Crime

Retired colonel finds naked burglar dangling from his ceiling, Columbus police say

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A naked intruder was arrested early Friday after he was found in the attic of a retired colonel’s north Columbus house, authorities said.

“You don’t see someone come through your ceiling with no clothes on every day,” said retired Col. John House, who lives on Eagle Drive near the Bull Creek Golf Course.

Randy Forsyth, 24, was arrested on the scene and charged with first-degree burglary. He was booked into the Muscogee County Jail, where he awaits an 8 a.m. Tuesday hearing in Columbus Recorder’s Court.

House said he was in his residence when he heard a noise coming from his chimney around 1:15 a.m. He said it sounded as if there was an animal playing with the metal cap on top of the chimney.

“I assumed it was a cat or squirrel or something up there, and I would deal with whatever would happen in the morning,” House told the Ledger-Enquirer. “I laid back down.”

About 15 minutes later, he heard another loud noise, and the security alarm sounded. He went to the hallway to check it out and found a large hole in the ceiling.

“At that point, I thought I had an animal of some kind in the house, but a pretty good size one to come through the ceiling,” House said.

He called Columbus police, and an officer searched the house and attic. He left after not finding anything abnormal.

House said he and his wife were talking about the incident around 3 a.m. when they heard a rafter creak. He called officers to his home again, and they searched the residence once more.

“One of the policemen went up into the attic, and then I heard him tell someone not to move,” House said. “It turns out it was a young man who had no clothes. He was buried in the insulation in the attic.”

House said the suspect, who later was identified as Forsyth, was being taken into custody when he fell through the ceiling.

“So I was standing in the kitchen looking at a naked body hanging from my ceiling like, ‘Oh gosh. This can’t be happening,’ ” House said with a chuckle.

Forsyth also was accused of breaking into the victim’s storage shed. It doesn’t appear as if he stole anything, the homeowner said Friday afternoon.

There was about $1,000 worth of damage to the ceiling and chimney and $400 worth of damage to the shed, according to a police report.

Sarah Robinson: 706-571-8622, @sarahR_92

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