Ore. intruder ‘had my towel wrapped around him’

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Police in Keizer, Ore., say a Southwest Washington man has been arrested for investigation of burglary after a couple arrived home to find a stranger taking a shower in their home -- and staying in a tent in their backyard. (KOIN 6 News, Gary Kahne)

KEIZER, Ore. (KOIN) – A Keizier family had an uninvited house guest Monday. They said they came home to find a suspected burglar wearing nothing but a towel — and staying in a tent in their backyard.

This happened at a home in the 400 block of Apple Blossom Avenue in Keizer, Ore.

Susie Kopaska and her husband got home from a wedding Monday afternoon — and came face to face with a stranger near the Kopaska’s shower.

“He’s got my towel wrapped around him,” Susie said, “and he’s trying to get out the door.”

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Francis Lucero of La Center, Wash., as shown in his booking photo. (Courtesy Keizer Police)

Before he got out the door, 29-year-old Francis Lucero was taken to the ground by Susie’s husband. Her husband held Lucero until Keizer police arrived and took him into custody.

Susie chuckles about the incident now, but it was no laughing matter when it was happening.

As it turned out, Francis Lucero had slept in the Kopaska’s back yard — in a tent the couple had left out to dry — the night before. He was there, they found out, while they were still at home.

Lucero didn’t leave the tent until he thought the Kopaskas were gone. 

“He was so hot from being in the tent that he actually took his clothes off in the tent, which was around the corner here,” Susie said. Then he “walked across the yard and grabbed a towel off the line then went into the house to take a shower.”

Their backdoor was unlocked.

They’ll keep their doors locked from now on, and they’ve added a lock to the fence. The tent will come down after it has been cleaned.

And after all the trouble Francis Lucero went through, to cool off and clean up in the shower, it turns out he may not have done that so well at that either.

“According to my husband,” Susie Kopaska said, “from the way [Lucero] smelled when he was holding him down – no, he did not get his shower.”


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