A 27-year-old Clinton man got caught chatting on a phone while in the middle of burglarizing a home and ended up tussling with the homeowner last summer, court documents state.
The burglar got away, but not before leaving some blood behind, which was used to tie the suspect to the scene.
Prosecutors charged Michael S. Downey, the alleged burglar, in Island County Superior Court May 9 with first-degree robbery and first-degree burglary. If convicted of the charges, he could face up to five years in prison under the standard sentencing range.
According to the police report, a 49-year-old man returned to his residence on Wilkinson Road in Langley in the early morning hours of July 2013 to find someone had kicked in the door to his garage.
The homeowner entered his kitchen to find a stranger standing in the kitchen, talking on a cell phone.
The resident yelled and then started struggling with the burglar, who tried to escape. The burglar managed to get away after a fight, but left his cell phone behind, the report states.
Both men were injured and were bleeding as a result of the fight.
The resident reported that property worth more than $5,000 was stolen from his house.
Detective Ed Wallace with the Island County Sheriff’s Office completed a forensic analysis of the phone. He found photographs of Downey’s pay stubs as well as photos of him on the phone; he was also able to confirm that Downey had used the phone on a regular basis, the report indicates.
Based on the cell phone analysis, a deputy secured a search warrant for a sample of Downey’s blood. The sample and blood from the burglary were sent to the Washington State Patrol crime lab for analysis; the lab determined the DNA matched, according to the deputy’s report.