WILKES-BARRE, Pa. — An intruder slept undetected for days in a family's attic, stealing food and clothing when they were away and keeping warm by wrapping himself with blankets and insulation, police said.
Stanley Carter, 21, of Trumann, Ark., surrendered Friday after he heard a police dog inside the home in Plains Township.
"When he came down from the attic, he was wearing my daughter's pants and my sweat shirt and sneakers," the homeowner, Stacy Ferrance, said. "From what I gather, he was helping himself to my home, eating my food and stealing my clothes."
Police said Carter had been staying with Ferrance's duplex neighbors, who were friends of his. But when they told him to leave, he apparently accessed the duplex's shared attic through a trap door in a bedroom ceiling. The neighbors said he disappeared Dec. 19, and they filed a missing person report a few days before Christmas.
Ferrance said she sometimes heard noises but dismissed them, thinking they were caused by her three children. When household items started disappearing, she said, the family suspected someone had duplicate keys to the house.
Then on Christmas, Ferrance filed a police report after cash, a laptop computer and an iPod disappeared. The next day, she discovered footprints in her bedroom closet — where the attic door is — and called police again.
Carter, who surrendered after police brought in a dog, kept a detailed list of everything he took, said Plains Township police Officer Michael Smith.
"When we were going through the inventory of what he did take, we found a note labeled 'Stanley's Christmas List' of all the items he had removed from the residence and donated to himself," Smith said.
Carter was charged with several counts of burglary, theft, receiving stolen property and criminal trespass. He remained jailed Sunday at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility and it was not immediately clear if he had a lawyer. A preliminary hearing is scheduled on Jan. 5.