Legally Weird - The FindLaw Legal Curiosities Blog

Homeowner Tricked Into Giving Burglar a Car Ride

A homeowner unknowingly drove the getaway car for the man that burglarized his house. It was a pretty smooth trick played by the burglar -- until he ended up caught.

Tarbox and the One Homeowner

Papa Bear came home and saw Goldilocks sitting in his chair. Wait, no. That's a different story ...

A homeowner in Waterboro, Maine came home to find a stranger sitting in his house, eating his food, and watching his television in his clothes after taking a shower in his bathroom. The homeowner was aghast at the scene, but the burglar, who happened to be 35 year old Derek Tarbox, calmly lied, and said he thought this was his friend's house, and just let himself in.

Tarbox then asked the unsuspecting homeowner for a ride to his relatives' house in Hollis. The homeowner thought the whole story sounded plausible, so complied. Only when he returned home and found that Tarbox had forced himself in through the backdoor, ransacked his house, and stolen some items did he realize that he had in fact driven Tarbox away from the scene of the crime that had happened in his very own house.

Crazy End to a Crazy Day for Tarbox and Homeowner

The homeowner then called the police, who ended up piecing together the entire scenario. As it turns out, Tarbox had allegedly stolen a vehicle in Portland, and then ran out of gas in Hollis. Tarbox then stole another vehicle, but crashed it in the woods. According to York County Sheriff Bill King, Tarbox then "walked to the caller's home, broke in through the rear door, had a bite to eat, showered and watched a little television before being confronted by the rightful tenant of the property." The homeowner had driven Tarbox to a relatives' house, and one of Tarbox's relatives told investigators exactly where to find him. Tarbox was subsequently arrested, still in the homeowner's clothes. Talk about seeing a crime through to the very end, no matter what!

Tarbox was arraigned on one count of burglary, two counts of unauthorized use of property, leaving the scene of a property damage accident, and theft by unauthorized taking.

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