The King County Sheriff's Office said the case began Wednesday when the victim's purse was stolen from where it had been left on a table at a Starbucks cafe in Covington. The woman returned to her Maple Valley home -- after filing a police report -- to find a taxicab in her driveway, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported Friday.
The cab driver said a woman had called him to pick up someone from the house and the resident, who was with her brother, called police.
Maple Valley police and King County deputies said there was no one inside the house, but several items were missing, including items of clothing, and some clothing items apparently belonging to the burglar had been left behind.
Investigators said the woman called 911 at 11:30 a.m. the next morning when she and her brother went out to eat at a Maple Valley restaurant and spotted a woman wearing some of the stolen clothing. The woman matched the description witnesses gave of the purse thief.
The suspect, who was found hiding in the eatery's bathroom, was found to be in possession of other items taken from the victim's home, deputies said.
The 28-year-old suspect, whose name was not released, was arrested on suspicion of burglary.