Alleged cross-dressing burglar nabbed

Abbott charged with felony first-degree burglary, faces possible prison sentence

Posted: Thursday, October 30, 2003

Juneau police arrested a man wearing a woman's jeans allegedly taken from her Industrial Avenue-area residence Tuesday night.

Brian Abbott, 34, appeared in Juneau District Court on Wednesday on a felony first-degree burglary charge that could carry a prison sentence of up to 10 years, Magistrate John W. Sivertsen told him.

Abbott also faces a third-degree theft charge, a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, because the property he allegedly took was valued at less than $500.

Sivertsen didn't ask for a plea, but appointed Abbott an attorney and advised him to remain silent.

Police received the burglary report at 8:40 p.m. Tuesday, according to information filed with the court. A man reported finding a stack of clothing - a blue jacket, blue jeans, gray sweat pants and heavy socks - in the master bedroom closet of his home. He told police he recognized the clothing as belonging to a 6-foot-tall man seen loitering in the area, according to court reports.

The family locked themselves in a room until police arrived and determined the intruder had left the area, police reported.

The court filing shows that an off-duty officer heard a discussion of the possible suspect on his radio, after seeing the man at a Mendenhall Valley grocery store wearing clothes that appeared to be too small for him.

Police arrested Abbott at the store, allegedly with a few small items from the burglarized house. They determined the jeans, blue fleece shirt, running shoes and red underwear he was wearing belonged to the wife of the man who reported the burglary, according to court records.

Sivertsen set bail at $1,000 with a condition that Abbott's release also would require the custody of a court-approved third party.

Assistant District Attorney Jack Schmidt told Sivertsen that Abbott had an "extensive criminal record." Sivertsen noted from the bench that the background included "multiple criminal trespass" cases, raising safety concerns for the community.

• Tony Carroll can be reached at

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