Whoever smelt it, dealt it.

A suspected church burglar in Washington state got a smelly sendoff after a skunk sprayed him just before his arrest last week, authorities said.

The incident happened around 3:10 a.m. Thursday when deputies responded to a reported burglary in progress at the Church of the Nazarene in Deer Park, the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday.

The caller told deputies that a male wearing a mask over his face and holding a flashlight was seen on a surveillance live feed walking around inside the church and looking at audio equipment.

Deputies arrived at the scene and saw a man, later identified as 28-year-old Grant M. Simonson, walk past an open window and then begin to climb out, the sheriff’s office said.

Deputies demanded the suspect show his hands and get on the ground.

“He began to follow the commands when suddenly a skunk came running around the corner, approached Simonson, and released its well-known and malodorous spray before fleeing the area,” the sheriff’s office said.

Skunk robbery
A man suspected of robbing a church in Washington was sprayed by a skunk moments before his arrest.
Spokane County Sheriff’s Office

Simonson was taken into custody without further incident.

After deputies read him his rights, they said Simonson claimed that he was “wide awake and bored,” so he went for a ride on his bicycle and noticed an open church window. 

Deputies said he claimed to have gone home before returning on foot, removing a screen from the window and entering because he was “curious.”

Simonson was booked into the Spokane County Jail for second-degree burglary. He was released later that day on his own recognizance. 

As for the skunk, deputies said the animal’s whereabouts are unknown.

“The skunk is a wild animal and not affiliated with law enforcement or the church,” the sheriff’s office advised.


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