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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Bold burglar hits occupied houses

Man admits meth use, say Post Falls police

A brazen Post Falls burglar entered three unlocked and occupied homes over the weekend, startling three women as he looked for valuables to steal. The man was captured early Saturday by Post Falls police after one woman’s husband chased him out of their house.

“He admitted to being on methamphetamine and looking for something to pawn for a quick fix,” said Post Falls police Lt. Pat Knight.

Knight said 28-year-old Stephen Hess confessed to the burglaries.

In one case, the victim said she awoke to feel Hess pulling on her clothing.

“He was pretty brazen,” Knight said. “He walked right past her husband asleep downstairs to get upstairs. He was trying to get into a safe by the side of the bed.”

The woman screamed, awakening her husband, who chased Hess out of the house.

Police later located him in Coeur d’Alene. They had information about his vehicle from both the husband and from previous patrol work to investigate an earlier burglary.

The burglaries occurred between 12:30 a.m. and about 5 a.m.

In the first burglary, Hess entered a woman’s bedroom through an exterior door, Knight said.

“She woke up to see a man crawling across the floor toward her,” Knight said. When she screamed, Hess ran.

When police came to investigate, they noted a vehicle that did not seem to belong in the area. That same vehicle was later described by the third victim’s husband.

In the second burglary, Hess stole a purse off a table visible from the window.

Stolen property from the burglaries was recovered following the arrest.

Amy Cannata can be reached at (509) 385-3228 or