Woman comes face-to-face with suspected serial burglar - | WBTV Charlotte

Woman comes face-to-face with suspected serial burglar

Photo from Rutherford Co. Sheriff's Office Photo from Rutherford Co. Sheriff's Office

A woman taking out the trash Tuesday came face-to-face with a man allegedly trying to break into her home.

Police finally caught up with him and now say he could provide the key to cracking several other serious crimes.

Michael West, 43, was found hiding on a porch of a home on North Maple Street near downtown Murfreesboro after police said he tried to break into a home while the homeowner was there.

"He wanted officers to shoot him and end his life," said Murfreesboro Police spokesman Sgt. Kyle Evans. "He was only armed with a screwdriver. Officers were able to bring him into custody using less than lethal bean bag round."

Natalie Klapp had just taken out her trash and barely had time to lock her back door when she heard a loud noise about 10:30 a.m.

"I had not even made it to the other room, and heard the door shaking," Klapp said.

Klapp looked through the peep hole and saw the man in her mud room kicking and trying to pry open her back door.

"I screamed and started crying because it was a natural response," she said.

She said the suspect ran away.

"It terrifies me that people would do that in broad daylight," Klapp said.

Police know West all too well.

"This person is no stranger to officers. He has a very lengthy criminal history," Evans said.

Klapp's home was broken into in mid-December while she was away in Colorado. She's now wondering if it was the same man.

"I was like, 'This can't be happening again,'" Klapp said. "The first time they came in, they got all of our valuables."

But this time, she thinks the burglar had something more sinister in mind, since photos of her in a swimsuit were taken during the first break-in.

"I feared they were coming into the house not for valuables, so I got worked up really bad," Klapp said.

Police found several items that were stolen from other homes.

"So we believe that he is connected to more home burglaries and vehicle burglaries, and our criminal investigation division will be working to connect him to other incidents that have happened in recent weeks," Evans said.

Klapp said she will soon buy a dog and install an alarm system, and her boyfriend is now staying with her to try and keep her safe.

West is charged with vandalism under $500, possession of burglary tools, possession of drug paraphernalia, resisting arrest, aggravated burglary, two counts of theft over $500 and violation of probation.

He was taken to Saint Thomas Rutherford Hospital for evaluation and then transported to the Rutherford County Jail.

He remains in jail on a $71,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court on March 10.

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