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Burglar Gets Caught Under Tree

Thu., Dec. 26, 1996

At 3 o’clock on Christmas morning, Scott Kane was the last one up at his house in the suburban neighborhood of Chevy Chase, Md. His wife and two children had gone to bed, and Kane, finally done with his gift wrapping, was about to do the same.

Then he heard a thump, followed by the rattling of one locked door after another. Finally, he recalled, “there was a huge crash.”

Next door, Meredith Wellington was awakened by the ruckus. When she looked outside, she saw a man beating on the Kanes’ kitchen window and watched him climb in through the broken glass.

For the next 10 minutes, Kane had a visitor who, according to Montgomery County police, definitely was not Santa. Rather, they said, he was an unusually aggressive burglar, more interested in taking gifts than in leaving them.

As police raced to the home, Kane was barricaded upstairs with his wife, Courtney, and two children, Scott, 25, and Christine, 22.

But by the time squad cars arrived, just a few minutes after police received 911 calls from both households, the suspect seemed to have become lost in a misguided yuletide reverie, police said.

The man was opening up gifts beneath the Kane family Christmas tree when he was arrested, police said.

“He just started opening our presents,” said Kane, who had been told by a police dispatcher to stay upstairs during the burglary. “He never paid any attention to what was going on around him. Then the police kicked down the front door, and all of a sudden, he was staring at seven revolvers.”

Police arrested Roger Augusto Sosa, 23, of Rockville, Md. He was charged with felony burglary.

As for the Kanes, even an arrest could not make this Christmas quite normal again. For three hours, the family answered detectives’ questions and looked at the unwrapped packages strewn about the living room floor.

“After a while, it became, like, ‘Hey, thanks for the computer game,’ or, ‘Thanks for the book,’ ” said Kane, a 55-year-old computer and telecommunications consultant. “It was like he had our Christmas for us.”

Tags: criminal

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