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Published: Saturday, March 23, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Tables turned in Monroe burglary attempt

MONROE -- A Sultan man tangled with the wrong night watchman at a Monroe business last month.
James Mellett, 52, told the cops he was too overweight and too slow to escape the strong grip of a man guarding a Monroe masonry business, court papers said. Police found Mellett unconscious, hog-tied and lying in a pool of blood on Feb. 27.
A battered night watchman told police he turned the tables on Mellett and another would-be burglar after they struck him with clubs. He wrestled the weapons from his attackers and doled out some punishment of his own, Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Chris Dickinson said.
Mellett hit the dirt first.
"Seeing his comrade was no longer in the fight, the second attacker ran away into the night," Dickinson wrote.
Mellett was charged on Friday with first-degree burglary. He was being held on $20,000 bail. He has a long criminal history, dating back to the 1980s.
The second man was arrested the day of the burglary after a police dog found him. Prosecutors haven't yet filed charges against him.
Investigators believe Mellett and his buddy broke into the closed-down building to steal copper wire from machinery. The property owner had hired security after metal thieves repeatedly pilfered the building, scrounging for whatever had value.
The security guard told police he heard a noise around 4 a.m., rose from his chair and was hit on the head. He was struck multiple times before he was able to snag the weapons from the attackers, court papers said.
Mellett was trussed up with zip-ties when police arrived. After he regained consciousness, he first lied to cops about the name of his accomplice, according to court papers. Police were able to easily confirm that man's alibi: He's in prison. He eventually gave up his buddy, Dickinson wrote.
An officer later spotted a muddy and wet man walking near downtown Snohomish. The man ran from the officer. He shimmied under a shed on Pearl Avenue. That's where a sheriff's dog found him. He denied knowing anything about a burglary.
Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463; hefley@heraldnet.com.
Story tags » MonroeSnohomishBurglaryProsecution

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