Accused burglar behind bars, after homeowner catches him in the act
Photo: Video by kgun9.com
CREATED Nov. 9, 2012
Reporter: Maggie Vespa
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Thanks to the quick thinking of one Tucsonan, a man accused of breaking into her home on the northwest side, is behind bars. Authorities say that homeowner did everything right.
The sheriff's department tells us Robert Mason thought he found an easy target- an empty home in a small neighborhood on the outskirts of the northwest side.
Problem is: he wasn't the only one who pulled up to the house Thursday afternoon.
"She shows up at her property and sees an SUV that she's not familiar with parked there," said deputy Tom Peine. "Actually, it was a pickup truck."
That's not all that caught her eye.
"She also sees a male come out of her backyard. He throws a pillowcase he was carrying into the bed of the pickup truck, into the bed of the car, and takes off," he said.
That homeowner, who was too shaken up to go on camera, was composed enough at the time to take down a description of the truck and call 911.
Peine calls that a crucial move.
"It's very, very helpful if you know the type of vehicle, the color," he said. "If people can make it out, and if they're sure about the make and model, that's obviously a big help."
Even better: other details, especially a license plate number.
So, if you were trying to give a description of one of our news vehicles, you would describe it as:
-a white Ford Explorer SUV
-license plate CF01027
As that vehicle drives away, those details can be tough to pin-point, but authorities say often they are the key to making sure that criminal lands behind bars.
That was certainly key in this case.
Within minutes, deputies tracked down and arrested 33 year-old Mason.
He had an outstanding warrant, and faces a list of charges, including 2nd degree burglary.
Deputy Peine hopes it serves as a lesson.
"Don't approach the people that you observe. Be a good witness," he said. "Stay on the phone once you have 911 on the phone, and relay as much as you can."
Advice authorities hope will keep you safe, if and when you find your home isn't so lucky.