West Palm Beach police have finally arrested the elusive cat-burglar who had broken into dozens of homes over the last four months. The thief targeted homes in upscale neighborhoods and had an eye for expensive furniture. Police had very little to go on but profilers believed that the culprit might have been gay.
“This guy didn’t steal furniture. He just went in and rearranged it'” said West Palm Beach police Chief Jim Anwton. “While the homeowners were out, the suspect would go in and add window treatments, paint walls, and add accent pieces. I might add that he did it pretty tastefully, too.”
Local newspapers dubbed the polishing prowler the Burgundy Bandit because of his tendency to use use burgundy and other rich colors in his decorating schemes. It is estimated that he broke into 42 homes and caused an estimated $600,000 in home improvements.
Last Tuesday, police responded to silent alarm and found the suspect re-covering dining room chairs with a simple blue and white striped cotton blend material. Bruce Kakalla,48, an out-of-work interior decorator, was placed under arrest and taken to West Palm police station where he convinced the staff to rearrange the stations furniture using a few simple calming Fung Shui concepts. He faces multiple charges and could receive up to 25 years in jail.
Mrs Ima Sterrlingrads, a resident at The Royal Palm Beach said her home was broken into in while she was out shopping.
“As soon as I opened the front door I knew I’d been broken into. I saw that the all the furniture was moved around and my entire collection of crochet poodles was missing. It looked absolutely fabulous! There was a beautiful floral arrangement on the dining room table. I was so happy that he chose my home to be broken into.”
Police said that the Burgundy Bandit never stole anything from the homes he has broken into. In fact the bandits interior decorating skills became so popular that residents hoped he would break into their homes.
“People began leaving their doors and windows unlocked,encouraging him to break in,” said burglary victim Tim Mathers. “People let their mail pile up and left newspapers unclaimed in their driveway to give the impression that they were out of town. Security systems were turned off and security company embalms were scraped off of homes windows.”
West Palm Beach resident James Derfion said “I’ve been meaning to redecorate for some time, but money’s been tight. I began hearing about the Burgundy Burglar and the amazing work he was doing. I just had to have him. I left my front door wide open when I went to work in the morning. I even left a trail of Jock Talk magazines from the curb up to my door to lure him in and now that he’s arrested, I don’t know what to do. They need to release him.”
West Palm Beach police said that public pressure to release him has been strong. Over 200 residents protested outside the police station yesterday demanding the release of the suspect. Protesters carried signs that read “Decorate, Don’t Incarcerate” and “Burgundy and gold! His story must be told!”. Police said because of a lack of cooperation by the “victims” they will have no choice to release the Burgundy Bandit.