Somerset Mayor Jeffrey Slavin Credit: VIA TOWN OF SOMERSET WEBSITE

As he often does, Somerset Mayor Jeffrey Slavin got up at 2:45 a.m. Sunday and headed out of his Warwick Place home to walk Molly, his 10-year-old Basset Hound.

“I’m out in the middle of the night frequently because that’s her pattern,” he said Monday.

He didn’t lock his door and left his garage door open because he knew he’d be back soon. As he was walking down the block, he passed a young man who looked about 25 years old. Slavin didn’t think anything of it, assuming the man was returning home from being out on a Saturday night.

Slavin walked with his dog for about 10 minutes before returning to his home, where he immediately noticed his front door was wide open. His first thought was that the wind had blown it open. Then he hoped his cat Yugo hadn’t escaped.

“I was inside for about 30 seconds when out of somewhere this man brushes by me,” he said. “All I said was, ‘What are you doing here?’ and he ran out.”

After a quick check, Slavin determined that nothing was missing. “Fortunately, he didn’t take anything. He couldn’t have been in there more than five minutes,” he said. “I was just kind of startled.”

Since nothing was taken, Slavin initially thought of not doing anything about the intrusion, but then decided he should set an example, knowing that town officials ask residents to report any such incidents to police. Slavin was elected in 2008 as mayor of Somerset, an incorporated town of about 1,200 residents between Bethesda and Friendship Heights.

“The moral of story is I should have locked the door and shouldn’t have left the garage door open,” he said.

He’s not worried about crime in the area, believing the intrusion was a one-time occurrence, and said he was impressed by the response of Montgomery County police officers.

Yugo, his North American tabby, made it through the attempted burglary unharmed as well—he was hiding under Slavin’s bed.