Burglar lights fire in attic to get help — and sets house ablaze, South Dakota cops say

Chacour Koop

A burglar who spent a night hiding in an attic ended up setting the house on fire when he tried to signal for help, South Dakota police say.

Police rushed to the Rapid City home Saturday morning to find flames bursting out the roof. A resident told officers that they were the only occupant of the home.

However, when firefighters went into the attic to put out the blaze, they found a man.

The man told investigators that he’d broken into the house overnight to escape drug dealers who’d been chasing him, police said. As a signal for help, the man lit his sweatshirt while hiding in the attic, causing the house to catch on fire, police said.

Julian Garcia, 40, of Pine Ridge, South Dakota, was charged with burglary, police said.

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