Crime

He told police he needed a restroom. The ski mask and wire cutters told a different story, prosecutors say

He told Tacoma police he was just looking for somewhere to go to the restroom.

He said it through his ski mask. On an unseasonably warm Monday night. Right outside Tacoma Public Utilities headquarters, where the officers had been dispatched because someone matching the man's description had been seen on camera trying to cut the fence.

It was an emergency, all right.

Officers detained the man and found a vast array of burglar's tools, including wire cutters, a crowbar and a lock pick, Pierce County prosecutors say. He was then arrested.

The 40-year-old Tacoma man was arraigned Wednesday in Pierce County Superior Court on charges of attempted second-degree burglary and possessing burglar's tools. His bail was set at $30,000 on the condition that he immediately clear misdemeanor warrants in Federal Way and Pacific.

According to charging documents:

Tacoma Public Utilities security officers were alerted about 10:50 p.m. Monday that someone was trying to cut the fence on the property. Recently installed motion detectors and cameras showed the man skulking around, ski mask on and hood up despite the nearly 50-degree temperatures at the time.

After the man started messing with the fence, security called Tacoma police.

Officers arrived to find the man, still in his ski mask, dark gloves and backpack, and they told him to stop walking away.

"I would stop," the man said, completing his thought with a brief, vulgar and vivid description of how going No. 2 had become his No. 1 priority.

Officers didn't buy it. Instead, they detained him.

The man told the officers he wasn't trying to get into the fenced area, but he had no other reason as to why he was in the area besides his bathroom bluff.

The officers proceeded to search his backpack, finding a large crowbar, wire cutters, a lock pick, screwdrivers, two ropes, pliers and a keyring with an assortment of car keys on it.

The man was arrested and booked into Pierce County Jail.

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