Tacoma Police are asking for the public’s help to find a woman officers say has been breaking into homes and stealing thousands of dollars worth of jewelry, bikes, electronics and cash since May of last year.
Detectives say Michele Hart is a prolific home burglar who has broken into houses in East and South Tacoma as well as Puyallup. As of last week, witnesses say her hair was Kool-Aid red. She has been known to wear it in a bun and in braids.
“She’s coming in your house and she’s taking your belongings,” said Tacoma Police Officer Shelbie Boyd. “If you have spare car keys, she’s going to take those and then she’s going to steal your car. She’s going to steal your purses, your identity. She may even change her clothes while in your house and make away with your clothes.”
Hart is 5-feet, 3-inches tall and weighs between 115 and 135 pounds. Officers say her slight build has made it easy for her to break into homes that people thought were secure. “People are stating, ‘Well, I didn’t lock a certain window, because I thought it was too small, because I thought somebody could not fit in through it.’ She’s fitting in through these windows. Do not leave windows unlocked. If you leave a little bar in the window, with the window open a little bit, she will reach in and remove that bar and enter into the home and it doesn’t matter: Daytime, nighttime, she’s coming in,” said Boyd. “She needs to go to jail. She needs to answer to what she’s done to this community.”
Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist has charged her with theft in the first degree, identity theft in the second degree, attempted residential burglary, unlawful possession of a stolen vehicle, four counts of residential burglary, driving with license suspended in the third degree, two counts of theft in the third degree and vehicle prowl in the second degree.
If you spot Michele Hart, call 911 and then Crime Stoppers of Tacoma-Pierce County at 1 (800) 222-TIPS (8477) for the cash reward of up to $1,000.