Suspected burglar arrested after falling in lake

LAKEWOOD, Wash. -- After a suspected burglar fell into American Lake, it wasn't just his statements to police that were all wet, according to charges filed Monday with Pierce County Superior Court.

According to the charging documents, a resident on Naomilawn Drive in Lakewood saw a strange man leaving his neighbor's home Sunday morning and called 911 to report it.

When the victim returned home later that day after more than a week out of town, he discovered furniture moved and a number of belongings missing. Apparently, a burglar had broken into his home through a partially open bathroom window.

According to the charging documents, the burglar had left a number of things behind, including clothing, a USB adapter, a cellphone and Pierce County Jail inmate property inventory sheets for a "Dwight Shortridge."

The victim's neighbor described the man he saw leaving the victim's house that morning, and officers stopped the man, who identified himself as Dwight Shortridge, 38, on Dolly Madison Street.

According to the charges, Shortridge was soaking wet and told officers he had fallen into American Lake while taking a boat to Silcox Island in order to check on his cousin's grandmother's home. He was reportedly unable to tell officers whose boat he had taken.

In addition, officers found someone else's financial documents and keys and a map of Silcox Island with phone numbers for all its residents on Shortridge, according to the charging documents.

Shortridge reportedly said he had found the documents and keys and couldn't say who they belonged to. He also reportedly said his friend Jeffrey from California had given him permission to stay at the victim's house.

Shortridge was arrested and charged with residential burglary. Additional charges from the Silcox Island incidents are possible.