It was a bizarre start to the morning on Tuesday for a small community in Belmont County.
Neighbors awoke to discover a young woman forcing her way into a home in the Stop 32 section of Blaine, just after the sun came up. Now a suspect is in custody, and authorities say it's not your average burglary.
The area called Stop 32 is just off National Road in Blaine, over the Bobby Douglas Bridge. Officials say 21-year-old Tabitha Burch of Blane is now in the Belmont County Jail, facing a charge of burglary.
It all started at 7:30 a.m., when she was discovered allegedly forcing her way into a house. They say a neighbor saw her, and yelled, and she took off running, with the neighbor chasing her.
It ended up being a long and involved chase through a lot of obstacles.
"Miss Burch ends up going through some thick underbrush, through a creek and down a ravine, getting away from the neighbor," said Bill Artrip, chief deputy for the Belmont County Sheriff's Department. "Then 911 notifies the deputies about what happened, and the deputies do a lot of good, hard work with excellent coordination and end up arresting her, catching her for the burglary."
Chief Artrip said it's unusual to see a female suspect, working alone and at that time of the morning.
It was quite a physical chase, but they say she's now in jail, and her bond is set at $7,500.
Officials say it appears she did not know the homeowners, and they did not know her.