David K. Brewczynski finished serving a seven-year sentence on burglary-related charges in July.
He didn’t stay out of strangers’ homes for long, police allege.
A man returned home from work Tuesday and reportedly found 38-year-old Brewczynski in his basement.
The homeowner gave police a description matching Brewczynski and the pickup he was driving. Officers began chasing Brewczynski and arrested him after he ditched his truck and ran toward apartments near Pines Road north of Interstate 90.
Brewczynski had jewelry and other stolen items in the pockets of his pants, according to the Spokane Valley Police Department. Detectives have begun looking into other recent, unsolved burglaries that follow Brewczynski’s style of ransacking homes and carrying off small items, said Valley Police Sgt. Dave Martin.
In 1997, detectives caught up with Brewczynski – by this point a suspect in more than three dozen burglaries – by having 22 community policing volunteers with cell phones canvass the West Valley area. Five minutes after heading out, a volunteer spotted Brewczynski riding his bicycle and called detectives.
Brewzynski had broken into a man’s home and stole his gun and money. He eventually pleaded guilty and prosecutors agreed to not pursue investigations into numerous other burglaries in which he was a suspect, according to court documents and police interviews. He was sentenced to seven years.
Brewczynski would typically knock on the front door and if no one answered he’d kick it in and take what he could carry, such as ceramic dolls, said Sgt. Steve Barbieri, who worked the 1997 investigation that put Brewczynski behind bars.
“He was one of our more prolific burglars,” Barbieri said.
In court documents, Brewczynski said he stole to pay for drugs.
Barbieri said that after hearing Brewczynski had been released from prison, he suspected the convicted burglar would start breaking into homes again.
The Tuesday morning break-in was at a duplex in the 11200 block of East Mallon Avenue. The resident dropped by the home to take a quick break from a nearby job and found his front door had been locked with the deadbolt, which he hadn’t done.
The resident unlocked the door and found his duplex ransacked. He called police when he heard noises in the basement. As he called, Brewczynski allegedly came running up the basement stairs and out the back door, police said. Officers were nearby and began chasing Brewczynski’s truck. He drove across lawns and onto Interstate 90 in an attempt to get away, police said.
Brewczynski was arrested less than a half-hour after the burglary had been reported.
Sharon Brewczynski said she hoped to get her son into a drug treatment program after he got out of prison in July. Yet he was arrested too quickly for her to get him help, Sharon Brewczynski said, and she worries that if he goes back to prison, he won’t get drug treatment.
Sharon Brewczynski said since getting out of prison, her son felt overwhelmed. There were temptations – bad friends, old habits – as well as a large amount of money the court ordered he pay victims, she said. According to court documents, Brewczynski owed more than $60,000 in restitution. While she doesn’t excuse stealing, Brewczynski said her son needs help.
“He’s really a very sweet person, and he’s never hurt anybody physically,” Sharon Brewczynski said.