'This was our one chance to get them': Snoqualmie woman stands up to armed burglars to stop home invasions
By SETH TRUSCOTT
Snoqualmie Valley Record Editor
January 15, 2013 · Updated 5:20 PM
A friend has already rearranged the letters in her name to spell ‘Batgirl’. She now owns an official plaque of commendation from the Snoqualmie Mayor. Tia Borgioli is a hero.
The Valley woman, who works in customer service and is a married mother of three, is definitely a crime fighter. She braved a gun to her head to bring two burglary suspects to justice last Tuesday, Jan. 8.
That day, Borgioli was at her home on Norman Avenue in Snoqualmie Ridge’s Phase 2 neighborhood, getting ready for work, when she thought she heard a knock on the front door, then heard the door open.
Thinking it might be a neighbor searching for a lost dog, she called downstairs, then went to see. Nobody was there, but just down the street was a moving truck—the same kind of truck that she’d received a chain e-mail warning, from a neighbor following the local Living Snoqualmie blog, about involvement in suspicious activity.
Borgioli’s husband, Anthony, describes her as a problem solver.
“I see this situation, I need to cover my bases. I had a list in my head,” she says. “I immediately put my phone on camera setting, with the intention of driving, taking a picture and contacting the police immediately.”
Borgioli got in her car, pulled behind the U-Haul truck, and took a picture. A woman peered out from the driver’s side—Borgioli described her as a young woman with bright, dyed-blonde hair. Her eyes widened as Borgioli confronted her.
“I asked her, ‘What are you doing here?’ She told me she was dropping off mattresses from Craigslist… She gave me a bogus name. I proceded to tell her, ‘You shouldn’t be here.’ I told her I’m calling the police.”
Why are you doing that? the woman asked. You know why, Borgioli replied. The woman driver then proceeded to back the trailer at her. Borgioli started laying on her horn to attract neighbors.
“I wasn’t really concerned with her hitting my car,” Borgioli said. “I wasn’t budging.”
Blowing the horn, she was also dialing 9-1-1, attempting to describe the situation to the dispatcher between horn blasts.
“All of a sudden, this wiry guy comes to my window. He’s looking at me, yelling, ‘Move!’”
The man, who was wearing a flat-brimmed cap with red letters and light-colored pants—Borgioli said he reminded her of 1990s rapper Vanilla Ice—then flashed an object in his waistband.
Borgioli realized he was showing her a handgun.
“He took the gun out and held it to my head,” Borgioli said. “’Holy moly, here we go!’” she remembers thinking.
Borgioli went, stomping the gas pedal as she ducked.
“I was pedal to the metal to the police station,” just down the Parkway.
Meanwhile, police came quickly to the scene on Norman Avenue, and arrested both suspects.
When police asked if she was sure she saw a gun, Borgioli was certain.
“That’s the one absolute thing I can describe,” Borgioli said. “It’s completely ingrained in my mind…. By the time he got my attention, the only thing I could see was the handgun and the hat.”
The man had tossed his gun away at the top of the street, but police later recovered it. Concerned about children’s safety, Borgioli was glad the loaded weapon was quickly found.
Putting herself in danger, Borgioli was driven to stop the suspects.
“I’ve had a home burglarized before. These are my good friends. It’s our community,” she said. “This was it. This was our chance, maybe the only chance to physically get them.”
“The one piece I can really take from this is, I feel like my community, my neighbors, the people over here—they mean so much,” Borgioli said. “When people come into your community and break into your homes, it makes people feel really unsafe and untrusting. It made me realize that we need to take our neighborhoods back.”
Borgioli is thankful that she didn’t come to harm.
“I’m safe and my neighbors are safe. I definitely would have done it again.”
The two suspects are in King County Jail. The man is on $300,000 bail, the woman on $100,000 bail.
Contact Snoqualmie Valley Record Editor Seth Truscott at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-425-888-2311.