A cleaning lady walked in on a burglary in progress last Thursday in Joseph and made the discovery by reaching into a bedroom closet and touching the hair of the alleged burglar, Wallowa County Sheriff Fred Steen said Tuesday.
"A daylight residential burglary in Joseph is pretty unusual," Steen said.
A friend of the owner of a trailer on East Seventh Street in Joseph that was apparently burgled arrived and noticed a maroon Isuzu Trooper parked behind some outbuildings with several people in it, Steen said. She thought that was unusual.
She went inside and thought she heard something in the bedroom, he said. She called out and then went to the bedroom and opened a closet, he said. After opening a second door and feeling around, her hand touched the hair of someone's head, he said.
The person bolted out the door and got into the car and the lady followed him and managed to give a description of the suspect, the car and its license plates to police via 911, Steen said.
The sheriff went to the trailer and interviewed the woman, he said. Oregon State Police and Enterprise Police Department assisted the sheriff's office.
The vehicle was found parked at Wallowa Lake and the registered owners of the vehicle were spotted in downtown Joseph 45 minutes later, Steen said.
Four juveniles were arrested.
Matthew Allen Decker, 17, of Joseph, was charged with burglary I and transported to a juvenile facility in Pendleton. Michael Anthony Musia III, 17, of Joseph, was cited and released with a charge of criminal trespass I.
David D. Wagner, 18, of Enterprise, was cited and released with a charge of criminal trespass I. Skyler Ray Easley, 18, of Joseph, was cited and released with a charge of criminal trespass I.
Decker is believed to be the one the woman found in the closet, Steen said.
"We're still not sure what the motive was," the sheriff said. He did not know exactly what items, if any, had been stolen.