Man with stolen sword, blind cat, arrested on suspicion of burglary

It was the case of the sword, the blind black cat and a pair of Chinese meditation balls. In fact, it was two cases with those same clues. So it didn’t take police too long to figure out that the two crimes were connected.

At the scene of the first crime, at a home in the Easy Living mobile home park, 3323 Iowa St., a burglar apparently entered while residents were out, sometime before 5 p.m. Sunday, and made off with a medium-length Japanese-style sword, a blind black cat and the Chinese meditation balls, among other items, according to Sgt. Trent McKinley, a Lawrence Police Department spokesman.

Shortly after, the burglar struck again at another residence in the same neighborhood, McKinley said. About 5:20 p.m., the man terrified the residents of a nearby mobile home by barging in through their front door. He had no shoes or shirt on, but he was wearing the stolen sword on his waist in a scabbard, and was carrying the meditation balls and the cat.

The residents fled to a neighbor’s house to call police, McKinley said, afraid for their lives, as the man entered their home and began eating their food.

About 90 minutes after police arrived at the home and arrested Blake Robert Hurd, 31, of Lawrence, the earlier crime was reported. Among the items reported missing in that first theft? The cat, the sword and the Chinese meditation balls. Connecting the two incidents, police arrested Hurd on suspicion of both crimes and returned the property and the cat, who goes by the name “Freddie.”

Douglas County prosecutors charged Hurd Monday with aggravated burglary, burglary, and two counts of theft. He remained in Douglas County Jail Monday with bond set at $25,000.