Washington – James Rousseau, 23, of Washington, D.C., was found guilty by a jury today of burglarizing a house in Northwest Washington and then riding off in the family’s car, announced U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu.
Rousseau was found guilty of charges of first-degree burglary, first-degree theft, and unauthorized use of an automobile. The verdict followed a trial in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. Rousseau remains held pending his sentencing on April 10, 2018, by the Honorable Robert A. Salerno.
According to the government’s evidence, on the evening of Oct. 10, 2016, Rousseau was stalking the 5100 block of 7th Street NW, looking for a house to burglarize. After going up and down the block, he located an unlocked rear deck door. He entered this house, which was occupied only by a teenager and three small sleeping children. The teenager was getting ready for bed and showering in the basement bathroom. She heard footsteps upstairs, but mistakenly believed that it was the rest of the family returning to the house.
Only later, when the teenager heard Rousseau peel off in the family’s MINI Cooper sedan, did she realize that a burglar had been inside. Officers with the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) quickly responded to the scene and canvassed the neighborhood. An exterior fingerprint at the home helped lead to Rousseau’s identification. In addition, MPD was able to recover surveillance footage from security cameras belonging to neighbors on the block. The surveillance footage showed the same person, and the footage from the driveway showed that person driving off with the car.
Rousseau was arrested 10 days after the crime. Pursuant to a search warrant, law enforcement recovered a cellphone from Rousseau’s house that included a picture of the defendant wearing the same outfit shown in the surveillance footage.
The press release is available at justice.gov.