Man breaks into Redwood City couple’s apartment, stays a while

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A Redwood City married couple who had spent the night with family in Sunnyvale last month returned home to find a stranger in the kitchen, helping himself to a beverage.

The couple also noticed food and drink on the counter and the pungent smell of marijuana in their second-floor apartment on Veterans Boulevard.

The apartment had also been ransacked, with every drawer and cabinet opened and gone through. And the toilet had been used — but not flushed.

On Tuesday, 24-year-old transient Ian Brimelow pleaded not guilty to first-degree residential burglary in connection with the incident on Nov. 4, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office.

The Redwood City couple returned home from their night in Sunnyvale about 2:50 p.m. that day, DA Steve Wagstaffe said. After encountering “an unkempt” Brimelow,  the couple called 911.

Brimelow, who had a backpack loaded with some of the couple’s property, apparently became too comfortable for a quick getaway.

“The  defendant stated he had been in their apartment for a while,” Wagstaffe said.

Police officers responded to the scene and determined Brimelow, who has a lengthy record out of North Carolina, West Virginia and Florida, had entered the apartment by removing a bedroom screen, prosecutors said.

Brimelow remains in custody on $50,000 bail, and his case has been set for jury trial on April 2, with a pretrial conference set for Feb. 11, prosecutors said.