Model home burglar apprehended

Published 3:00 pm Friday, August 22, 2008

If at first you don’t succeed, try again, right? Not always.

A burglar following that time-tested adage was arrested the morning of Aug. 11 after trying twice to steal large appliances from a model home in the Old Cahaba subdivision of Helena.

Theodore Ware, 42, of Bessemer first broke into the model home at approximately 3 a.m. Aug. 11, said Helena Police Capt. Tim Carter.

Ware disconnected a ceramic stove and a microwave oven. Neighbors who noticed the man’s vehicle, a ’93 Ford Escort station wagon, called the police, but Ware was already gone.

“Apparently he noticed some lights came on in the neighbor’s house who was calling, and he left before our officers could get there,” Carter said.

Between 8:10 and 8:30 that same morning, Ware returned to the house to try again. Neighbors again noticed the vehicle and called the police.

“By the time officers arrived, he had loaded the stove and the microwave into his vehicle and left, but our officers located him before he got more than a quarter mile away,” Carter said. “He wasn’t even halfway out of the subdivision before we got him.”

Ware expended a lot of effort for his bungled crime. The microwave he stole was built into a cabinet, so he had to actually disassemble the cabinet to get it out. Also, the stove wasn’t small, and this was a one-man operation.

“Matter of fact, the stove was a job within itself. The witness said he picked the stove up and put it in the back of the car he was driving,” Carter said. “He was a pretty big guy.”

Helena police were impressed by Ware’s determination.

“Our police thought he was very persistent, and that persistence is what got him caught,” Carter said.

Ware was charged on two counts of third-degree burglary and one count of second-degree receiving stolen property. He was released on $30,000 bond.