary happened, Feeley said.

“The Sheriff's Office said if [one of the dogs had been] out, the [burglar] probably wouldn't have come in,” Feeley added.

Authorities have said anyone who sees a man matching the burglar's description should phone the Sheriff's Office's business line at 360-417-2459 or dial 9-1-1 if the situation is an emergency.

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Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at jschwartz@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: May 11. 2013 5:48PM
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