Mapleton Police arrest man who burglarized widow’s home multiple times

Posted at 5:58 PM, Jun 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-29 19:58:48-04

MAPLETON – Mapleton Police arrested a man who they say burglarized a widow’s home multiple times. His escape was captured on home surveillance video.

The family of a Mapleton woman says their mother has been terrified for weeks.

“We're just in shock that someone would prey on her,” said Kellie Lee, daughter of the burglary victim.

Lee and her sister Jennifer Paulson have been worried sick about their mother. On May 13th, she was startled out of bed.

“She wakes up and realizes that somebody was possibly lying next to her in her bed,” said Lee. “She yells at him to leave. Says, 'Who are you? Get out of here' and he said, 'it's just me grandma.'"

They called police, but the guy took off. The victim thought it was an isolated incident, but then they got another call from their mother a week later on May 22nd that the suspect was back in her bedroom. The victim woke up as he was walking into her bedroom , and again he fled.

“We decide, OK, there's no way he's gonna come back a third time. So, we do get her a security system,” Paulson said.

On June 13th, two weeks later, the suspect was back in the widow’s bedroom. And this time, his escape was captured on video.

"Again, she wakes up to him in her bedroom, crawling towards her on the floor," Paulson said. "The minute she gets up, you can hear her yelling at him on the security camera, 'Who are you?' He runs out the front door, and that's when the alarm goes off."

Mapleton Police posted the video on Facebook, and tips came pouring in. Police tracked down the owner of the truck seen in the video. They say it belonged to Justin Christiansen, someone who police have encountered on numerous occasions.

“There is some voyeurism involved in his criminal history,” said Sgt. Phillip Bringhurst with Mapleton Police Department.

Christiansen was booked for suspicion of burglary of a dwelling, which is a second degree felony. The 29-year-old posted bail less than 24 hours later. The family is nervous he might strike again.

“She never asked for any of this," Paulson said. "It's really sad. We hope that this young man can get the help he needs and just leave our mom alone."