Gov. Palin's sister-in-law arrested

Posted: Sunday, April 05, 2009

ANCHORAGE - A half sister of Gov. Sarah Palin's husband is accused of breaking into the same home twice with the intention of stealing money.

Diana Palin, 35, is charged with two counts of felony burglary and misdemeanor counts of criminal trespass and theft in connection with the break-ins this week at a home in Wasilla, the governor's hometown. The woman's 4-year-old daughter was with her during the Thursday morning break-in, according to charging documents.

Diana Palin made her first appearance in court Friday afternoon following her arrest.

Meghan Stapleton, a spokeswoman for the governor's family, said the family had no comment. Stapleton said Diana Palin is Todd Palin's half sister.

Deputy Wasilla Police Chief Greg Wood said the woman entered the home and encountered the homeowner. The man hid in the home hoping to catch the burglar who stole $400 Tuesday night and $2,200 in a break-in last week, the court papers say.

"He was waiting to see if it would happen again," Wood said. "He saw the suspect's vehicle, hid in the restroom and waited while she navigated to where money was stolen two times from a bureau in a bedroom. Then he confronted her."

The homeowner told authorities he did not know the woman.

He held the intruder until police arrived and began their investigation. Diana Palin was arrested later Thursday morning. Wood said the daughter was released to the suspect's husband, Scott McLean.

Reached at the couple's home in nearby Palmer, McLean said his wife had secured a court-appointed attorney. He said he could not discuss the case, just that the allegations are "very out of character for her."

Diana Palin said she had not been at the home before Thursday and thought it was a friend's house, according to the court documents, which say the child "indicated that she had been at the house a couple of days prior."

Tire tracks and shoe prints tied Diana Palin to the scene in both burglaries, Wood said.

Police have not linked her with the March 26 burglary at the home.

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