BRIDGEPORT -- A burglary suspect found on the toilet inside a ransacked apartment Tuesday tried to convince police that he was the victim.
Officers responding to the report of a burglary in progress on Englewood Avenue tracked one suspect's footprints through the snow while Officer Richard Agosto climbed through the same forced-open window used by the burglars and opened the rear door for other officers.
Agosto and Sgt. Mathew Cosgrove began a room-by-room search and stopped when they encountered a closed door, spokesman Bill Kaempffer said. When they opened it, the officers found a man sitting on the toilet, Kaempffer said.
Samuel Sanders, 34, of Meriden, told the officers that he was glad to see them, and that he had hid in the bathroom when he heard someone breaking into the apartment.
Sanders admitted he didn't live there, but told police that he knew the owner, who lets him stay there. The ruse didn't last long -- police contacted the owner, who said he didn't know the suspect. Sanders was then arrested.
At the same time, Officer Paul Scillia detained a man, later identified as Johnnie Newkirk, 38, of Bridgeport, a few blocks away. A witness then identified him as one of the men who broke into the house.
Police recovered a pillow case filed with items inside the apartment. Newkirk and Sanders both were charged with second-degree burglary, possession of burglary tools and interfering with police. They were each held on a $50,000 bond and were to be arraigned later Wednesday at Superior Court.