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Originally published Monday, July 7, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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Boy who talked his way aboard flight now accused of burglary

The Tacoma boy who stole a car and talked his way onto an airline flight as a 9-year-old is now accused of burglary. The Pierce County Prosecutor's...

The Associated Press

TACOMA — The Tacoma boy who stole a car and talked his way onto an airline flight as a 9-year-old is now accused of burglary.

The Pierce County Prosecutor's Office says Semaj Booker, 11, broke into a Tacoma apartment early Saturday morning, then lied to police about his name, age and address.

Juvenile prosecutor Fred Wist says Semaj was held on charges of residential burglary, destroying property and making false statements, pending a court appearance this afternoon. Prosecutors are asking that he be held until his trial.

Wist says a Tacoma apartment resident found Semaj in a bedroom and called 911. Police found the window screen had been cut.

"He was ultimately booked under one of the false names, and it was only because one of the detention facility employees recognized him that he was properly identified," Wist said.

On June 16, Semaj was sentenced to a year's probation for an attempt in May to talk his way on board a flight at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

In January 2007, the boy took a car and led police on a high-speed chase in Lakewood, Pierce County. The next day he managed to make his way onto a flight from Seattle to Phoenix and from there to San Antonio.

He said he wanted to be with his grandfather in Texas.

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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