SWAT standoff ends peacefully

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A more than 3-hour standoff between the Vancouver Police Department and an alleged burglar holed up in an abandoned house ended peacefully this morning shortly after 6 a.m.

Police tracked a 16-year-old who had broken into a home near N.E. 93rd Avenue and Mill Plain Boulevard to a vacant home across from Southwest Washington Medical Center.

The SWAT team was called on to communicate with the man who surrendered at about 6:15 a.m. Police had been talking with the man on a cell phone but its battery died. At that point, they opted for a megaphone-like device.

“We were able to make contact with the suspect because there were concerns that he was possibly armed and was going to hurt himself,” said Kim Kapp, a Vancouver Police Department spokeswoman. “He was not hurt. We were not hurt. There were no evacuations.”

After he fled the attempted burglary at a home in the 100 block of N.E. 93rd Avenue, the man was spotted in a grass lot near the hospital. Police heard a crash that Kapp said sounded like broken glass.

They followed the sound to the abandoned home across from the medical center parking garage where the man had set up a post. The yellow house was located at 305 N.E. 92nd Ave.

He was taken into custody outside, near the home on 93rd Avenue. He was arrested on charges of residential burglary, theft of a firearm and resisting arrest.

Kapp said the victims at the first home the man broke into knew the suspect but their relationship is unclear. According to emergency dispatch logs, he was alleged to have stolen a loaded shotgun and a knife.

No houses were evacuated during the standoff. Several of the houses in the area, including the yellow house where the suspect faced off with the SWAT team, are owned by the medical center and kept vacant in preparation for a future expansion.