Search for burglar who shot at deputies called off

Search for burglar who shot at deputies called off
GRANITE FALLS, Wash. -- After combing the woods all day using dogs, helicopters and dozens of law enforcement officers, officials have called off their search for a burglar who shot at deputies.

Officials said deputies were called to a home about 8 p.m. Sunday night when a couple returning home from a weekend trip found items missing from their house.

Bob Gleyre said their comforter, food and passports were missing.

"It wasn't an obvious burglary," he said. "There was valuable things that weren't missing."

While deputies were investigating, the Gleyre saw someone in the woods nearby with a flashlight. When deputies went to check it out one gun shot was fired from the woods.

Believing they were under fire, the deputies took cover and called for backup.

Police from multiple departments in Snohomish County, including a SWAT team from Everett, converged on the area around the home in the 20800 block of Menzel Lake Road.

Officials said the terrain in the area is difficult to search and they are warning people in the area to make sure their doors, windows and cars are locked.

Snohomish County sheriff's spokeswoman Rebecca Hover said deputies will be making extra patrols in the area tonight.

The burglary comes as officials investigate whether the crash of a stolen plane last week in Granite Falls may be the work of Colton Harris-Moore, a notorious burglar who has repeatedly eluded capture.

Officials at the scene of the burglary and shooting said they don't know whether the incident is the work of Harris-Moore.

"Obviously we're aware of what everyone's talking about, but deputies didn't see him, and so until we make an arrest and know who it is, we can't say," said Hover.

Harris-Moore, an 18-year-old from Camano Island, was first convicted at age 12 and is suspected in nearly 50 cases since he snuck out the window of a halfway house in April 2008.

He is believed to have taken two airplanes from the San Juan Islands in the past year before stealing a boat and making his way to Point Roberts, a nub of land in the northwest corner of Washington that's an easy walk from the Canadian border.

From there, he could have made his way across southern British Columbia to Bonners Ferry in northern Idaho, where the Cessna was taken, authorities have said.

Its owner, Pat Gardiner, told The Associated Press on Monday that investigators found bare footprints leading up to the door and inside his hangar; Harris-Moore is believed to have committed some of his other crimes barefoot, even earning himself the nickname of "the barefoot burglar."

Granite Falls would be along the likely flight path from northern Idaho to Camano Island.

The Snohomish County sheriff's office SWAT team searched for the burglary suspect throught the night before being relieved by the Everett police SWAT officers, and the sheriff's office helicopter, whose thermal imaging system had trouble penetrating the thick forest canopy, was replaced by a Blackhawk helicopter from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Harris-Moore's mother, Pam Kohler, said she has periodically spoken with her son by phone, but hadn't heard from him this weekend or on Monday.