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Home  >  Topics  >  Bizarre Beat

May 23, 2006
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Caught in chimney, Calif. thief claims he was stargazing

The Associated Press

BRAWLEY, California- A man who got stuck in a home's chimney claimed he fell in when he climbed onto the roof to look at stars. But police saw things differently and arrested him for investigation of residential burglary.

"I've read and heard of things like that before but I've never seen it," said Brawley Fire Capt. Manuel Sevilla. "The situation, it was more funny than anything."

Police said the 27-year-old man told them he got stuck near the bottom of the chimney Friday night and removed his pants and waved them around to set off the home's motion detectors. Officers responded twice to the home on Saturday morning but saw no signs of an intruder and left.

Police returned again after neighbors reported commotion coming from the home in the Southern California desert 110 miles (177 kilometers) east of San Diego.

Firefighters also responded and lowered a chain to the man so he could climb out.

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