Cops: Burglar falls asleep in middle of theft

Union Democrat staff

A suspected burglar high on heroin was arrested after ransacking a Sonora accounting office and then nodding off, having eaten a meal first, police said.

Jesse Craver Newton, 22, of Jamestown, was arrested at 6 a.m. Monday at an accounting firm on the first block of South Forest Road. He was later booked into Tuolumne County Jail on felony charges of burglary and receiving stolen property.

According to a Sonora Police report, business owner Clay E. Maddox, C.P.A., opened his shop about 6 a.m. Monday and found Newton asleep.

Maddox said was greeted by a strange odor - of "an unkempt person" - when he opened the door.

He rounded the corner to the copy machine and found Newton sacked out on the floor.

He didn't appear dangerous to Maddox.

Newton started putting on his shoes and placed a cushion, used for his pillow, back on its chair, Maddox said. Maddox told him to sit down and wait, and he complied.

"I was just in shock - in retrospect I should have run away," Maddox said Tuesday, laughing.

Even more oddly, according to Maddox, Newton apparently helped himself to dinner from the office kitchen, noshing on macaroni and cheese, a chocolate bar, and some crackers.

He also attempted to help himself to business checkbooks. Maddox said he insisted the checks stay after Newton wanted to take them as he left with police.

While being booked into the Tuolumne County Jail, deputies found a set of keys from inside the victim's business in one of Newton's socks.

Maddox said Newton entered through a window, accidentally left unlocked.

In bright spirits Tuesday, all things considered, Maddox said he "was a little more trepidatious while opening the office this morning."

"Maybe I should knock on my own door now and see if anyone's home."

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The Union Democrat
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