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On Sept. 21, police allege, a halfway-house escapee went on a Ward 6 burglary spree that was as polite as it was poorly executed: Around 1 a.m., she slipped into a house on N Street SW, setting off the alarm. “Just calm down—I just want some caffeine. I’m your neighbor,” she told the two women inside, according to a police report. She then went upstairs and stole $58. About two hours later, Claire Johnson of Constitution Avenue NE heard footsteps outside her second-floor bedroom and found the woman hovering above her handbag. She had broken in through a 7-foot-high window, wearing a miniskirt. “The first thing that comes out of my mouth was, ‘Who are you?’” says Johnson. “And she, just in the most pleasant, cordial manner, said, ‘I’m Ruby—I’m just looking for some Tylenol, because I have cramps.’” Johnson let “Ruby” out the front door, “like I was letting out a guest.” She was next spotted in the foyer of a house on North Carolina Avenue SE. “The excuse was she was letting the cat in,” says JoAnn McInnis, down $30 after the visit. “She’s got some creative thinking process going on there.” —John Metcalfe