KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Victims of the man dubbed the “Spider-Man Burglar” may finally be able to rest easy after the alleged serial thief is nabbed. The key break in the case: a 58-year-old homeless man arrested and charged with a burglary in the Westport area, which matches the M O of the “Spider-Man Burglar”: Climbing up to balconies and sliding open unlocked doors.
The burglar has been terrorizing the Westport and West Plaza area for years. He is no Peter Parker, but James Parker, and while police are not giving FOX 4 any information, they have called several victims saying they got him.
Court records state that Parker was caught on camera in a second-story Westport apartment at 46th and Bridger after climbing up to the balcony and breaking in through an unlocked window while the people living there were sleeping. In the morning, the victim’s boyfriend found her purse on the ground outside – her money was gone.
“It just gives you the heebie jeebies thinking that someone was there while you were sleeping,” Erin Pettus said.
Pettus lives in the West Plaza area – and has a similar story. She says in mid-June, she was awakened at 3 a.m. to her neighbor asking if she was okay because her door was wide open.
“I didn’t think anything of it. It was the night we had that really bad storm, maybe it just blew open or something,” she recalled.
But the next morning, when she could not find her purse, Pettus knew her apartment had been hit. She says police knew right away that she has been hit by the “Spider-Man Burglar.”
“The officer, right when he got here he looked out the glass door and there was a bunch of places he could have stepped up to get into the apartment. So I don’t know if maybe I just forgot to lock it, I don’t know, I never really thought about it before,” Pettus said.
Steve Hobson lives near 41st and Roanoke Road. Another address that has been hit by the burglar. It was the same deal: second story break-in, in through an unlocked sliding door, purses and money stolen.
Pettus now knows there was no superhero in her home and now protects herself from the next Spider-Man who may come crawling.
“I put a stick in my sliding glass door now and make sure everything is locked and bolted. I mean thankful it could have been so much worse. I don’t want to think about what could have happened but at least he just came and took stuff and left,” she said.
Parker has a long wrap sheet dating back to 2003 – for burglary and receiving stolen property. For now, Parker has only been charged in one of the burglaries, but it is possible he could be charged with others.