Mikey Mo runs Key West
burglar out of his house
John L. Guerra
As a homeowner described how he chased a serial burglar down the street in the middle of the night, police say they are doing everything they can to catch the intruder.Michael Moschel, who owns Yukata Designs in Key West this week emailed neighbors--who also have been hit by the burglar--about his experience several weeks ago.
"Sometimes I love being an insomniac," wrote, Mikey Mo, Moschel's moniker. "Like the other night when I was in the living room channel surfing at 4:30 a.m. when I see this guy 10 feet away from me trying to break into our home.
"I was scared shitless. So I jumped up and screamed: 'You %#*& I will kill you!' So the guy bolts and I run after him. And the prick got away. Then I screamed at the top of my lungs in the middle of Angela Street at 4:32 a.m. 'I will kill you AGAIN you %#*&!'
"I was so infuriated and felt so violated and he never even got in the house. But what if I had not been up? As I am now at 4:17 a.m., waiting for him to return so I can kill him a third time."
In his email, Moschel urged neighbors, tongue-in-cheek, to ramp up their security systems:
"If by chance any of you in Old Town are sick and tired of this %^$# and want to line your yard with land mines, please let me know as I am tired of hearing about this guy who nobody, including the police have been able to catch."
When interviewed by KonkLife Saturday, Moschel said he was serious about the burglar's effect on he and his wife's sense of security. The event has made him examine the measures he's willing to take to protect his home and family. Killing the intruder could put him in legal trouble, he reasoned.
"I know for a fact you better be in fear of your life if you try to fight back," he said. "You'll be standing there and saying, 'Oh, that's the burglar that I killed.' You better have been clearly in fear of your life and raise the level of your anxiety to what you thought he was going to do to you."
Luckily, the burglar so far has run off when residents wake up to use the bathroom or step into the living room while he's going through their things. His decision to flee could change one night, and that's why police want residents to call as soon as they spot the intruder.
"We have stepped up patrols substantially in that neighborhood and our detectives are using every method they can to solve these crimes," said Alyson Crean, spokeswoman for the Key West Police."
Police are sticking close to the neighborhood for when the call comes, Crean said.
"Our response times are almost immediate, especially at that time [of the morning] and with the added intensity in that area because of the break-ins," she said.
In Moschel's case, Crean said, chasing the burglar was a natural reaction but calling police immediately is more effective.
"For all we know, an officer could have been around the corner and caught the suspect running away," she said.
Crean also repeated what police have been saying forever: Lock doors and windows. Many of the victim homes were unlocked, allowing the burglar easy entry. Since the burglaries began, many have begun locking their doors. Moschel is no exception, though he saw the burglar using something to pry his door open.
"I looked, and I see this guy trying to jimmy it open," he said. "I've since had the locks removed and had locks installed that need a combination," he said. "But if someone wants to get in, if he's walking into a bedroom where someone's sleeping, he's not only ballsy, he's got something to get into places."
Moschel said he couldn't describe much about the burglar--whom some theorize is a woman--because he was so shocked to see someone there. The culprit was only 10 feet away, using a tool to jimmy his wood door open.
"I was watching TV with no lights on and there were no lights on in my yard," he said. "He had a white T-shirt on, is about 5-feet, 10-inches tall, and had a medium build. It was definitely a man. The only thing I can say for sure was the white T-shirt."