Crime

Meridian cat burglar: 0. Squirrel: 1.

KIVI 6 On Your Side was the first to report on the “attack squirrel” that scared off a Meridian burglar.
KIVI 6 On Your Side was the first to report on the “attack squirrel” that scared off a Meridian burglar.

It’s hard to know what the squirrel’s motives were when he climbed on a burglar who was trying to break into a gun safe at a Meridian home last week — but the result was clear.

“He took what he could and left,” Meridian Police Officer Ashley Turner said.

The suspect, who has been charged with felony burglary for allegedly breaking into four homes, told police that the squirrel attacked him. Police aren’t releasing the suspect’s name because he is a juvenile.

“He was kind of terrified that the squirrel went ‘spider monkey’ on him,” said Turner, who told the Statesman that she got a full confession from the teenager.

KIVI 6 On Your Side was the first to report on the “attack squirrel.”

The teen allegedly entered three of the four homes in central and south Meridian during the day through unlocked windows or doors. He didn’t get any guns, but he did make off with gun magazines, cigarettes, cellphones, silver coins, jewelry and a laptop — most of which has been recovered and returned to the owners, Turner said.

The family whose laptop was stolen didn’t even know their home had been burglarized.

“They thought it was missing,” Turner said.

The suspect wasn’t bitten by the squirrel, and he had only minor scratches on one arm.

Turner observed the squirrel, named Joey, interacting with its owners when she was investigating the burglaries. She said it would “run up them like trees and circle them.”

“The squirrel did the same thing to me,” she said. “I was a little taken aback.”

So perhaps the squirrel was just being friendly with the uninvited guest?

Turner said its owners told her the squirrel became a pet after they nursed it back to health after suffering an injury. She saw its “nest” in a kitchen cabinet and watched it playing with a peanut butter bottle.

“He was super-cute, I’m not going to lie,” said Turner, who has no plans on making one a pet. “I don’t think my husband would ever allow it.”

Katy Moeller: 208-377-6413, @KatyMoeller

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