MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Police say a prowler was found hiding under a bed inside a Whitehaven house by the homeowner’s parents early Tuesday morning.

“My husband saw an elbow coming out from under the bed,” said Audrey Phifer.

Police said Marquez Lawson, 34, was still under the bed when officers arrived at the home on Jeanne Drive.

Audrey Phifer said Lawson broke out a rear window and pane of glass in her daughter’s back door. She believes he had been in and out of the house for three days.

Photo by Melissa Moon, WREG
Windows broken out of Whitehaven home by a burglar (Photo by Melissa Moon, WREG)

Lawson said her daughter is out of town, and she and her husband have been looking after the place.

She said police were first called to the home on Saturday night, saw the storm door on the back door had been pried open but didn’t think anyone had gone inside the house.

Phifer said she and her husband returned to the house on Sunday and discovered the broken windows. They also saw their daughter’s TV outside but no sign of a burglar inside.

“Police came, and all of us thought we had done a thorough check, and I guess we didn’t,” she said. “We checked the attic. All the places someone normally would hide out.”

Phifer said the alarm went off again Tuesday morning, and her husband, a former Memphis Police captain, spotted Lawson under the bed.

“He walks out, trying to deter the burglar, saying, ‘Oh, no one is here. I guess we can leave.’ But he stayed in the hallway until the officers got here, and when the officers got here, they were able to find the young man under the bed.” Phifer said.

Photo by Melissa Moon, WREG

She said while Lawson was inside the house, he took her daughter’s credit cards, damaged the alarm system, and helped himself to a bottle of wine.

“After the police get in and go into the room, they said he has broken open a bottle of wine and had a wine glass like he had set up house.”

Lawson was arrested for theft in December of 2022, but the charges were later dropped. In February, he received a three-year suspended sentence after pleading guilty to stealing a woman’s car from a Whitehaven gas station.

“It looked like he was a drug addict trying to prey on people,” said Phifer. “There is help out there. You’ve got the Salvation Army. All those different things that you don’t have to break into folks’ homes.”

Lawson is charged with aggravated burglary and is being held on a $50,000. He is scheduled to go before a judge on Wednesday.