First some photos:
Then, the text of Brian Day’s story on a hapless Santa, who arrived too early this year.
A would-be burglar was captured early Sunday after he tried to climb into a house through the chimney and became stuck about 10-feet down, officials said.
The suspect, a 32-year-old La Puente man, was booked on suspicion of burglary after firefighters partially dismantled the chimney to free him, said West Covina police Sgt. Dario Aldecoa.
A family member living in the home heard faint calls of help me and got up to investigate about 4:50 a.m. at a house in the 2100 block of Anson Way, police and fire officials said.
The resident walked around his house for several minuted trying to determine where the pleas were coming from, until he tracked them to his chimney, said Los Angeles County Fire Department Capt. Jim Rudroff.
After discovering a man crammed in the chimney, the resident called police, said Aldecoa.
Just over two hours later, firefighter were able to remove enough of the top of the chimney with concrete saws and jackhammers to pull the trapped burglar out, Rudroff said.
The man was taken to Citrus Valley Health Partners – Queen of the Valley Campus for treatment of what turned out to be only minor scrapes, said Rudroff.
The chimney sustained about $1000 in damage, he added.
The daring entry the alleged burglar attempted is not only ill-advised, said Rudroff, its also impossible. California chimneys get very narrow down by the flue, or base, he explained. Theres no one who could have done it.
In 25 years of service in West Covina, Rudroff said he has never seen a similar incident.
The suspect, whose name was not immediately available, was turned over to police and is being held in lieu of $20,000 bail, he said.
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