MERIDIAN, Idaho - A pet squirrel named Joey prevented a burglary attempt in Idaho last week by scratching the teen suspect when he tried to break into a gun safe, police said.
The unidentified teenager told officers that the squirrel's attack "scared him, obviously, because he wasn't expecting to have, you know, a squirrel come flying out of nowhere at him," said Officer Ashley Turner of the police department in Meridian, a Boise suburb. "So basically he said he took what he could and left as fast as he could."
The squirrel's owner, Adam Pearl, said Joey has lived in his house for about six months after he was found in a flower garden by a friend's daughter when he was about a week old.
He said Joey's eyes were still closed, and they set an alarm to feed him every two hours.
"His temperament is kind of like a cat," Pearl said. "When he wants attention, he'll run up to you and climb up your leg."
Joey eats nuts and greens, and spinach is his favourite. He buries some of the nuts in houseplants inside Pearl's house and uses a litterbox.
"He trained himself," Pearl said.
Joey's reward for his vigilance were Whoppers, the squirrel's favourite candy.
Pearl had planned to release Joey into his backyard in the spring.
"But now, I don't know," he said. "I'm kind of torn."