SPOKANE, Wash. - Police arrested 28-year-old Daniel Pajas over the weekend for breaking into three South Hill homes within a matter of hours.
Pajas reportedly broke into two homes and tried to get into a third all on the same block within a two hour time span.
Police say he started his crime spree by breaking into a home on W. 9th Ave. where a resident had left her front door unlocked. She came home and found him in her closet. He ran away but two hours later was trying to get into another home on the other side of the street. The resident there was able to shut the door on him. Telling police he had a large kitchen knife or machete.
"Fortunately incidents such as this where we have an occupied burglary is extremely rare but we want citizens to do whatever they can to prevent something like that from happening," said Spokane Police spokesperson Monique Cotton.
At this point Pajas walked several houses down and broke into a third home where the home owner found him in the bathroom. She confronted him and he assaulted her. She was able to get out and call police.
"We do have really excellent response times so officers will be there very, very quickly but the most important thing is to get yourself to a safe place," said Cotton.
Police secured the home and found Pajas hiding in a cupboard in the basement.
Overall residential burglaries in Spokane are down compared to last year. But there's been an uptick due to warmer weather. Police say there's some easy things to do to deter burglars.
"Good lighting, lock your doors, lock your windows make it inaccessible for a criminal to come in, make your home less of a target," said police spokesperson Monique Cotton.
Pajas was supposed to appear before a judge Monday but refused. Police have recommended residential burglary charges and burglary with assault charges be leveled against him.