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Stranger who spent night in a tent caught trying to take shower

Stranger who spent night in a tent caught trying to take shower »Play Video
Police say the suspect told them he was allowed by the property owners to sleep in this tent in the backyard. The property owners deny even knowing the suspect. (Photo: Keizer Police Department)

KEIZER, Ore. – A man and a woman came home late Monday afternoon to find a stranger in their house dressed only in a towel.

The woman, Susie Kopaska, called police just before 5 p.m., said Lt. Lance Inman with the Keizer Police Department.

Police arrived in two minutes and found 29-year-old Francis Lucero of La Center, Wash. wearing only a towel around his waist and being restrained by Kopaska's husband.

After a brief struggle, police hauled Lucero to jail.

Inman said Lucero told police the homeowners were letting him camp in their backyard in a tent and thought it was OK to use the shower. The couple denied those things and said they'd never seen the man before.

The couple's tent was tucked around the corner of their house in the backyard and was hidden from view. The tent had gotten rained on so they had set it up to let it dry out. Lucero had climbed inside and made himself at home. He had slept in the tent that night.

"We were sitting in our patio and the whole time we were out in our yard this man was right here in a tent in my yard," Kopaska said.

Kopaska said when she and her husband came home she noticed three doors ajar in the back of the house. One of the doors led to her son's suite. That's where her husband found a man in nothing but a towel that was hanging on a clothesline in the backyard.

"(My husband) walked in here and yelled, 'Whoever's in here better come out,'" Kopaska said.

Lucero came walking out of the bathroom.

Kopaska said as she called police, Lucero tried to escape but her husband grabbed him.

Police said Lucero entered the house through an unlocked backdoor. He faces a burglary charge. He also had an arrest warrant for dangerous drugs from Multnomah County.

His bail is set at $42,500. He's due in court July 12.